What does self-care look like for you?
The epitome of a self-care day is highly subjective and can vary from person to person based on individual preferences and needs. But taking time for activities that promote relaxation, rejuvenation, and overall well-being can be a balm for any stressed person.
To get a better understanding of meaningful self-care, ELYSIAN spoke with Dr. Kelly Kennedy, the owner of Modern Wellness Family Counseling. Kennedy supports families and has extensive experience in traditional counseling for adolescents and adults for any number of reasons. She has particular expertise on women in leadership positions who struggle with anxiety, perfectionism, and time management, who may have a particular need for self-care.
“When I am working with clients who may be wearing multiple hats, we have to work on the basics of self-care. We have to be intentional about sleep. As a young adult you think it is so easy to just catch up on sleep, but as you get older you need to focus on it. Leave work at work,” Kennedy said.
Sleep is incredibly important for overall health and well-being. It is a natural and essential process that allows the body and mind to rest, repair, and regenerate. The National Sleep Foundation recommends we all minimize screen time one to two hours before bed, budget time to get at least seven hours of sleep at night, avoid alcohol at least one hour before bed, and optimize your room to be cool, dark, and quiet.
These are recommendations Kennedy can get behind. “I see some people who are really struggling with scrolling their phone,” she said.
Breaking the habit of excessive phone scrolling takes time and effort. Be patient with yourself and celebrate small victories along the way. Take advantage of app limits and productivity tools on your phone. Set time limits or use apps that restrict access to certain apps or websites after a specific time. This can provide a helpful reminder and prevent excessive scrolling.
Building healthier habits with technology will contribute to a more balanced and mindful approach to your digital life.
Another important facet of taking care of yourself is asserting boundaries and saying “no” when necessary. Women in particular have often been socialized to prioritize the needs and expectations of others over their own, leading to a greater need for advocating for personal time and setting boundaries.
For women who seem to do it all, sometimes saying no and protecting their time is of critical importance. “Just being willing to say ‘no’ is so critical to your well-being. As much as you may want to do something, you have to know to say ‘no,’” Kennedy said.
The key to harnessing the power of self-care is to prioritize activities that bring you joy, relaxation, and a sense of well-being, allowing you to recharge and care for yourself both physically and emotionally. You can’t pour from an empty cup, so make this summer the one where you stay in-tune to your own body and build better habits for every year that will come ahead.