Self-Care in Light of Hurricane Harvey
Self-care can be a big event such as taking a day off and getting a massage or going to a therapy appointment, sure, BUT I think it's equally if not more beneficial when self-care looks like small, subtle acts woven into our daily routines. That can be really hard to create during a crisis or life transition, such as in the aftermath of this hurricane Harvey.
Taking a couple moments throughout the day to slow down, breathe deeper and with awareness and appreciate a small moment is an important way to practice self-care. It may be as simple as savoring the way warm water feels as you wash your hands, the preciousness of a sparrow taking a dust bath in a parking lot, or appreciating the gentle and thoughtful mannerisms of a stranger when they think no one is watching.
Self-care means letting yourself feel your feelings and express them somehow - to a another person who is there to support you or in writing -- thoughtfully in a journal, messily on a napkin, or bullet point style in a note on your phone!
Self-care can also be acknowledging that you feel awful but have no time to process this and then mindfully choosing to seek a pleasant distraction temporarily until you're able to connect back with yourself. It means letting go of guilt and giving yourself permission to relax because the truth is, self-inflicted suffering cannot take away anyone else's pain despite the fact that our minds/brains may be telling us otherwise.
Personally, I like doing yoga, and I've had to remind myself that even a couple minutes of yoga a day by myself rather than getting to my usual full-hour class is worth something to my mental health. I also have gone on a few walks. And I have reached out to friends where I can -- to help out, to seek support in staying connected to my truest values, and to disconnect for a bit from the chaos and simply relax together with a book or tv show.
When you get a chance again, go get that massage and have a therapy appointment, but in the meantime, everyday small acts of self-care are really what make all the difference.