The Art of Self Care
What is all this self-care talk? What does it mean? Why is it important? Why do we neglect it? How do we do it right?
All of these are important and relevant questions. We psychotherapists have an amazing career. We love what we do and have a great talent for absorbing pain and torment with a steady hand and a solid constitution. But no matter how vetted we become,
we can break.
Over months and years of hearing stories of trauma, depression, and psychosis, we become overwhelmed with energies not our own. I firmly believe there are three types of psychotherapists; those who have stories about the time they finally burned out, those who have done it a very short time, and liars. I have never met a therapist who has not had a fracture of their own psyche. With all this negativity, where do we turn? How do we who care for others care for ourselves?
It is exceptionally easy to forget to take time for ourselves. No matter what your line of work or study, you have to create spaces and times to make peace. Two days before writing these first paragraphs, I remember looking at our cat, Tails, and thinking how zen he has become. He is a unique animal, not in that he is more special than any other pet, but in that he has some quirks that make him a tad unusual in the cat world. Tails enjoys massage. He likes to sit in a lap and have his neck and shoulders rubbed. Now
this of course is nothing new for felines, but there is a twist.
A year ago, my wife and I bought an electric massage tool to help out my shoulder during flare ups. Upon hearing the vibrating noise, our other cats, Kirby and Scootaloo bolted in fear. Tails instead decided to take a look. Since then, we regularly indulge our grey and white kitty in a nice electric massage.
This was the birth of Psychotherapy Cat and the launch of this self-care page.
Here is a video we recorded of Psychotherapy Cat engaging in self-care of the highest caliber – YouTube Link
Psychotherapy Cat now has a Twitter page dedicated to Self Care which can be seen at the following link – #PsychotherapyCat
This page will serve as a growing list of self care ideas from the norm to the creative to the out of this world! Comment on Twitter or on Informed Mind with your ideas. When we add your idea, we will link to a site or Twitter account of your choice.
Remember that self-care must be genuine, real, and personal.
Psychotherapy Cat’s Self Care Ideas!
- Take a walk
- Exercise at home or in the gym
- Read a non academic book of personal interest
- Paint a picture
- Take a drive in a new location
- Go house-watching and describe what you like about the houses you see
- Buy a healthy snack and eat slowly
- Get a back rub
- Get a professional massage
- Stand up and stretch
- Take 5 deep breaths and hold for a few seconds
- Take a bubble bath (or “cat bath” ewwwww)
- Sit on the porch or in a field
- Alternatively, walk in the city and marvel at the architecture
- Color in an adult coloring book
- Start a new hobby
- Go to a museum
- Declutter and clean one room
- Try a new blog