Self Care

During the fellowship year, we often strayed from the importance of self-care on a personal and organizational level. As part of our own learning curve, however, we accepted its significance as a non-negotiable and advocate it as an essential part of any service journey. While there is tremendous value in pushing our boundaries, we must balance it with recharging our inner source so that we may really give fully.

Though the wisdom of self-care is largely inherent, we often dismiss it for the sake of “getting things done.” The following collaborative list from Indicorps alumni and staff shares 10 ways to self care.

  1. Respect and observe the trinity of sleep, nutrition and exercise with a particular emphasis on the first.
  2. Recognize your weaknesses and know your limitations. Do not feel bad if you need to take a break or pause for some time to yourself. You will only come back stronger.
  3. Be present with any negative feelings and work to process or reframe them instead of trying to escape from them.
  4. Turn to others--fellows, staff, and community members--to provide support, laughs, hugs, etc when unable to maintain perspective for yourself.
  5. Take a few moments to be in stillness and anchor yourself through meditation or silence.
  6. Get unstuck by getting your energy flowing through the body-movement of your choice: yoga, exercise, sports, walking, etc.
  7. Do something without any agenda: play with children; work with your hands; spend time with community.
  8. Spend some quality time in nature.
  9. Surrender and let go of trying to control the situation and/or its outcomes. Accept when you can’t change something.
  10. Dance, write, paint, read: Whatever unlocks your creativity, do that. Using another part of your brain can help to unlock things that are stuck, pull you out of your rhythm, and naturally provide balance.
And don’t forget to take deep breaths and to smile.