Have you ever flown on a plane and heard the flight attendants giving the safety instructions? Have you wondered why, when they’re telling you about the oxygen masks, they tell you to put yours on first before assisting others? The bottom line is, if you are not taking care of yourself first, you will be less equipped to help others. This is why taking care of yourself is so important.

Many people feel guilty when they think of taking care of themselves; especially when we feel we have many responsibilities in our lives – to our families, our friends, our job. The truth is, if you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re not going to be able to take care of those other responsibilities for as long or with as much quality as you would be if you were taking care of yourself.

In addition to being at your healthiest to take care of others, focusing on self-care can help you through challenging times in your life or if you’re suffering from depression, anxiety, grief, trauma, etc.

In general, taking care of yourself should be a daily practice. As much as possible, you should eat healthy, sleep well, exercise and take time for yourself each day. Self-care is all the more important if you’re going through a difficult time or feeling burnt out.

Self-care doesn’t need to be anything expensive or extravagant. A good rule of thumb is to just do something that will feel good and replenish you emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually, etc. Here is a short list of some easy and economical things you can do to take care of yourself:

Take a bath
Read a book
Take a walk
Call a friend
Take a nap
Eat a piece of dark chocolate
Cook or bake something
Listen to a relaxation CD
Listen to your favorite music
Watch some funny YouTube videos
Write in a journal
Write a gratitude list
Pick some flowers
Go to a support group
Go for a nature hike
Plan a vacation
Start a craft or art project
Spend time with pets/animals

Can you think of any others?


*Disclaimer: the information provided in this blog contains opinions of the writer and are not intended to be used for counseling or crisis management purposes. If you need help with a mental health problem, please find a therapist in your area. If you are experiencing a psychological or medical emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest hospital.

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