Practicing self-care is something which is incredibly important for us all to do. It is not something that should be practiced occasionally, or whenever we feel like “treating ourselves”. Self-care is essential to help build resilience and cope with stressful situations that occur in our lives. If we don’t practice self-care, we are going to have a harder time dealing with stressful situations that might arise in our lives. We can practice self-care throughout several different aspects of our lives. We can and should practice physical self-care, mental self-care, and even social self-care. Even though these are all separate parts of our lives, they are all intertwined to some capacity.
Physical self-care is making sure our basic needs are met. It is crucial to get enough sleep at night, as sleep affects how we feel emotionally and physically. It is also important we are fueling our body in a healthy manner. What foods and drinks we consume affect not only our physical body, but also how we feel. Lastly, it is important to add exercise into our self-care routine. Find something you enjoy doing and stick to it. Research shows us the many positives that exercise has on us both physically and emotionally.
Mental self-care looks different for everyone. One way we can all practice mental self-care is by taking time for ourselves. That might mean saying no to someone or something and saying yes to a night in by yourself. Find something that you enjoy doing with your time and try to do that every day. Maybe that is practicing meditation or maybe it is enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning while reading your favorite book. Whatever that looks like for you, do it! Most importantly, do not feel selfish while practicing mental self-care. It is way too important to feel any sort of guilt. If you practice your own self-care, you are going to be able to care for others even better.
Social self-care is also an important aspect of self-care. Afterall, we are all social creatures. Find the right balance for you. Some people could spend forever around other people and have all the energy in the world, while others might spend a large amount of time with other people and feel exhausted afterward. Everyone is different, so find the right balance for you. Just make sure you do take the time to socialize with friends and/or family. By socializing, you are keeping your mind active and engaged.
There are many ways we can all practice self-care. Self-care looks different for everyone, but it is something which is important and we should all be doing.
Katie Zimmerman, Project Coordinator for The Kim Foundation
Katie Zimmerman joined The Kim Foundation in June 2019. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies and Sociology from Central College in Pella, Iowa. During her time in college, she volunteered at many non-profits organizations and took multiple sociology classes which focused on mental health. Katie’s role at The Kim Foundation includes running the social media accounts, assisting in the Youth Advisory Council, and providing mental health awareness and education to the community through A Voice for Hope and Healing presentations.