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"Treat Yourself Like Someone You Love"

The biggest myth I think I have heard about self-care is that it is inherently selfish. This creates a reluctance to do things for ourselves, sometimes even essential things that are really basic NEEDS, like eating nutritional food, or saying no to protect our downtime, for example. I think most of us have heard the oxygen mask analogy for self-care: when on an airplane in turbulence and the oxygen masks descend, do you take the mask first or do you give it to your child next to you? Our instinct might say-the child!! Of course the child! But the reality of the situation is if it is a true emergency and we give oxygen to the child first, we may pass out from oxygen deprivation and no longer be available to help or instruct them to safety. The child might be alive in the short-term but would most likely panic and take off the mask and not understand that they need it for survival, or understand what next steps to take for self-preservation. ONLY if we survive ourselves can we be of assistance to others. We quite literally have to attend to our own needs in order to lend our wisdom, strength, and aide to others. We are no good for anyone if we are depleted, exhausted, or unconscious!

The understanding that self-care is essential for you to be your best self, and also to be available to do anything--your job, your caregiving role, your role as a true friend, healthy partner, or just a whole individual--helps us have confidence in the truth that self-care is as basic a need as hydration or nutrition or sleep. In order to live a balanced life we should incorporate things that nurture all aspects of who we are into our routine. This could be creative activities, such as painting or writing, or it could be physical activities such as hiking, swimming, or yoga. It could also be unplugging from technology and taking a nap for extra rest. Deciding what is self-care is an individual thing--what recharges and nourishes YOU is key, because that may differ for another person. Self-care consists of different categories so may need to involve a variety of actions in order to fully nurture and restore yourself.

I encourage you to start intentionally practicing self-care in all areas: physical, mental, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and social. Research shows that self-care and holistic wellness reduces stress, reduces risk of heart disease, lowers blood pressure, helps prevent disease, reduces depression and anxiety, helps prevent burnout, and improves overall sense of wellbeing (such as happiness and contentment with life). It will not only help you reach your fullest potential, but it will help keep you healthy along the way!

To help myself and others be more consistent and accountable in their self-care journey, I created a new journal with daily built-in wellness check-ins including a self-care tracker that rewards you with a small coloring activity if you successfully complete your self-care task for the day. It also includes a stress-relieving adult coloring activity with a positive affirmation for each day's entry. I call this journal "Treat Yourself Like Someone You Love," because I want to reframe how we think about self-care. It is not an act of selfishness--it is truly an act of LOVE toward ourselves. We deserve the same kindness and care that we would give to someone else! Let's combat the stigma of self-care and improve how we treat ourselves! Enjoy your newfound freedom to LOVE YOURSELF!

This guided therapeutic journal is now available on Amazon for ONLY $7.77! Get started with your new holistic wellness journey TODAY!

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