This past year has been a lot on all of us mentally, emotionally, and physically. Playworks Colorado Coach Natalie shares some self-care ideas she compiled from recent experiences and conversations with peers to help us all be our best every day. Read the full story below.
At Playworks Colorado, we strive to better our communities through our work each day. However, we often overlook the needs of arguably the most important person in our lives: ourselves. Before we can effectively contribute our time and energy to external causes, we must first look inwards and check-in. Giving yourself a chance to reflect, rest, and recover is not only crucial to your own health and happiness, but it will also enable you to give the best version of yourself to your service.
In a recent training with fellow Playworks coaches, we began with a check-in question about our self-care practices. As Playworkers, we spend much of our days working with children to engage them in safe and healthy play. It is crucial that we show up each day as the best possible Playworker that we can be. Engaging in service on a daily basis makes it that much more vital to regularly practice self-care. If you need a self-care routine, or would simply like some inspiration to create your own, here is a list of ideas to help you take care of you!
- Dance it out: Turn on your favorite song and move your body!
- Baking: Whether it’s a mug cake or a French pastry, a baked good is sometimes all you need!
- Therapy: We often overlook mental health in our own health journeys. Talking to a therapist can be incredibly helpful in finding balance and peace!
- Self check-ins: How often do you ask yourself, “How do I feel today? What does my body need?”
- Meditation: Take the time to quiet your mind and focus your attention. If you are not sure where to start, try a meditation app or podcast to guide your practice!
- Routines: Creating a routine can be extremely beneficial for managing stress and creating a sense of “normalcy” in our lives.
- Exercise: Go for a walk, lift weights, play a sport, bike, or exercise your body in your favorite way! Find a way to get your blood flowing for a boost of motivation and energy.
- Art: No matter if you draw stick figures or create mixed media paintings, using a creative outlet to relieve stress or simply for enjoyment can be quite cathartic.
- Get outside: Green spaces and fresh air can nourish the soul. Take a break and sit outside, go for a hike, and enjoy the natural spaces our planet has to offer.
- Sleep: Sometimes we all just need a day to press snooze on our alarms and catch some good ol’ shut eye!
- Make time for your hobbies: Schedule in time for the things that fill you up
- Play a game: In typical Playworks fashion, playing a game can bring out the inner kid in you! Whether that be a board game or a game from the Playworks Game Library, play can help you refresh and also reconnect with those around you.
Regardless of how you choose to practice self-care, one of the best things you can do is be intentional! Playworks Colorado’s own Coach T added insight from her self-care practices that I think we could all use:
“I used to pursue my hobbies at the end of the day as a reactionary thing… and it would put a negative association with [my hobbies]. Being intentional, not beating myself up for a day, and pursuing my end of the day activities for fun as a way to fill me up has really helped me put more purpose behind my activities.”
Give yourself the time you deserve to recharge your batteries in a way that works for you! Hopefully, this will help you continue to take on your daily challenges and endeavors with a renewed sense of purpose and motivation.