Introduction to the Self-Care Series
This is an uncertain, stressful time for a lot of people. During this year we’ve experienced an ongoing pandemic, an economic downturn, intense political polarization, and most recently, devastating fires across Oregon that have resulted in immense loss. In the midst of these life-altering events, it can be difficult to fully prioritize our mental wellbeing.
You’ve likely heard the term “self-care” a lot. The stereotypical idea of self-care is sometimes portrayed as splurging on skin-care products or other gifts for oneself. While that could be part of someone’s self-care, it’s actually a lot more simple, yet multifaceted than that. Self-care is a deliberate activity done in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. The act of self-care itself isn’t selfish; it’s necessary for our wellbeing and it takes on many different forms.
We acknowledge that no amount of self-care can completely mitigate the struggles that may arise from these trying times. If you are experiencing symptoms of trauma, grief or loss, or heightened depression or anxiety, it’s best to seek professional help. This Self-Care Series is meant to provide supplemental guidance and touch on the different types of self-care that people can implement into their lives.
Physical Self-Care is the most basic and important form of self-care that you can practice. It can be as simple as brushing your teeth in the morning or taking a warm shower. Once you’re able to practice good physical self-care, you’ll then be able to adopt other forms of self-care into your routine as well.
Get Enough Rest
Prioritizing your sleep is part of your self-care. As an adult, try to get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. It’s also important to get enough rest during the day. This might mean taking several short breaks each day, so that you can return to your work with more energy and a clearer mind.
Eat Well and Stay Hydrated
Eating healthy is all about balance. Food that makes you feel nourished and taken care of is important, but so is treating yourself from time to time. Along with full, balanced meals, it’s good to drink a lot of water throughout the day. Taking care of these basic needs may seem obvious, but they are incredibly important. We can all make these small decisions throughout the day on what we put into our bodies to make us feel good.
Move Your Body
Physical activity is healthy for our bodies and our minds. It’s a form of self-care that can boost your mood and clear your head. Even a short 15-30 minute walk around your neighborhood is a great way to take care of your body daily. You can also try out new kinds of exercises, like yoga or hiking. We know that right now we can’t really do walks or any activities outside because we still need the smoke to clear. In the meantime, stay safe and indoors.
At the most basic level of self-care, maintaining your physical self-care is the most important. Taking care of your body in these ways can make a significant difference in your overall mental health.