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Taking Steps Towards Self-Care

Ever find yourself in a rut or feeling particularly stuck. Sometimes we try harder and harder but it seems that we are just `spinning our wheels.’ This can be exhausting, gives way to a sense of overall malaise, a negative outlook, and sabotages our sense of personal agency.

Why is it that we often do `more of the same’ and `expect something different’ only to remain stuck?   Perhaps on some level we intuitively know that we are not ready yet to face certain thoughts or feelings.

Respecting are readiness to change, our ambivalence and maybe our fear is okay, “normal” and wise. Change of any kind can be scary, unsettling and sometimes needs to be done in graduated stages with structured support.  Respecting `where we are at’ is part of practicing self-compassion.

During these times of `stuckness,’ practicing self-care is another way of practicing self-compassion and can often create a `shift’ that moves us toward pursuits that help to activate, mobilize and open us up to possibilies.

By actively doing something for ourselves in the form of self-care, our self-efficacy starts to shine and we start to notice that we have the personal power to effect change even on a small level. It is amazing that sometimes `simple things’ (small behavioural changes) can start to make a difference in how we see and experience things on intra-psychic and interpersonal levels.

Moving toward health and wellness pursuits can sometimes seem daunting when we are in a place of `stuckness.’ However, engaging in simple, small acts of self-care can often give way to more spontaneous acts that start to add up and tip the balance. Small acts of self-care won’t eradicate your problems but they sometimes help to move us, ever so slowly, toward a greater sense of wellness.   Pay attention to your whole person – mind, body, and soul and what you need to restore some balance in your life.

So the next time you are stuck, trying some simple acts of self-care such as going for a walk in nature, enjoying a meal with friends and family, keeping yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water, making a hearty soup with nutritious greens, engaging in prayer or meditation, moving your body by doing some yoga or dance, reading some inspirational stories, listening to music that touches your soul, writing in a journal, or whatever behaviour signifies `self-care’ for you. Notice the difference. You will likely feel even a little less stuck.

By Greg Babcock, MSW, RSW

 

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