Do you feel like an Uber driver? Do you need a calendar for your calendar? If you responded, “YES!” know that you are in good company. With the range of activities your child might be involved in, combined with all the rest of life’s responsibilities, where can you find time to take care of yourself? Many have asked themselves this question, and too often, adults’ needs go unmet. This month’s blog talks about the importance of self-care.
Critical thought: You need to make sure that taking care of yourself is as much a priority as taking care of everyone else. Think about it – can you fill other people’s cups if your cup is empty? No! Practicing self-care will look different for different people, but it needs to be a priority in your life to find balance, peace, and happiness.
When you eat well you are sending a positive message to yourself which affects your mood and plays into self-care. As Dr. Eva Selhub shared on Harvard Health Publishing:
Everyone struggles to find a new normal after COVID and dealing with trauma and life stresses is a part of this success equation. An NAEYC article, “Preventing Compassion Fatigue: Caring for Yourself,” shared that
“self-care involves incorporating activities aimed at restoring and improving your physical and emotional well-being into your everyday life.”
Taking care of yourself isn’t a task with a deadline but a habit we take on over the course of time. Setting realistic goals and figuring out your motives are essential to creating a more productive, less stressed, and frustrated YOU!
Below are some questions that will help you set up a few SMART goals:
Specific: What exactly are you trying to accomplish? Why is this goal important to you? What resources or limits are involved?
Measurable: How much effort will it take? How many people are involved? How will you know you accomplished it?
Assignable: Who will do it?
Realistic: Is this worthwhile? What are your available resources?
Time-related: When, specifically, can it be completed? What can you do today?
If in-between there are waves of emotions coming your way, take a minute and see if you are able to recognize these emotions and recuperate from the stress. Don’t be shy to join group therapy or reach out to professionals for further help. All these little steps help us learn how to “be kind to yourself.”
Do take care of yourself so you have the physical and mental strength to take care of others. You got this!
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, April) Benefits of Eating Healthy. https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/resources-publications/benefits-of-healthy-eating.html
Davis, D. M. & Hayes, J. A. (2012, July/August). What are the benefits of mindfulness.Monitor on Psychology, Vol 43, p. 64. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08/ce-corner
Doran, G.T. (1981). There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives. Management Review,vol 70(11),p. 35–36.
Erdman, S., Colker, L. J. & Winter, E. C. (2020). Trauma and Young Children: Teaching Strategies to Support and Empower Children. Washington, DC: NAEYC
Erdman, S., Colker, L. J. & Winter, E. C. (2020).Preventing Compassion Fatigue: Caring for Yourself.NAEYC.https://www.naeyc.org/resources/pubs/yc/jul2020/preventing-compassion-fatigue
Haughey, D. (2014, December 13). A Brief History of SMART Goals. Project Smart. www.projectsmart.co.uk/brief-history-of-smart-goals.php
Mayo Clinic. (2021, October 8). Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity.Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389
MindTools Content Team.(n.d.)SMART Goals: How to Make Your Goals Achievable.Mind Tools. www.mindtools.com/pages/article/smart-goals.htm
Selhub, E. (2020. March 26). Nutritional psychiatry: Your brain on food. Harvard Health Blog. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/nutritional-psychiatry-your-brain-on-food-201511168626
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2018). Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (2nd edition). https://health.gov/sites/default/files/2019-09/Physical_Activity_Guidelines_2nd_edition.pdf