Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Importance of Self Care

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I never used to be one to write things down.  My mom would say that I was messy growing up.  But I like to think I have always been organized.  Being raised by a super organized mom I am turning into her more and more each day.  My whole life now is a constant to do list and you can rarely find me without my planner.  I feel like if I don't write it down, it won't happen at all. [Please tell me I am not alone in this!] 

With the year winding down I always become really reflective.  I look back on my previous year and think about things I want to accomplish for the next.  I will share my new years goals soon, as well, but today I just wanted share the most important lesson I have learned/ am still learning every single day: self care.

I know self care is a term that is being heard more frequently now but I have a confession.  A few years ago when I started my counseling graduate program they really really preached self care [and for good reason] but to me those two words put together in that way baffled me.  No one ever before told me to practice self care - let alone took the time to define it.  I heard the gist of it; eat healthy, take breaks, do things that make you happy, etc. But never the words self care.

Because my grad program was so wonderful - I truly learned the meaning in those 2 valuable life changing years. My professors not only preached it but showed they genuinely cared, when we had an issue they would first ask what are we doing to take care of ourselves before trying to delve into the other problem. Learning about those two simple words not only changed who I am, they pushed me, they challenged me, and they taught me to be who I am now. 

Flash forward a few years now I am a practicing school counselor and the words self care, self care, self care come out of my mouth many times a day to myself and others around me. 

So for the remainder of this year self care is something that I am truly trying practice.  I can't take care of others or do my job effectively without it.  Self care can be simple routine things, doesn't have to be big extravagant and throw your whole day around.  I have a lot of various self care practices that fulfill me.  These are the few that I hold pretty sacred and my days are thrown off if I miss them.

I start my morning reading the readings for the day and journaling about it before I leave for work.  I plan my meals out so that I eat the food that fuels my body in a healthy way and over time I have learned what my body likes and doesn't like.  I pay attention to my body and what it needs. The first thing I do when I get home from work is change into work out clothes and do a workout as well as go on a long walk with my dog.

I am always searching for more self care practices to implement.  What are some of the things you do to practice self care?

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