Monday, April 9, 2018

Self-Care When You Don't Have Time

The April snowfall has caught me completely off-guard, and because I'm inside, I'm dressed for spring weather and have to keep reminding myself that if I go outside my legs will turn blue. Oops.

Getting ready for school and work this morning, I watched my mum rush to get out the door, off to help young children readjust to being in school after Spring Break. Because she's a teacher, her Spring Break wasn't as much of a holiday as it was a time to do all her work at home. Teachers don't get as much time off as people tend to assume they do. I'm in college studying to become a speech therapist, and I'm working as a substitute teacher in the meantime, so I get a lot of exposure to #teacherlife. Teachers are loving and dedicated, but their days are stressful. For teachers and nurses and doctors and etc, etc, etc, everyday life can be hectic and crazy, and when you're a person who cares a lot about other people and making them happy, life can get even crazier. What's really ironic is that, with the rise of the self-care industry, a lot of the people who have the easiest time incorporating self-care are the ones who might not need self-care as much as the people spending all their time serving others. I'm not at all saying that self-care is selfish--it's actually quite necessary. But it hasn't really reached the audience that I think it would be the most beneficial for because that audience is too busy sacrificing themselves for the well-being of their kids/jobs/parents/pets/etc.

Teachers will understand this question. (From Giphy)

When we try to figure out how to make "self-care" work, we hear a lot about super-complicated morning routines, cleanses, and retreats. It's easy to say, "Oh, self-care works for me!" when you've been on a one-week yoga and meditation retreat and start every morning with breathwork, self-massage, and crystal cleansing. There's nothing wrong with any of these things--they're awesome and can be very helpful--but I think that we need to figure out how people who work twelve-hour shifts and have endless homework can incorporate self-care into their lives easily and affordably.

Self-Care Ideas for Busy People (from Other Busy People):
  • Try to go to bed 30 minutes earlier. Or even 15 minutes earlier. IT MAKES SUCH A BIG DIFFERENCE SOMETIMES.
  • Find some sort of fun activity that helps you feel relaxed and centered and try to do it whenever you feel overwhelmed, even if it's just for 15 minutes. I love yoga and dancing. There are some great short yoga videos on YouTube, and all you need for dancing is music (and you).
  • Breathe. Just in, and out. Focus on it. Relax. You can do this anywhere, anytime.
  • Wear colors that make you happy. Seriously. Pink perks me up.
  • Find a power song. It can be anything. My brother loves Arcade Fire.
  • Add some fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet. They're nature's happy treats, and there are so many to choose from. Avocados! Bananas! Apples! Cucumbers!
  • Plan a fun event you can do easily every week, like at-home Go Fish with your family or Netflix-ing with your cat.
  • Find a book. Don't put pressure on yourself to finish it quickly. Just read a few pages whenever you get a chance. It'll be like exercise for your brain and for your feelings.
  • Give yourself a hug. Then hug a friend. Hugs. Hugs. Hugs.
  • Pick a desktop background that includes a cute baby animal or a wildlife scene.

<3 Frances

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