What does self care mean to you?
It means different things to everyone.
It could be taking a break, reading a book, having some quiet time, going for a walk, catching up with friends, making time to have fun, blogging, a facial….whatever makes you feel cared for really.
- Find a way to have fun or a good belly laugh – what gets you laughing?
- Do something physical – fresh air and exercise are known to help improve your mood.
- Have a break from social media – it can be very draining.
- Take note of who you’re mixing with, are they bringing you down in some way?
- Don’t isolate yourself. Get out there and mix with others, even though it can be hard to do.
- Talk to others or write your thoughts down – even if it’s on your blog, it can help just to get your thoughts out there.
In my case I tend to use blogging as a form of self care.
Social media can be a great tool and it can help us stay connected but it can also be a time waster and can mess with our heads.
Let’s hear a story:
There was once a lovely lady who worked hard but was made redundant from her rewarding job in her mid 50s. She was sociable, friendly, couldn’t say no people asking for help and got involved in lots of community based activities because she enjoyed being useful and had time to do so.
Along with many others in her small town, she got involved in the formation of a new and exciting project. They saw it as a great way to invigorate the town, improve people’s health and fitness, get families in the great outdoors, bring tourists to the area, keep the history alive and a fun way of seeing the countryside with friends.
Finally it was happening, all their hard work had paid off and they entered the world of social media to share their delight, only to find not everyone was as delighted as they were and didn’t mind saying so. In mean and nasty ways in fact.
A recent story on local radio, our national broadcaster no less, and later shared on their Facebook page, which could have been used as a positive tool to help with bushfire affected areas, only managed to re-open many of the naysayers’ minds and so their arguments flowed forth once again.
Our poor lovely lady (stupidly in hindsight) read through the many hundreds of comments looking for the support and encouragement and belief in their project, which was nearly ready to open.
But there were hardly any positives, only negatives, old arguments, untruths, mythical issues and it all wounded her heart deeply. Her head was in a bad place for days afterwards, especially when some locals joined in with their criticism with selfish statements shared over social media.
This is a sorry tale but it is sad because it’s all too true. It happens time and time again. People get blasted by others on social media, many of whom they don’t even know. Horrible things are said and it can get out of control very easily. Even world leaders indulge in it.
It has to be remembered that it’s not social media’s fault, because that is just the tool.
It seems to be a way of thinking that has taken over, sharing your opinion in whatever way you feel like, not considering how your words will be taken, faceless keyboard warriors who want to make others feel bad. The good ones aren’t game to comment because they don’t want to get taken down too. Some fight back, and it is like a warzone at times, with comments getting more and more outrageous. It’s easier said than done to simply say ‘don’t read them’.
So how do we cope?
I’m quite a sensitive soul, a bit like the lovely lady in our story above, and I take things to heart, despite knowing I shouldn’t. I mull over them, worry about things and generally make myself sick with overthinking. It seems to be that it’s a part of the world today where this form of sharing your opinion becomes prevalent and accepted. Maybe I need to broaden my shoulders and get a thicker skin!
My self care regime includes telling people I’m not feeling too good about things and explaining why. I find if I can unload by either talking about it or writing about it I can cope a bit better.
I try to walk it off, my daughters remember in their teenage years when I would just take off for a walk, they sometimes wouldn’t know if I’d come back or not if I was very upset, but I always did. It still works for me today!
I try to remember my 6 tips above and use them to move forward and eventually I get it out of my system but it can take a while. I can see how on-line bullying has become such an issue.
Self care is vitally important, we can’t take for granted or underestimate the power of good. We can’t be positive and happy all the time but we can look and accept different perspectives. They might not be our agenda but we can all learn to be a little more accepting and take care of ourselves, first and foremost.
I read a great post from Min at Write of the Middle, all about coping with ongoing traumatic news and she had some great tips. I’d recommend you pop over and read her post – Self Care Tips for when there’s ongoing traumatic news
I particularly liked this paragraph at the end of her post in relation to self care:
Remember the saying ‘we can’t pour from an empty cup’ – well that applies in this circumstance as well. We must look after ourselves in order to be any help to others. Whilst we’re on the topic of quotes – take note of the Rumi quote in the image above as it basically provides the same message. Taking care of ourselves is not selfish. It is essential.
Another great post I read recently was from a favourite blogger and author, Shelley Wilson, who wrote a guest post How important is self care for Writers – as some of us are bloggers I think this can apply to us as well.
And of course I can’t go past my favourite blogger Sue at Sizzling Towards 60 and Beyond, she has masses of posts about self care, especially as we age. You can find a selection here – Self care posts.
What does self care mean to you and how do you balance things?
In a world where celebrities and non-celebrities alike end up taking their lives due to some of these issues it’s a reminder for us all to be kind.
Yes you have the right to an opinion, and even to share it, but take a moment to think about how your words may impact on another person, before you tap tap tap away on your keyboard.
I’d love to hear from you.
Linking up with Denyse for #Lifethisweek – Self care stories
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