Self-care…do these two words make you anxious, confused, or just like “what is that”? Or, are you one
that thinks self-care is something that only others do? Perhaps you are one of those people that thinks
when they hear self-care that they are being selfish? Whatever your thoughts on self-care, let’s get
those out of your mind now and begin looking at it from a different perspective.

Self-care can be any number of things which we can do to help us to be the best person we can be for
not only ourselves but also our loved ones. For someone who has worked in the healthcare industry as a
nurse for more than two decades I can tell you that many people taking care of their family’s do not
practice self-care. How many times over those two decades have I told a family member to take a break
even if that break is going to Walmart to just get out of the house. They don’t have to buy anything but
just go…go socialize with someone even if it’s speaking to the Walmart greeter when you walk into the
store. The majority of us do not feel like we should take care of ourselves but if WE DON’T then who
will. I have seen so many of my caregiver’s burn out because they are constantly tending to their loved
ones needs. Sometimes out of guilt, sometimes out of love, and sometimes because that’s what they
were taught. No one thinks about themselves. Then when you do think about yourself and doing
something just for you, you are told you are being selfish. I know this from experience. But am I really
being selfish when I want to take care of me! No I am not. We have to get away from that guilt.

So really what is self-care? According to one website I looked at while thinking about this blog post, self-
care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical
health. Self-care helps our mood, decreases anxiety, and helps us to form better relationships with
friends/family. Being a holistic stress management coach, I view self-care as helping to prevent or lessen
your stress level. This same website talks about self-care in not only considering our needs but rather
knowing what we need to do to take care of ourselves which in turn enables us to better care of others.
Now you might ask what I can do to help with my self-care. There are many things you can try to help
with your own self-care. It’s a matter of finding what it is you like to do. Stick to the basics and make it, if
not an everyday occurrence, at least a few times a week. A friend of mine recently asked me if I was
fitting self-care into my life. And of course, I had to look at her and say not every day or even weekly. So
I have had to make it a priority in my life. I know what I enjoy doing and I try to do this at least a couple
times a week. There are some things I love to do that do cost money which I try and do at least one of
them monthly but those things that do not cost money but just my time is what I do a couple times a

So find what works for you. You can read my other blog posts and it will give you an idea of some things
but if that’s not for you, then write down what you like to do and GOPHER IT (as I used to say instead of
the Nike saying of Go For It). Learn to take care of yourself. By doing this you will find yourself a much
better person.