We hear a lot about "self-care", but what exactly is it? Can we practice it in Rochester? Mr. Webster specifically defines self-care as "care for oneself." The beauty of that definition is that it's so vague that you can apply it however it benefits you. This term was thrown out constantly in my group therapy sessions this past month. I never really examined it (or applied it to my own life) until then.

TSM Rochester: Val Kleinhans

Here's the thing: We're so busy anymore. Achieving a sufficient work-leisure-self balance can feel like climbing Everest to achieve sometimes. Some doctors are even entertaining the idea (and rightfully so) that this busy lifestyle could potentially cause depression and anxiety.

I personally agree with this. We spent time with planners mapping out our typically day and it shocked me to see (on paper, physically) that my time really wasn't balanced. I'm guessing yours might not be either... and that's okay.

What can we do to take care of ourselves when it seems like we're "on call" 24 hours a day? In Rochester, I have a few ideas. Some of these have helped me.

  • Yoga: It sounds cheesy, but trust me - it's mind-clearing! You won't be alone in doing it. A lot of us do. We have a lot of yoga options in Rochester!
  • Take a walk around Silver Lake: Or Quarry Hill, your neighborhood... you get the idea. Rochester is certainly safe enough for a walk, and sometimes I make my best decisions after going on them. Pick some pretty scenery in the area and go!
  • Actually keep plans with your friends: I'll admit, I'm horrible with this one, but it's so crucial to balance. How many times have you said you'd love to hang out with someone but put it off? Why? Don't you always feel better after actually meeting up with that person? What's the loss? It helps to have a neutral and friendly party support you regardless of what's going on in your life. Make a connection.
  • Retail therapy: Yes honey, I mean it! I'm not talking blowing thousands or hundreds of dollars, but I am talking about treating yourself. You've been thinking about purchasing that top for a few weeks now. You really do like it. Get it! Personally, I feel worlds better about myself if I'm dressed to kill. Wear something that brings out that confidence in you.
  • Journaling: We kept notes and journals all throughout therapy, and it's my personal belief that we're using Facebook as a journal sometimes. It's a cleansing. It's cathartic. Keep your own.

I'm working on practicing all of these steps myself, and it's certainly a challenge with my busy schedule. Hang in. It'll take time to settle into a comfortable routine. Forcing yourself to include "me time" is so worth it though.