Self-Care on the Weekends
Many of us are so invested in work or academics that we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves. I've heard from so many individuals who feel that they are on "auto-pilot" mode because they are so busy that they forget to take a break and enjoy what is happening in the present moment. Although there are various ways to practice self-care techniques throughout a busy work week, for many, the weekend is the best time to unwind.
But what is "self-care?"
The word "unwind" is one way of understanding what self-care is, but, self-care is really what you want it to be. What self-care means for some, might mean something different for others. So the important first step to understanding this term is to think about what you could do to take care of yourself. What works for you? Some people meditate, read, or exercise, others might write, go to therapy, or take walk in the park. Whatever it is that you enjoy doing to practice self-care, try doing it fully. Be present during those moments. If you're walking in the park, just walk and enjoy your surroundings. If you're reading, just read and turn off the television or anything that might be distracting. Be mindful of your self-care technique so that you can properly recharge your battery that gets you through the week.
Sometimes, we forget how to take care of ourselves or what we truly enjoy doing. Here are some tips on how to remember:
Tip #1: Make a commitment to therapy
This is the first tip because it's one of the best ways of discovering how to take care of yourself while doing it at the same time. By going to therapy, individuals can not only express bottled up emotions but also explore and expand their mind to reach a better understanding of themselves and their needs and wants. For those struggling to find time to go to therapy during the week, try looking for therapy on weekends. It can be more limited but there are plenty of therapists that work on weekends.
Tip #2: Meditate
Although it might not be for everyone, I write about meditation often because it is a great way to relax the mind and bring your attention to the present moment. It helps you take a moment to pause the rapid thoughts going through your brain and breathe. It's also a moment for you to raise your awareness about thoughts or feelings you didn't know were there. Although this might sound unpleasant, its the first step to not judging thoughts or feelings and learning to accept them. I suggest practicing meditation at home first or wherever comfortable until you get a good grasp on it. Use apps like Headspace or Calm if you need some guidance. There are also many therapists that offer support and guidance with mindful meditation. With enough practice, this can be done during small breaks at work or even on the subway.
Tip #3: Leave work at work and welcome the weekend
Possibly one of the most difficult things to do for many is to forget about work during off times and be present with other aspects of life. Some even take work home with them! If you are noticing that you are doing this, try setting certain boundaries to help with your work/life balance. For example, "I will not do any more work after 5pm." Keep in mind that it is impossible to be perfect human beings! Sometimes we need more time to do things. Be fair and respectful to yourself and know your limits.
Are you seeking a therapist on the weekends? Do you need help finding ways to take care of yourself and invest in your life?
Lucas Saiter is a counselor in NYC. He specializes in providing therapy to those struggling with time management, impulse control, emotion regulation, developing self-care, and more. If you are looking for a therapist near the Flatiron District area and want to invest in your life and develop healthier ways to take care of yourself, contact him today for a complimentary phone consultation.