January 17th, 2024
Self-Care: Dare to Care for Yourself
In a world that sometimes feels determined to suck the life force right out of you, caring for yourself can be a truly radical and incredible act. We are asked to give so much of ourselves to our jobs, our partners, our families and children, and often all that’s left for us are the scraps. I hope that this blog post will show you that self care is accessible, in some way, to everyone. Here at Therapy Austin we work hard to create routines of self care with our clients so that eventually they become second nature, and you hardly have to plan or think about them at all.
The Modern Dilemma:
In our fast-paced society, there's a prevailing notion that being busy equates to being productive and successful, and that being productive and successful equates to being “good”. However, this mindset often leads to burnout, stress, and a decline in mental well-being. Additionally, productivity does not equal worth, despite what some of our popular narratives might tell us. Worth exists within us regardless of what we do, produce, or create. Engaging with a self-care routine can help you connect with your inner worth through stillness, mindfulness, and rest.
The Importance of Rest:
Rest is not just about sleep; it encompasses a broader spectrum of activities that allow your body and mind to recharge. Quality sleep, breaks during work, and moments of stillness all contribute to the restoration of your energy levels. Adequate rest is vital for cognitive function, emotional stability, and overall health.
Tips for Prioritizing Rest:
Establish a Consistent Sleep Routine
Develop a regular sleep schedule to ensure you get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Create a calming bedtime routine, free from electronic devices, to signal to your body that it's time to wind down.
Take Short Breaks Throughout the Day
Incorporate short breaks into your daily routine. Step away from your desk, stretch, or practice deep-breathing exercises. These moments of respite can improve focus and productivity.
Engage in mindfulness activities, such as meditation or yoga, to promote relaxation. These practices not only help reduce stress but also enhance self-awareness and emotional well-being. Check out this video, this video, and this one as well, on our Instagram page for some ideas for self-care.
An often overlooked way to engage in rest is to set firmer boundaries with things like work, family, friends, even partners and children. You don’t do anyone any favors by being exhausted all the time, so setting boundaries can create pockets of rest in your life where it previously seemed impossible.
The Transformative Power of Relaxation:
Relaxation goes beyond physical rest—it involves consciously engaging in activities that bring joy, calmness, and a sense of fulfillment. Here are some suggestions to incorporate relaxation into your self-care routine:
Hobbies and Leisure Activities:
Dedicate time to activities you enjoy, whether it's reading, painting, gardening, or playing a musical instrument. These pursuits provide a mental break and foster creativity.
Spend time in nature to reap the benefits of fresh air and natural surroundings. A simple walk in the park or a weekend hike can have profound effects on your mental well-being. If you’re in South Austin, you might enjoy a stroll at Mary Moore Searight Metro Park. Up north, you should check out Brushy Creek Lake Park. And if you’re in central Austin, then the most popular spot for walks is the Trail at Lady Bird Lake.
Unplug from technology regularly. Set aside specific times to disconnect from emails, social media, and other digital distractions. This will help reduce stress and improve your overall mood. Many phones will allow you to set certain times of the day where your phone automatically goes into “Do not disturb” mode, or where certain apps are off limits. You can even limit the amount of time you spend on an app by setting time limits. Explore those options to see if this leads to you being more organically detached from your device.
At Therapy Austin, we believe that prioritizing rest and relaxation is a necessity for mental and emotional well-being. We recognize that for many, both time and money are factors that inhibit your ability to rest and relax. Making small, incremental changes are an approachable way to create more space for yourself without sacrificing another important aspect of your daily life.Try incorporating one of the suggested self care tips to your daily routine and see if you can identify the shifts it creates for you. Perhaps things may begin to feel not as dense, perhaps you notice you have more capacity for your spouse, children, or friends! By embracing these practices, you empower yourself to navigate life's challenges with resilience and cultivate a healthier, more balanced lifestyle. Remember, self-care is not selfish; it's an investment in your long-term happiness and fulfillment. Take the time to prioritize yourself—you deserve it.