Self-Care Needs to be Self-Initiated

I’m a senior in college—the assignments are endless. I’m currently working on developing an app—lots of meetings and decision making. I plan on testing for my second-degree black belt in a few months—heading to Japan this summer to meet the Grand Master of my martial arts style.

Experiencing exhaustion and burnout, I was told that I need to focus on self-care. I expect a lot from myself therefore, it’s important to be good to myself. I know one of the main excuses people have for not taking care of themselves is they simply don’t have the time. This was my excuse. I didn’t think twice about putting self-care on the backburner because I honestly didn’t feel that I was running myself ragged. I love all that I do, and I didn’t really feel stressed—and if there was stress, it was good stress. It’s worth noting my doctor told me the body doesn’t recognize good stress or bad stress as different—it’s all stress to the body. That was my wake-up call.

Self-care is different for everyone and it’s important to find what works for you. When I’m stressed and I need a quick way to decompress and relax I find the most beneficial thing I can do for myself is simply give myself a little alone time.

Here are a few small, simple self-care habits that I do:

  • Go for a walk outside, just being in nature
  • Meditate or do deep breathing for five minutes
  • Chill with my dog or one of my cats
  • Once a week try and meet a friend for lunch, movie, or to simply hang out
  • Eat well everyday
  • Learn to say ‘No.’
  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Take time to read a book

Be good to yourself!

Prioritizing self-care is so important, the benefits can be felt emotionally and physically. Self-care is all about balance. You have to strike a balance between being a hard worker, being driven, and packing your days full of tasks and activities while also listening to your body when it tells you to take better care of it.

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