Self Care

What is Self Care?

Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” ~ Audre Lorde

Self Care Tips

  • Self-care is holistic. It considers all parts of the person as intimately connected to the whole. Take care of the physical, psychological, emotional, social, spiritual, professional, and personal parts of yourself.
  • Taking care of yourself means setting limits and boundaries with others. Saying “no” to one thing is saying “yes” to another. Prioritizing your needs, health and peace is not a selfish act, but rather one of balance. Practice saying “yes” to taking care of yourself and respecting when others say “no” to take care of themselves.
  • Take time to eat, shower and sleep.
  • Use grounding exercises to connect your mind and body. For example, Identify five (5) things you can see, four (4) textures you can feel, three (3) sounds you can hear, two (2) scents you can smell, and one (1) thing you can taste. Use when distracted or overwhelmed.
  • Exercise, take a walk, go to the fitness center, run, play a team or racket sport, practice palates, or yoga, stretch. A little can go a long way. If you only have a minute, stretch your legs, arms or some other part of your body.
  • Eat a balanced diet. Healthy nutrition gives you fuel to do all of the things you do, and contributes to a healthy body. Did you know that the Health Center has a Nutritionist whom you can meet with?
  • When planning and goal setting, consider making SMART goals. Doing so can help you set realistic expectations for yourself in many areas of life.
    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Achievable
    • Relevant
    • Time Bound
  • Affirm yourself daily. Say kind things to yourself about who you are. Remember, you are not only what you do. Read My Declaration of Self-Esteem by Virginia Satir below.
  • Consider reading a poem, writing a poem, reading the lyrics to an uplifting song, or writing one of your own.
  • Listen to music or sounds that are comforting.
  • Venture off campus and see or do something new, or something that is familiar.
  • Make a self sooth kit with elements from all five of the senses (Touch, taste, smell, sound, sight). Use it daily.
  • Keep a grounding object in your pocket. For example, a cherished object, a stone, something smooth or more textured.
  • Play a board game with friends. If you don’t have one, and can get to a thrift store, try getting one there.
  • Learn who you are
  • Figure out what you want
  • Engage in self-reflection
  • Forgive yourself
  • Trust your intuition
  • Prioritize your mental health
  • Accept all parts of yourself!
  • Practice radical self-love
  • Do what you love
  • Live in the present moment
  • Journal
  • Meditate
  • Unplug (take a sabbatical from electronic life and social media)
  • Withdraw from toxic relationships
  • Set boundaries
  • Stop engaging in unhealthy behaviors
  • Express your feelings
  • Practice gratitude
  • Practice forgiveness
  • Find or create your tribe
  • Go to therapy
  • Pray
  • Dance
  • Relax in the sun
  • Practice asking and receiving help
  • Watch a funny movie or video
  • Write and use affirmations daily
  • Volunteer for a cause
  • Exercise
  • Eat healthy
  • Get enough sleep
  • Take time off
  • Be an agent of change
  • Dream and create
  • Sing

My Declaration of Self-Esteem

by Virginia Satir

I am me. In all the world, there is no one else like me. There are persons who have some parts like me, but no one adds up exactly like me. Therefore, everything that comes out of me is authentically mine because I alone chose it. I own everything about me. My body, including everything it does. My mind, including all its thoughts and ideas. My eyes, including the images of all they behold. My feelings, whatever they may be anger, joy, frustration, love, disappointment, excitement. My mouth and all the words that come out of it polite, sweet or rough, correct or incorrect. My voice loud or soft. And all my actions, whether they be to others or to myself. I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. I own all my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes. Because I own all of me I can become intimately acquainted with me. By so doing I can love me and be friendly with me in all my parts. I can then make it possible for all of me to work in my best interests. I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know. But as long as I am friendly and loving to myself I can courageously and hopefully, look for the solutions to the puzzles and for ways to find out more about me. However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is me. This is authentic and represents where I am in that moment in time. When I review later how I looked and sounded, what I said and did, and how I thought and felt some parts may turn out to be unfitting. I can discard that which is unfitting, and keep that which proved fitting. And invent something new for that which I discarded. I can see, hear, feel, think, say and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me. I own me. And therefore I can engineer me. I am me. And I am okay.

© Virginia Satir, 1975.
Satir, V. M. (1975). Self-esteem. Millbrae, CA: Celestial Arts