I want to devote this post to a topic that many people neglect when under stress: Self-care. I’m no exception.
When I get stressed, I stop cooking for myself. I eat too much chocolate. I play computer games to take my mind off. I hide in my apartment. And yes, I know I can tap on all that, but at those times, I don’t even want to! So, my good coping mechanisms disappear, and I fall back on ancient, childish and non-supportive pseudo-coping strategies.
Of course, the trick is to see the warning signs, and stop the non-helpful behaviour. But what then? What are good coping strategies? What does self-care really mean?
It means taking good care of yourself *before* taking care of anyone else. That’s tough. It means saying no to people and distractions. It may even mean turning off the computer. But most of all, it means that you have to find out what is good for you now, before the stress hits again.
What makes you happy? Which of your friends and family are supportive? Who can listen to you and just let you sort through your feelings while offering a soothing presence? How can you relax best? What makes you feel secure and safe? What can you do to reconnect to your resources?
These are hard questions. Living alone, I don’t have all the answer for myself yet, but I’m working on them. For example, I found out that keeping my kitchen tidy and clean helps me to feel happy. Taking a walk, preferably in the forest, soothes my soul and makes me feel connected to nature. I’m building my tool box for days when I’m completely frazzled (EFT is definitely a part of that!). And here is the tool that inspired today’s post:
“The Art of Extreme Self-Care”, by Cheryl Richardson. (Amazon.com link
So, what do you do when life gets tough? What are your recipes for good self-care?
This blog post was inspired by Andrea Hiltbrunner’s Blog Challenge about Self Care, on her blog DreAm**heArt**sMart**ArT. That’s where you’ll find all the other wonderful blogs as well, that are participating in the challenge!