Submitted by Breeze Powell Spivey, RN – OHNA Director-at-Large
For whatever reason, the thought of self-care is daunting at times. I’m not sure at what point I started to think of self-care as more of a chore than a way of life. Maybe it was the association of having to spend money on a yoga class or some lavish spa treatment that made me feel as if my life had to be altered in some drastic way to incorporate self-care into my routine. Sure these things are nice, but not necessary.
I had to stop, and first recognize all of the ways in which I already incorporate self-care into my life. My weekly dance class where I get to teach and be surrounded by a lovely community of women, this is self- care. Being brave and jumping into the ocean on a cold and windy day to catch a couple of waves (maybe!), this is self-care. Watching my favorite show with my family, this is self-care. Taking a walk with a friend or grabbing a cup of tea. Getting a good night of sleep or going on a date with my husband every once in a while. All of these activities that I try to maintain time for each week are a part of my self-care. It’s important not to overlook all of the ways in which we already incorporate self-care.
Now with that being said, I still have to put in the effort of continuing to make time for the people and activities that bring me peace and joy. I post notes around the house to remind myself to breathe, drink water, eat mindfully, show gratitude, and move my body. When I feel restless I allow myself to get up and move around. Take a quick break and a few deep breaths. Trying not to get down on myself when I break this pattern. Allow room for mistakes and space for growth. Practicing self-love and forgiveness. The kind of compassion that we so often reserve for others, yet deprive ourselves from.
Being on the OHNA board and having a self-care check-in at the beginning of each of our meetings has been really beneficial. Finding an individual or a group that helps you to stay accountable can be a powerful tool. I know that I have changed my view of self-care because of our regular check-ins. I no longer view self-care as something that can be measured by importance, but by the feeling I get from doing something I love. A strict daily practice might be your way of self-care, or it might be a free-flowing and ever-changing rhythm. Either way, honor your individual needs and try many different things. Just like all of us are unique so is our approach to self-care. Breathe, show gratitude and keep doing what makes your heart smile!