Self-Care Isn’t Selfish, Mom: Ayana Rose's Tips on Taking Care of Yourself! by Donna John
Do you ever feel guilty if you take time for yourself? Think everyone is more important than you? Not true, Mom! Therapist Ayana Rose is a huge advocate of self-care and chatted with us recently about taking care of ourselves, so we can take care of others. Take a timeout and read the advice she shared!
Q: What exactly is “self-care?”
Self-care includes any intentional actions you take to care for your physical, mental and emotional health. Taking care of our needs is our primary job, everything else revolves around this. When we practice good self-care, career, family and relationships go well, too.
Q: What are some examples of easy ways to care for yourself?
- Food is type of self-care people often overlook. People are often so busy they don’t have time to eat.
- Exercise, even a walk at lunch, can help combat depression and prevent chronic health problems.
- Sleep, we do it anyway. The guideline is most people need between 7 to 10 hours of sleep each night.
- Emotional self-care. Nurture relationships with people that make you feel good about yourself!
- Massage, soak in tub or other forms of pampering revitalize you inside and out.
Q: How can I find time for hobbies or things I like to do when I’m so busy?
- Be aware of things you may be doing that take up a lot of time but don’t support self-care.
- Find others doing same thing! Knowing that people are counting on you to show up helps motivate!
- Make a date night and stick with it, either with a partner, friend or group of friends.
- Treat leisure appointments as seriously as business appointments. Plan and put it on the calendar!
- Make self-care a priority, not something that happens (or doesn’t happen) by accident.
Q: What are simple ways to just relax at work?
- Music is a great way to relieve stress and promote relaxation. Have a 30-second dance party at your desk!
- Laughter is natural way to release tension in your body so stressors don’t seem so stressful.
- Change your perspective! Much of what stresses you comes not from stressors themselves, but from your response to them. Your interpretation of stressors and approach to dealing with them can make events feel more/less stressful. You can choose different thoughts, even if you can’t choose different life circumstances.
Q: Am I being selfish if I choose to take care of myself or put myself first?
The biggest obstacle to self-care is the mistaken belief that when we take care of selves, we’re being selfish. Women are trained by TV shows/stereotypes that we need to continually put others first, ourselves last. You matter just as much and are just as important as others. That’s difficult for most to accept. Put the oxygen mask on yourself first, then place it on your child!