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Self Help/Self Care

What is Self-Care?

Self-care is a way of living that incorporates behaviors that help you refresh yourself, replenish your personal motivation, and grow as a person. It is a vital part of maintaining good health and a vibrant life. Building up a repertoire of reliable self-care habits now can affect your quality of life today and in the future. You can begin building self-care into your lifestyle by setting a goal for yourself in each of the following areas.

Three Main Components of Self Care

Physical

Physical self-care involves activities that improve your physical health, including diet and exercise. Moving your body is important, whether it is through structured sport or exercise, or through entertainment like dancing or going on a hike. Feed your body healthy foods with high nutritional value on a daily basis, and get plenty of sleep. Go to the doctor when you are sick, and get rest when you need it.

Mental/Emotional

Mental/emotional self-care involves practices that maintain your mental strength and emotional health. Developing reasonable expectations of yourself is an important part of mental and emotional health. Your goal should be to stretch yourself, not break yourself. Learning to be more accepting, kind, and forgiving of yourself can reduce stress and anxiety, and can create a generally more balanced lifestyle. You may need to remove some "shoulds" from your vocabulary, or say "no" to requests from time to time. Focus on improving and expanding your social supports, and create friendships with people who respect you and don't expect you to do all of the work to maintain the relationship. Do a variety of things for fun and stimulation each week.

Spiritual

Spiritual self-care involves practices that exercise your mind and soul. Spirituality can be defined in many ways, and there are a variety of activities that can improve one's spiritual health. Some activities that may contribute to your spiritual self-care include: prayer, meditation, attending services with like-minded others, self-exploration and clarifying your values and priorities, reading literature and initiating meaningful discussions with others, finding a way to contribute to the well-being of others.

Isn't it Selfish to Put Myself First?

Taking care of your needs exists in a balanced, steady place on the middle of a continuum, with intense selfishness on one end, and extreme sacrificing what you need or want for others' sake on the other end. Nurturing oneself is a key factor in being able to maintain strength, resolve, motivation, and inner resources to continue to give to others. In fact, doing too much for others could deprive them of the opportunity to learn how to provide their own self-care.

Self Help Resources