Self Care for Personal and Collective Strength
By: Katie Kane
This issue is focused on strength and how as a group of strong, kind, talented, and
compassionate women, we can use our collective strength to have the largest positive impact on our local community in the Roanoke Valley. We possess strength that is unique to each of us and we share our strength to not only make it through our everyday life, but to lift each other and our community up, through volunteerism. How we maintain our personal and thus collective strength is important, thus we thought we could focus on self-care for a moment.
Consider this quote by Eleanor Brown, MA, CPG, “Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” (http://www.eleanorbrownn.com/)
There are times we may forget, minimize, or delay self-care because life happens and we are pulled in multiple directions. However, practicing self-care is one way we can maintain our personal strength and continue to have the ability to give to others. Here we highlight some general areas of self-care. Note that this list is limited and because self-care can look different for each of us, this is just a starting point.
This does not necessarily mean training for and running a marathon, though for some this may be a good fit. However, it is important to at least view your physical health as a marathon and that you are in it for the long haul, which means small daily steps to maintain and improve your health are important. For some this could be increasing your water intake, focusing on a balanced diet, including daily physical activity or strength training (as approved by your primary care provider), aiming for and achieving 7-8 hours of sleep, or caffeine intake in moderation.
Spending time and connecting with others that we enjoy being around can also help to improve our sense of well-being. This may be sharing a good meal with family and friends with lots of laughs and conversations, attending an event with a select few people, volunteering with a large group, or perhaps just sharing space while reading, crafting, or watching shows or movies with others.
Remembering to take a few minutes each day to acknowledge what we are grateful for, as well as allowing for a few minutes of quiet and calm, such as through deep breathing and/or meditation can help us to reset and approach each day with compassion for ourselves and others.
This article felt especially poignant with our recent kindness initiative, in that if we practice kindness and self-care for ourselves, we can continue to have the strength and enthusiasm to spread kindness to others.