If there’s another phrase that’s buzzier (and emptier) than self-care, we don’t want to know what it is.
Is self-care eating salad? Watching Netflix? Pressing ignore on a call you don’t want to take? Yes, and, it’s really about being in tune with where you are and what you need.
When we’re in crisis (or even just stressed out), the idea of taking care of ourselves is just too much. That’s why you’re going to do this work now, when you’re okay-ish. So that when you’re not okay, your future self can look back at your past self and think, “Wow, they totally had my back. Thanks, past me.”
Grab a sheet of paper (or open a Google doc) and set a timer for 5 minutes. Go.
What are signs that I’m okay-ish?
This doesn’t have to be a complete list, but think about how you act and how you feel when things are pretty okay... do you have more energy? Make plans with friends? Describe who you are and what you are like on the okay days.
What are the warning signs that I'm starting to struggle?
Does your social media use increase? Do you drink more? Avoid your friends?
What typically helps me feel better?
Is it calling a friend and having a five-minute talk? Going for a walk outside? Reading?
When are the times you tend to feel most rested, steady and stable?
What gets you to these feelings, and what are you capable of in this space?
Who are the people you can count on?
List them all out. Not just your very best people, but people who have shown up, and people you can count on in big and small ways.
You did it! Save this somewhere that future you can see on a day that isn’t as good as today. Know that you’ve been okay-ish before, and you will be again.