You know what’s really hard? Taking care of ourselves. Maybe this isn’t true for you, but I find putting myself first is nearly impossible. Sure, I chase my dreams, I do tons of homework so I can achieve my goals, I’m putting my education first, but actual physical and mental self care? Ugh… it takes a back seat. Which is BAD. I honestly don’t know why it’s so hard to put ourselves first, but it is! The other day we had a guest speaker in my criminal law class, and he said that lawyers are really good at putting their cases first, but terrible at putting their careers first. We get so hyper-focused on the next step that we forget to draw back, look at the whole map, and really evaluate if we’re heading in the right direction. I think for me I just get so focused that I end up putting my head down and getting through academia, but sometimes I forget to check in with myself and make sure I’m feeling physically and mentally like my best self! So, today I’m sharing 4 tips for making self care a bit easier to practice.
(1) Figure out a physical exercise routine. Physical exercise is so important. It’s so easy to make excuses, trust me, I do it daily. But when you’re body is active you are just generally more productive, more energized, and more prepared to tackle life. Whether you and your friends go to spin class, or agree on a time to go to the gym together, or you run every morning, or you walk a few miles, get outside or just get out and do something active a few times a week.
(2) Find a good mental exercise routine. I’m personally an advocate of meditation, but it’s important to remember your mind is a powerful tool, and it also requires care. Meditation works for me, but if it doesn’t work for you, research good mental exercises (even a crossword book would work!) that you think you would be good. Test out a few, and start flexing the muscles in your brain in a more relaxed, easy way.
(3) Learn when to say yes and when to say no. Sometimes it’s just too much. Sometimes you have time. Learn to read yourself, and know when you need to stand your ground in allowing yourself to get the rest you need and allow yourself to re-energize.
(4) Don’t sweat the small stuff. I know, this is a cliche, but hey, it’s a cliche for a reason! I can spend hours obsessing over the one wrong thing I said in Civil Procedure, or I can let it go, roll of my back and on the floor and never think about it again. Let’s be real, none of us are so important that people are going to be thinking about what we said an hour from now. Most people don’t have enough of an attention span to obsess over what you said. Everyone says the internet has a small shelf life, but so does real life. Most people are wrapped up in their own stuff, and they aren’t paying that close of attention to what you’re doing!
How do you practice self-care?