When preparing for takeoff, a flight attendant will guide passengers through the safety features of the plane. Important information is taught, such as where the exits are located, how to use the seat cushion as a floatation device, and what to expect should the cabin lose pressure. In the event of pressure loss, oxygen masks will descend from the ceiling and be available for use. The attendant explains that adults must place the mask on themselves before helping their children. This is an excellent analogy for self-care. Self-care isn't about being selfish by keeping resources from others. Self-care is all about taking care of your important needs so that you have the capacity to care for others without hurting yourself.
Self-care is the act of taking care of yourself in whatever way necessary to meet your needs and make a restorative impact for yourself in any area of your life. That may sound like a tall order, but active self-care is vital for preventing fatigue and burnout. Being kind to yourself and knowing what you need to feel restored is key.
Taking time for self-care each day may feel like a lot of "me-time," but spending time with yourself is essential for keeping your head on straight and withstanding the grind that comes from all the necessary tasks on your plate. Being able to do things for yourself that nurture and support your needs is one of the best ways to fend off fatigue and avoid burnout.
Self-care is not:
Self-care doesn't have to be extravagant. It can be a simple task that is meaningful to you and makes an impact on your daily mood. Activities as simple as starting the day off with a cup of your favourite coffee or ending the day with a bubble bath are two possible forms of self-care.
The best way to care for yourself is to ask yourself a few key questions:
1. What small things really make me feel good, loved, pampered, or indulgent?
2. What are two things I can have or do each day to remind myself that I matter?
3. What is a weekly activity that restores me, and that I need to remember to schedule for myself without fail?
4. What are the self-care activities or items I need available each month to keep my mental wellness at an optimal level?
Now, fill in those blanks.
Here's a list of daily self-care ideas:
The choices are endless, and they are yours to make for yourself. Choosing yourself first at least once per day is a loving gesture that builds your resilience to fatigue and burnout. It is not selfish, and can even help reverse the effects of fatigue and burnout once they have set in.
P.S. Want to know more about journaling? Read my short article 5 reasons why you should journal every day.