Have you spent time on yourself today? Many of us are busy taking care of other people, whether it is at your job or family members, that you don’t take time to focus on yourself. I saw a quote that really stood out to me, “You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.” That is the whole reason the flight attendants tell you to put your oxygen mask on yourself first if there is an emergency. How can you rescue others if you don’t take care of yourself first? August 21st is Internet Self-Care Day, a day to use the internet to find resources to take care of you!
Self-care is defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary, as efforts made to maintain or restore physical, mental, or emotional well-being by oneself without the consultation of a medical professional. There are several types of self-care: physical (sleep, exercise, nutrition), emotional (stress management, coping skills, therapy, journaling), social (support system, social media, communication), spiritual (meditation, prayer, nature, time alone), personal (hobbies, goals, identity), space (environment, healthy, stability, safety), financial (saving, budgeting), work (time management, breaks, boundaries).
Now that you know the types, pick a few that you want to concentrate on. Make them into goals and use the internet to find ways to take care of yourself. Here are some ways to do that.
1. Find others who are going through the same thing.
Some advice for finding a safe space: notice if the website is well moderated and if the conversation seems rich and supportive (rather than people just ‘dropping bombshells’ and running). The same goes for Facebook groups. If the Facebook group is closed or private, well facilitated, and has active conversation then it’s a pretty good bet that even if moderators miss something inappropriate the members won’t. Groups like this are nothing short of life saving, and you can find connection and healing in the most unexpected online homes.
- If you have any kind of mental health issue there’s Healthful Chat, which is a global community of chatters via Instant Messenger or Skype.
- If you’re looking to de-stress and find allies in the practice of calm and concentration, there are a few Facebook groups, one is Mindfullness Meditation.
- If you find gardening helpful or like the idea of exchanging goods rather than money, you might find a local Facebook group where people are doing just that.
2) Find a great blog or a free course to enhance your life.
- Think of a way that you express yourself and then hit Google. (writing, drawing, painting, crafts)
- Art Therapy Blog has regular updates of fully fledged activities and all the supplies you need for each one.
- Create Write Now She is up to number #375 in the prompt list so there’s plenty of ideas for journaling.
- Free online courses can be found at classcentral.com and coursera to name just a couple places that I noticed.
3) Name it to Savour it.
Think of something you value- something that is really important to you. Something you love engaging in, something meaningful and special to you. Now think on a specific memory that supports why that value is important to you. For example, cooking meals from scratch might come from a childhood memory of ‘cooking with Mom’.
For my own example, here’s a picture of mints, that I found using Google images. My Mom taught us girls how to make them on holidays and special occasions:
Then I typed ‘Baking with Mom’ into YouTube and one of the first few clips I find is this video of making donuts, which I forgot that my Mom also taught us how to do. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SN0I5fUFOZs
I spent some time basking in the images and memories watching them make the donuts. The trick with ‘name it to savour it’ is to give yourself a TIME LIMIT. Do NOT get sucked into a rabbit hole of stories and articles and comments sections and get yourself all worked up. Just bathe yourself in the energy of a few images or videos. Allow them to energize you, or strengthen a value you have, connect to something bigger.
Instagram can also be awesome for positive vibes: fill your feed with something that you aspire to honor about yourself.
One of the criticisms in the age of social media is the the constant access to news. It happens, we go crazy, and we forget it the next day. It doesn’t have to be like that- the Internet is a remarkable archive of amazing achievements and human inspiration and courage.
Instead of spending hours scrolling through Facebook feeling jealous about everyone’s happy photos, or getting yourself worked up about global issues, why don’t you lock in a few hours to take some time out and engage in a little self-care?