Wednesday morning I was psyched! I had attended a Texas Business Women’s meeting the night before and was excited about the connections I made as well as the organization itself. By dinnertime I had turned into the Grinch – I didn’t want any contact with anyone whatsoever. All I wanted to do was crawl into a cave and be left alone.
The whole episode brought home a very important but often overlooked point – in order to function at our optimal level we need to take care of ourselves.As an introvert, I recharge by being alone. I hadn’t any quality time with myself for over six weeks and I was getting cranky.
It’s a mistake to think you don’t have time for self-care when you have goals you want to achieve and deadlines to meet. But we only hinder our progress if we try to press on when we are hungry, tired, unfocused and/or stressed out. We need to pay careful attention to our physical, emotional and intellectual needs along the way.
Taking care of ourselves can take on many different forms depending on who you are and where you are in life. We need to meet our physical needs for food, water, sleep and shelter. We need to meet our emotional needs with social connections and we need to meet our intellectual needs – to be challenged and grow.
In addition to the standard advice of eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep there are a million little and big things we can do. Some of my favorite are:
- Making and eating a home cooked meal
- Watching a funny movie
- A hot, candle lit bubble bath
- Curling up under a blanket on a cold day and drinking hot chocolate
- Being in nature (walking, hiking)
- Getting a massage, manicure and/or pedicure
- Decluttering and organizing (yep, I’m weird)
- Sitting around a campfire and looking at the stars
- Getting a hug from family and friends
- Dancing (both country and goofing around the house to good tunes)
- Laying in a hammock and reading a good book
- Pursuing a hobby (mine are knitting, crochet and sewing)
- Wine tasting
- Having a deep philosophical conversation
- Swinging (on a swing – I’ll never be too old to play on a swing set)
Make sure you are making time to care for yourself. All I needed was to close myself off in my room, get under the covers and read a good book. It made a world of difference in my energy level and attitude the next day.
What do you do to take care of yourself?