In my social media posts, I have been one often to stress the importance of self-care. However, I did not truly practice self-care to the fullest potential. Last week, I was able to take the day to put my worries aside and focus on taking care of myself for a change.
Looking up the definition of self-care, it is defined as “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.” In a world where we are constantly connected and dependent on technology and on the hunt for information and news, it can be hard to step away from all the disturbances in life to focus on taking care of our well-being, particularly in a position that I am in that involves mental health. As such, this I know had to be a day where I detached myself from technology. This means no answering texts or emails, no attending Zoom meetings, nothing that would engage me in the inner workings that could potentially increase my stress on a day where that was not the intent of the day.
One of the best things I did, along with my mother, was go to a new trailhead to walk on the rail trail instead of where we normally walk. She wanted to see it and I thought it would be a good way to relax. Being on the trail gave us the opportunity to see things that we didn;t previously the last few years off and on of walking and as such we got to explore some historical artifacts. I knew of this eagle scout project not too far from where we started and I knew if we pushed ourselves to that point we could get there and see the historical features surrounding it. I was able to take in the sights and just relax.
Having spotty cellular coverage aided in lessening the distractions, and when they were visible, I disregarded them. We reached our destination and as such, we felt accomplished and proud of ourselves. My mother even explored some of the historical artifacts and as I was proud of her being the age that she is being agile and able to still do the things she can. It reminds me of how fortunate I am to still have a mother in as good health as she is and why we need to keep doing what we do. We encourage each other and by me continuing the push to get to my wanted destination, it helps her too.
We relaxingly made our way back to the car and did some exploring then going running some errands and having lunch. After that, I returned home and got some rest because catching up on essential rest is imperative as well in taking care of yourself. Then waking up out of boredom, I did answer the texts that were asked of me because I was fully recharged and able to do so. However, I focused on relaxing the rest of the day, while working on making a dinner to close the day.
Cooking can be a therapeutic concept of being independent. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant affair. It can be as simple as in my case as a frozen dinner in a bag and frozen bread, and when done it can be something you can enjoy and be proud that you accomplished. It made a nice closure to the day where I was able to dedicate myself to relaxing and doing what I wanted to do (and not feel guilty about it.)
Life will go on without my presence and maybe it is a sign that I am becoming easily overwhelmed and I need to reduce my commitment to taking on responsibilities so that I am able to relax and do the things I enjoy such as my personal interests and time to relax. I must understand more the need to practice self-care on a more consistent basis while holding up boundaries to not give in.