If your stress level is high, you may notice that anything resembling "self care" goes out the window with the bathwater. There are three reasons this may happen:
- You may have a mindset that prioritizes doing over being, so when demands increase the expectation of self and/or others is to "get things done", check tasks off the list, meet all the responsibilities before doing something "extra" like "self care". If "doing mode" becomes your default, you eventually will feel exhausted, and maybe even underappreciated or taken advantage of.
- Your definition of "self care" may be too narrow. It's common to summon up images of responsibility free days or hours, new clothes, or vacations when thinking about taking care of oneself. The cold hard truth about taking care of one's body, heart, and mind is that it's most often not time consuming, or cost much money, and isn't usually glamorous. Taking care of oneself includes daily decisions like eating regularly, slowing down to take a few breathes between tasks, praying regularly, hydrating, giving yourself grace when you make mistakes, and so much more.
- You don't know the needs of your mind, body, and heart, or what your goals and intentions are, so you are unfamiliar with how to tend to yourself and build the life that you want. This may be because you have not had access to strong, healthy guides or mentors, and or because you have been stuck in a survival mode of being due to trauma or not having your basic needs met.
The attached "3, 2, 1 Self Care Plan" provides a simple outline to either get started on your journey to start to understand how to treat yourself as a whole person, or to briefly check in with yourself at any point on your journey.