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Self Care and why it’s important

Hi, everyone! I pray and hope all are doing well as we enjoy the summer. Remember to put out water for our wild friends and animals as the heat is so intense for everyone. I thought I’d journal about self care, what it means and why it’s important.

“Self-care describes a conscious act one takes in order to promote their own physical, mental, and emotional health. There are many forms self-care may take. It could be ensuring you get enough sleep every night or stepping outside for a few minutes for some fresh air.” From Verywellmind.com

As a parent and spouse, I realize how important it is to take care of these “simple” basics of life. We need to be aware of our physical, mental and emotional health. If we don’t take care of these basic aspects, we suffer. For myself, I saw weight gain happen, feelings of low self worth and lack of energy. I made a plan to go to bed by 10:30pm and, even if I fail, that is my goal to bounce back to. I want to model these behaviors in my family to help them have a guide to follow as well. During this covid time, it is even more important to have standards to follow to reduce stress. Finding an exercise to do (we do walking and hiking), is important as it helps to let out steam and connect you with your body’s natural sleep patterns.

As life, hopefully, returns to normal we need to take into account we have all been through a very dark time period. Some have suffered great loss and others have remained stable. We need to have compassion for one another. Besides art, I’m an art educator. This means I’ve worked with students at all levels of abilities. My personal opinion is all children need to be on an IEP plan. An IEP plan is Individual Education Plan that takes into account a child’s disability. It gives that child undivided attention with counselors, doctors, teachers and parents. I wish we could apply this to every child and to families as it would open up doors to strategies that are healthy and uplifting.

Self care should be extended to students in all grades. We’ve had a tough year and we don’t know what the next will hold. It’s certainly more stable and we are more prepared to handle covid outbreaks with good practices like masks and washing hands. But we need to extend those to self care days. I would love to see all schools have going for walk days or collaborative art projects that let students express their fears and hopes. Self care is deeply important for individuals and as a community group. Sometimes, this might be outside of control but it’s important to release fear and let healing in.

As I read about self care, we can develop plans that encourage this in our daily lives. Asking questions that cover physical, social, mental, spiritual and emotional parts of ourselves give us guides as to what we may lack. Are we getting enough sleep? Exercise? Are we getting face time with friends and family? Are we challenging ourselves to keep us mentally healthy and active? Are we engaging in spiritual practices and helping ourselves understand life stages? Do we have healthy ways of processing emotions and expressing them? Do we feel recharged? All of these are questions we need to answer and keep addressing as we come to new hurdles in our lives.

For me, I have been journaling and found out about 12 step groups. It’s not just for Alcoholics Anonymous. Check them out! There are all kinds of groups from smoking to emotions to workaholics. And they are all free. I’m amazed by the camaraderie I’ve been building with people across the globe. See what works for you. I wish I had done this years ago but was so judgmental in what 12 steps meant. It is all part of self care. I hope you have a great day, make good choices and know we are all in this together. Stay cool out there and leave water out for our animal friends! <3

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