Marlene Iglesias Gonzales
Making time for self-care...
When you think of all the tasks and responsibilities you have in your day it can certainly feel
overwhelming and daunting to find some time to relax. Often at times, we are all guilty of
overworking, overthinking, or even overdoing ourselves throughout the day. Our metaphorical and psychological gas tank if you will is running on empty. We may have just a few miles left in our tank before we reach the point of no return.
What happens when self-care is thrown out the window and all that is left is a half working mind? We suddenly become irritable, develop discontentment in life, stagnation in work, and stress, lots of stress. It can be helpful to divide your self-care routine into four quadrants and work towards completing each one for a holistic approach to mental health maintenance.
Physical- Finding time throughout the week to get your heart pumping and oxygen flowing can do wonders for your mental health. It may look like going for a walk in the neighborhood or park, dancing to your favorite song, weight lifting and feeling your muscles burn (in a good way of course), stretching every morning as you welcome the day or maybe even doing yard work and seeing your efforts bring forth beautiful flowers and plants.
Emotional- Connecting with others is part of our human nature and makeup. Having a warm conversation with a family member, friend, spouse, or partner can build your relationship and provide key components to managing self-care. You can even connect with your pet with a snuggle on the sofa, fetching outside, or just being present together.
Creative- Everyone has a creative side even if you insist you are strictly analytical and left-brain dominant. Finding creativity in your life can open your mind to new possibilities and interests you may have never known before. For instance, maybe trying out a new recipe and adding your own spice or ingredient into the mix, painting with no specific object in mind, creating a playlist to listen to while you drive, redecorating your room, or even traveling somewhere you’ve always wanted to go.
Spiritual- Tapping into your spiritual side can enhance your self-care because you follow your faith or belief with specific practices. You may have an interest in daily prayers, attending church, practicing deep breathing, meditation, or even daily affirmations to improve your self-esteem.
As you look towards maintaining self-care and checking in with your mental health try to
incorporate all four quadrants to give yourself the full experience. You may find that you are
able to incorporate two at the same time. For instance, maybe creating a playlist and going for a walk is what you will do for your self-care one day. This will be mixing physical with creative out of the four self-care quadrants. The combinations are endless so have fun in the process. Get ready to fill up your psychological gas tank because the days of running on empty are in the past.