I’ve been hearing a lot recently about “self-care,” and that we should all be “practicing more self-care.” But what if you don’t even know what “self-care” means? What if you keep hearing about “self-care” and all that comes to mind is bubble baths and retail therapy? What if you know what self care is supposed to be, but you have trouble actually figuring it out for yourself?
First, I’ll give you some ideas of what self-care is vs what it isn’t. Second, I’ve decided to have some fun and ask the therapists at Austin Family Counseling what THEY do for self-care, and it may help give some insight into what self-care can look like for you!
First, what Self-Care ISN’T:
- Indulging in or bingeing your favorite things every now and then just to check off the “self-care” box
- An instant fix for all of your problems
- The same for everyone
Now, what Self-Care IS:
- An individual way for you to fill your needs that haven’t been met
- It can be quite challenging
- Really, really different from person to person, or even for the same person at various points in time
- Read Julie’s 2019 blog about the 5 categories of self-care: https://austinfamilycounseling.com/5-categories-of-selfcare/
Second… What Do Austin Family Counseling Therapists Do for Self-Care?
I asked AFC therapists what they do for self-care. Here are some of their responses…
Kaity (Blog Author) said “I typically stream shows and movies, eat chocolate, play video games, and go on nature walks for my self-care. I’m also adamant about getting as close to eight hours of sleep per night as I can and being mindful of my hydration.”
Lora said “Every two weeks I go in for a massage and dry sauna treatment, and during really tender seasons in my life, I go weekly! I use it as time to meditate, rest, relax, and replenish.”
Mike said “I wake up early and go for a walk (when it’s not so hot outside). I try to make sure I take breaks (e.g., I don’t walk on the weekends). I am kind to myself when I don’t eat as healthy as I’d like. I say, ‘you’ve been working really hard to eat healthy, and you don’t need to be perfect at this or anything.’ I listen to a meditation before (or as) I go to sleep. I make sure I read books that are just for fun.”
Emily said “I make an effort to incorporate meditation and yoga, even if it is only 5 or 10 minutes, as a part of my daily routine knowing that it helps keep me grounded and connected.”
Catherine M. said “I like to disconnect myself from the internet and connect with nature by taking walks. I engage myself in mindful playing with my son, and I take Epsom Salt baths to help me relax and detox.”
Sumaya said “Hot showers or bubble baths with candles lit; surrounding myself with my family and friends including food and boardgames; being outside with nature in my hammock, near or in water, and taking an evening walk.”
Janet said “For self-care, I like to go on walks and listen to a podcast. This gives me time outside, doing something physical and listening to something I enjoy. I also look forward to easy mornings on weekends with my family; we all enjoy those moments of a slower pace.”
Sara said “I love taking hot showers, snuggling my dogs, weightlifting at the gym, sleeping in when I’m feeling worn down, and having fun with my friends and fiancé on the weekends. I also love getting my nails done every 2-3 weeks! It’s a fun creative outlet for me – I love all things glam and it taps into that. It’s also a great reason for me to sit for an hour with no phone, no conversation, and no expectations of productivity.”
As you can see, our therapists have a wide range of activities they do to help with their self-care. Some of their self-care activities are more outdoor- or indoor-oriented, some are long, some are short, some are very individual, some involve socializing with other people, but they are all helpful to us in our own unique ways.
If you are interested in finding ways to increase your own self-care, talk to your therapist or reach out to get on our schedule at [email protected] | 512-298-3381.