If you are a member of our Facebook support groups, you’ll see every Sunday, I make a #selfcaresunday post. In these posts, I ask the question, “What will you do today to take care of yourself? What plans will you make for this coming week to take time for self-care?”
I’ve found self-care to be crucial in my recovery process, but it has never been easy for me. I have always been so afraid of disappointing someone or appearing selfish that taking some time just for me was never an option in the past.
Now, as I continue through my recovery journey, I’ve been discovering how many lies I told myself about self-care.
Self-care is not selfish. Self-care does not make me lazy. Self-care is not unnecessary.
Very simply, self-care involves a pause to check in with my mind and my body to see what I need physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually and then doing what I can to meet those needs. Self-care involves being gentle with myself and acknowledging how hard I am working at every other moment in my life.
This is what #selfcaresunday is all about—acknowledging that giving of our time and selves depletes us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually and we need time and care to return to baseline.
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I find if I don’t make plans for self-care, I will push myself past my breaking point.
This has had devastating consequences on my physical and mental health, as well as my recovery. My sophomore year of college, ignoring my self-care led to a depression and eating disorder relapse that forced me into treatment and out of school in the middle of fall semester and the rest of my academic year.
When I returned to school for junior year, I knew I needed to set aside time solely for the purpose of meeting my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. Sunday seemed the perfect day for doing so, since nothing happens on campus on Sundays and Sunday has always been considered a day of rest in my faith, although I had never held the practice growing up.
It is a struggle to set aside a full day for self-care in college, so I try to focus on one or two practices that will be the most restorative in my current situation. Usually this involves going to church in the morning, although sometimes it is sleeping through all three services. Sometimes it involves blowing off all commitments and responsibilities and watching Netflix in bed all day. Other times it’s as simple as painting my nails, going for a walk, or eating ice cream for dinner. A lot of times it involves journaling or blogging, reading or meditating.
Self-Care Sunday is meant to be a day to take any amount of time to engage in self-care in a flexible, non-judgmental manner.
Self-care isn’t something to be forced or another thing to check off what seems to be an endless to-do list. If it is just another thing to cram into your busy schedule, you might need to take a step back and reframe how you think about self-care. Self-care is flexible, not rigid.
Self-care is listening to what your body is telling you it needs physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Self-care is treating yourself with the same gentleness you would treat a newborn baby. Self-care is restoring your soul so you can continue to go about your days and weeks with renewed strength.
Self-Care Sunday in our Facebook group is a conversation. It’s a conversation about how we, especially in recovery, need to be intentional about setting aside time for self-care, no matter how much we don’t think we need it. It’s a conversation about the different things we all do for self-care and suggestions for the future.
#selfcaresunday is a reminder that you are important and you deserve to be taken care of.
It’s a reminder that you don’t have to give of yourself constantly. It’s a reminder that you are not selfish for needing and taking time for yourself.
It’s a reminder that we all deserve our own love and affection.
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