In keeping with our theme of self-care, this month I want to reflect on the domain of personal self-care. This domain is typically considered the indulgent side of self-care: consisting of bubble baths, reading by the fire on a rainy afternoon, or getting a spa treatment. The indulgent nature of these activities tends to be what stops us from engaging in this domain of self-care. Often, we feel guilty for doing activities that feel luxurious or unproductive. However, this is incorrect on a few fronts.
Firstly, self-care is never about being indulgent. It is about taking care of yourself and making sure you have the resources to continue doing what you need to do. There’s an old saying which goes “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. This means that if all we do is work (and give) without being able to enjoy our lives, we begin to become bored, resentful, and drained. Therefore, self-care is an investment in yourself, and training yourself to engage in self-care regularly, without guilt, is extremely beneficial for your wellbeing!
Secondly, self-care is not necessarily unproductive (although it is perfectly okay if it is!). In fact, acts of self-care in the personal domain are often very productive activities. Think of those who enjoy hobbies such as woodworking, gardening, cooking, or sewing. These activities might help you check a task off your to-do list, all while helping you to improve your mental health.
Here are three questions to help you embrace personal self-care this month:
When was the last time you consciously did an activity purely for enjoyment, without any guilt?
What was one of your favourite activities/hobbies before you prioritised work, family, kids, household chores?
Can you find 30 minutes in your week to set aside for an act of self-care?
The goal in this domain is enjoyment. What is it that you enjoy? Do you enjoy playing a musical instrument? Do you enjoy reading? Do you enjoy needlepoint? Personally, one of my favourite acts of personal self-care is reading. I love to read and have an ever-growing list of books I’m meandering my way through. When I read, it helps to ease any stress I’m feeling, and gives me time to recover my energy. So, I’m off to get stuck into a new autobiography. I would love to hear your experiences regarding how you chose to embrace personal self-care this month.
If you would like further information about self-care in the workplace, or to organise a customised training session for professional development in Trauma-Informed practices please contact us!