I just finished my third training session for Hospice of the Valley in Phoenix, Arizona, and the last speaker of the day talked about the importance of Self Care. Yes, the largest non-profit hospice in the country agrees, you can’t take care of others well unless you also take care of yourself.
Our dynamic speaker shared her own stories of stress and how she handled them both in her personal and professional life. Then she divided the class into groups. Each group of five to six people was given a black marker and a large piece of poster paper with one of four categories written on top: emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental. We were given three minutes to list as many ways to take care of ourselves related to the category we had been assigned.
In a whirlwind of excitement the room filled with the chatter of twenty-five men and women brainstorming how to take care of ourselves. I have no idea if any of these folks had ever spent three minutes thinking about this subject, but I could sense the energy in the room rising. Maybe it was from the anxiety of being given three minutes to perform a task, but I would like to believe it was also from the connection we were all making from collectively talking about ways to give ourselves love.
And when we were done we had some great additions to what I call Top 100 Lists (of ways to pamper/love yourself) compiled by new hospice volunteers in just three minutes. The exercise was about getting us to see that self care didn’t have to be complicated or take a lot time, AND when we take the time to treat ourselves well it will help us in ALL areas of our life.
A little self care, done consistently, reduces stress, keeps us healthy, and empowers us to be our best for the people who depend on us.
Here are the words we came up with on our pieces of poster paper. See if you can add to your List of 100. I know I did.
Physical: Sleep, Exercise, Eat well, Health care, Hobbies, Sports (watch and/or participate), Family time, Hydrate, Drink Wine, Friend time, Venting, Meditating/mindfulness, Enjoy life we have/gratitude, Dance, Sing, Play music/listen to music,
Emotional: Talking to friends, Listen to music, Bubble bath, Meditation, Exercise, Well rested, eating well, Conversations with friend, Visiting with pets and plants, Drinking wine, laugh
Mentally: Positive self thinking, Gentle kindness, Eating healthy food, Life balance, Take care of oneself, Keeping things in perspective, Ask for help when needed, Love yourself, Golden Rule, Dignity, Keep boundaries, Serenity, Joy, Grace, Spend time with those you love,
Spiritually: Have an Open Mind, Stay in the present Moment, Read Poetry, Meditate, Enjoy Life, Go to church, Glass of wine, Forgiveness, Walking/Exercise, Get out in nature, Cooking, Connect with friends, Go to a movie, Comfort food, Chanting, Sharing experiences with others
Read more about ways to love and pamper yourself at FuzzyRedSocksTop100List.