Selfcare matters

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Today’s #bloganuary prompt is: What is a life lesson everyone can benefit from learning? My answer is obvious.

1: learn to say no

Saying ‘no’ isn’t just crucial to convey you do not consent. It isn’t just boundaries.It is selfcare. It is all to easy for some people to continuously ask you to do things. They make it sound so nice: you are so much better at this than I am or, with your experience you can whip this up real fast or, they make it sound as if by doing this we make a third party happy because we ‘worked together.’ Stop it, really.

There is nothing wrong with helping others and in fact, I encourage it. However, there’s a limit. I frequently hear these hidden messages: you are a writer, right? Didn’t you study law, can you look at this?

There is a fine line between asking a favour and expecting one. It is difficult to describe but you feel it the minute it happens as your guts says ‘again?’ Listen to it!

2: make time for yourself

There are only so many hours in the day. I wish we could all sleep in, have a 2 hour lunch break so we can take a quick nap, and no work after 6pm. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible. We don’t sleep enough, there’s still a stigma when someone takes a nap during the day, and who can say ‘no’ to the boss when emails come in at 8pm?

But there’s one thing we can do: crave out little time pockets just for us. It can be as small as 10 minutes in the morning for deep breathing. Breath in for 5 counts, out for 8. Or, 5 minutes of chair stretches while seated at your desk. Or, how about 5 minutes sitting with your eyes closed before you drive home? Maybe 10 minutes before bed to write down one thought. These small time pockets can change the day as you know they are exclusively yours.

3: never stop being curious

The brain needs contant prodding and if it doesn’t get challenged, it can go south fast. We don’t want that. So, download a puzzle app and make one a day. Read something new, maybe a friend’s recommendation. What a short movie or clip from a genre unfamiliar to you.

Keeping the brain active isn’t something you feel while you puzzle, read, or watch something new. But it becomes evident in you suddenly thinking about the movie’s plot or looking forward to the next puzzle or, remembering where you read something similar.

Selfcare isn’t about being selfish. Selfcare is necessary because, if you don’t take care of yourself, how can you have enough energy to be there for others?

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