September is National Self-Care Awareness Month! This month serves as an opportunity to increase awareness of the importance of self-care practices, help individuals identify what self-care can look like, discuss the benefits of self-care on an individual’s overall well-being, and promote a call for action in various healthcare and employer settings to incorporate and foster self-care practices and interventions. Wondering how you can make the most of this September and be intentional with your self-care for the upcoming month? Read along to learn four ways to truly celebrate self-care awareness month this year!
1) Do Some Soul Searching and Self-Reflection
Set aside time for self-reflection and journaling to gain clarity and perspective on what you currently need in the next day, month, or coming year. There are a multitude of areas of self-care. As a starting point, here are some questions that you can ask yourself and journal on to reflect on what self-care means to you and what it looks like in your life at this time:
- What activities bring me joy or leave me feeling rejuvenated?
- Am I setting aside dedicated time for myself each day or week? If not, what barriers are getting in the way of doing so?
- What boundaries do I need to set to protect my self-care time and allow myself to prioritize this essential need?
- Am I giving myself permission to rest and recharge when needed?
- Do the people I surround myself with make me feel energized?
2) Identify What Area You May Need to Focus On
Speaking of types of self-care, let’s discuss what different areas of self-care are important to consider. There are 6 areas to explore regarding self-care: physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual, professional, and personal. Check out this self-care assessment from the website, TherapistAid, that you can take to understand how you are showing up in these various areas. Depending on your values and what is currently going on in this season of your life, you may prioritize one of these areas above another, which is valid. This will give you insight into what area you may want to put a little bit more attention and effort into.
3) Schedule It In
Make self-care non-negotiable by treating it as an essential part of your daily routine, just like eating or sleeping. To make self-care a priority, you can begin by setting aside dedicated time for yourself each day, week, or month. Treat it as an important standing appointment and commit to it. Another thing to consider is the need for healthy boundary-setting to ensure you have the time to engage in self-care practices. Identify when it may be best to say no to certain engagements or requests, be mindful of work/life balance, and more. Remember, self-care is essential for your overall well-being. You cannot pour from an empty cup so be intentional about making it a regular part of your routine to ensure you can show up as the best version of yourself…self-care is NOT selfish.
4) Don’t Play The Comparison Game
Remember, self-care can look different for each person and it does not mean that someone else’s form of self-care is better than yours. For some individuals, self-care may be a yoga class, a weekly therapy appointment, or saying no to that social engagement because you just don’t have the capacity for it right now. It is simply personal preference on what makes you feel rejuvenated, reenergized, and at peace which is determined by your values and interests. Self-care is all about nurturing yourself and intentionally prioritizing your well-being. Find self-care practices that resonate with you and integrate them into your schedule.
Need inspiration for self-care practices? Check out our blog titled “30 Quick Self-Care Ideas” to find activities that you can put into practice this September in honor of Self-Care Awareness Month! If you are struggling with identifying what self-care means to you or integrating self-care into your life, reach out today for a free consultation with one of our licensed professional counselors. We would be honored to walk alongside you on this journey.