Sometimes, we are the ones standing in our way. Think about it like this: if a friend told you they need a break, some fresh air, exercise, or a good laugh—you would encourage him or her to do it! You might even follow up with this friend and check in to see if they’re feeling better. We often don’t treat ourselves with the same respect, care, and follow through as we do for others. Thinking about your needs with the same care you extend to others can provide a powerful shift in how you meet them.
It’s understandable that we don’t always know how to give ourselves permission. As children, the structure of our lives depends on rules, approval and permission to do just about anything. We are hardwired to seek out permission before we can consider making what we want or need a priority. You deserve to be on your own to-do list! Don’t let self-care become a chore, but prioritizing time to restore is important to your wellbeing. Whatever you do to fill your cup should bring you joy and happiness, if it doesn’t—give yourself permission to find a new source of comfort. If you find it difficult to prioritize self-care, accountability is key. Try setting time aside for yourself and make a promise to yourself to follow through.
Need more ideas on how to hold yourself accountable?
- Tell a friend about one thing you want to do every week to take care of yourself
- Walk and talk with a friend while you get fresh air together
- Plan a relaxing date night with your partner
- Set an alarm to get yourself moving throughout the day
- Buy a bag of Epsom salts for yourself and a friend, see who can finish it first
- Create a group chat with friends and have a funny gif contest
Next steps? Choose one way you want to explore resetting from stress. Try it out and reflect on how it worked.
Life is a journey of discovery, so work to try something else if your first attempt didn’t stick. Eventually you will discover what meaningful stress reduction looks like for you and you will create your own personal tool kit of best practices to rely on when things feel intense. This will make you more resilient and allow you to thrive in any circumstance!