What Real Self-Care Looks Like

I preach self-care a lot to my clients, my friends and family, and to myself. I strive to practice what I preach so this month I have decided to take on a 1 Month Self-Care Challenge to show others what self-care looks like in the life of a therapist. 

I have noted the things in bold that I notice I tell my clients to do but do not do often enough myself. It was so freeing to do these things and I'd highly recommend them! 

Week 1:

  • Coffee on the balcony with sunshine
  • Bubble bath with a book
  • Walked instead of taking the subway
  • Cooked and made leftovers
  • Let go of an argument that was bothering me
  • Gave myself a compliment
  • Put down my phone in the evening

What I Learned: At this point in the challenge, I was balancing between doing the things I already do and putting more intention into little things that I could do slightly different to have a bigger impact.

Week 2:

  • Didn't look at social media when I woke up
  • Made time for client notes instead of putting it off
  • Planted new herbs on the garden
  • Coffee on the balcony (I do this almost daily, but some days are more intentional than others)
  • Began getting in the habit of watering plants
  • Said "no" to something that felt draining
  • Went to a high intensity yoga class

What I Learned: This week was following our test run of (Re)treat Yourself: NYC. Part of our program is addressing barriers to self-care and committing to giving up one thing that is holding you back. I began looking at social media less when I first woke up and have felt exponential benefits already!

Week 3:

  • Went to a doctor's appointment and allowed them to (unexpectedly) take blood instead of coming back (because I never would have come back!)
  • Reached out to a friend for a phone call
  • Read something educational and informative (instead of my typical thriller novels)
  • Watched something mindless after a long day
  • Went for a hike!
  • Had a talk that I'd rather have put off
  • Cooked some indulgent comfort food

What I learned: Week 3 I noticed a pattern of avoidance (something I know about myself but have to be aware of) and addressed it with gentleness and self-love. 

Week 4: 

  • Went to dinner with friends and stayed present
  • Meditated before session outdoors
  • Had a beer at lunch (on my off day)
  • Actively chose to read a book instead of watching more TV
  • Continued a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction CE class (self guided)
  • Bought a plant that made me happy
  • Said 'no' to work on my weekend

There you have it! A few days in the life of a self-care advocate practicing what she preaches. I'd love to hear what YOUR self-care routine looks like as a helping professional. 

If you need to revamp your self-care routine & are located in NYC, check out (Re)treat Yourself: NYC , a self-care mini retreat that I'm cohosting this summer!