What is self-care?
The Harvard Health Blog shared this anecdote to explain self-care. During pre-flight safety talks, a flight attendant says to secure your oxygen mask before helping someone else. The idea is simple – you can’t care for others if you don’t care for yourself.
Self-care is about making time for your physical and mental health. As anxiety rises across the country, self-care is even more necessary. It’s no wonder stress balls, fidget spinners, and squishy toys are popular among people of all ages as an outlet for nervous energy.
So, what should I do?
Self-care means giving yourself permission to relax mentally, physically, and spiritually. Here are a few self-care tips from our own wellness professionals:
- Learn when to say "no." Ignore the pressure to overpromise and allow yourself to turn things down. Stick with tasks that are meaningful to you. You can’t do everything for everyone — and that’s okay!
- Get moving. Running, dancing, or walking can help boost your energy and recharge.
- Take a minute for yourself. Practice mindfulness, create a gratitude list, or focus on a few deep breaths to help reduce stress.
- Embrace a hobby. Get your creative juices flowing or find a distraction from everyday stress. Some ideas include drawing, crafting, playing an instrument, or gardening.
- Be kind. Say three nice things to yourself in a mirror. Give yourself a pep talk. Treat yourself to your favorite snack. Whatever you decide to do, you deserve it!
Keep in mind that what works for someone else may not work for you. Find your own self-care routine and make it a priority.
If you feel overwhelmed…
You’re not alone. Reach out to a friend or family member and share how you feel. Ask for help with tasks to trim your to-do list.
There are numerous local, state, and national organizations that can help.
NYC Well is your connection to free, confidential mental health support 24/7. A trained counselor will be there to help you get the support you need.
- Call: 888-NYC-WELL (888-692-9355)
- Text: WELL to 65173
- Chat: nyc.gov/nycwell
If you’re a member of the New York Police Department (NYPD), call POPPA (Police Organization Providing Peer Assistance), the NYPD cop-to-cop mental health hotline: 888-COPSCOP (888-267-7267).
For added help with stress, anxiety, or depression, here are some national hotlines:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
- National Domestic Violence Hotline:800-799-7233
- National Hopeline Network: 800-442-4673
More self-care ideas are available on our blog:
- “Coping with Stress,” from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- “Practicing Self-Care Is Important: 10 Easy Habits to Get You Started,” from Forbes