I have always been a BIG believer in the importance of self care and looking after yourself. But this year, since starting my grad year as a midwife, self care has become a big priority in my life. My job is wonderful and I absolutely love what I do and feel so very lucky to be able do it, but it can also be stressful at times, challenging and exhausting. Because honestly as a ‘giving’ job (like so any job really) you don’t always get things ‘back’ yourself. I love the quote “you can’t pour from an empty cup” because it’s so true – you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself first. And that’s where self care becomes SO important for me to ‘give’ something back to myself and recharge.
People do this in lots of different ways. Some like to go out and do something ‘fun’, while others like quiet downtime to regroup (I love this post by Catherine at The Blissful Mind about different kinds of self-care), and I would say that I’m firmly in the latter group. I’d definitely say that I’m an introvert, and while I love spending time doing fun things with those I love, I need quiet time alone to feel truly rested.
So if you’re like me, here’s some self-care ideas to help you recharge:
READING // This is an obvious one, but as a bookworm, books are most definitely my self-care go-to. I make reading a priority is my daily routine and generally read at night to unplug from the stress of work and life (and social media) and wind down before bedtime. Reading recharges me, it inspires me and gives me comfort when life is stressful or overwhelming.
VISIT YOUR LIBRARY OR BOOKSTORE // There is something about being surrounded by books that just seems to rejuvenate my soul. I love browsing through the books, finding new books and picking out my next read, or a least adding to my never-ending TBR.
BUY YOURSELF NEW BOOKS // There’s nothing like treating yourself to new things, which for me is usually new books. New books get me excited and feel good about working for something I love (even if my bank account doesn’t love it so much!).
NETFLIX BINGE // As much as I love reading, sometimes I just want to have a lazy day on the couch, catching up on TV shows or binge watching something new. In a way this is much like reading, but I get to switch my brain off to escape for a while and recover mentally or physically while I do it.
GET OUT IN THE FRESH AIR // I love to take a nice walk outside to get a bit of exercise and connect with nature. But when the weather is good, there’s nothing better than taking your book outside to the park or beach and reading to the sounds of birds or rolling waves.
GET ENOUGH SLEEP // While I love to read a book late into the night (or early hours of the morning!), I also know that sleep is essential for my wellbeing, especially as a shift worker (I’m an 7-8-hour a night kind of sleeper). So as hard as it can be to put the book down sometimes, I do try to make sure that I’m getting enough sleep and rest to really refresh and recover. But I try to balance this out by taking little moments during the day to read and by reading before or after work when I know a late night reading session might not be an option.
CONNECT WITH OTHER BOOKISH PEOPLE // This one is especially true the extroverts among us, who recharge best being surrounded by other people. Even as an introvert, I love chatting and connecting with people who have similar interests to me — which is what blogging gives me an opportunity to do — and it helps to inspire me, feel a sense of belonging and get to know some cool people (and get more book recs for that TBR!). If book blogging isn’t your thing, joining a book club is a great way to find bookish people.
Let’s chat! What do you do for self-care?