The importanance of self-care

This class has opened my eyes and made me realize that some of the activites I incorporate into my daily routine, are part of my strategy for self-care. I never truly realized that when I worked out I was doing/enjoying it because it was relieving stress. Most of the time, in my situation when one of my sisters and I ran into family problems at home we immediately took our emotions and problems to the BU gym. We knew that the gym environment alone automatically made us feel better, not even going in with the intentions of trying to lose weight. Not only did it quickly make us feel better but it made us ten times happier. Even though endorphins do have a play in the fact that we felt better, it was the idea of the gym being our sanctuary. Before our violence and trauma class, I never noticed that our gym sessions were not only making me physically healthier, but mentally as well. I started realizing how important it was to take care of yourself when we learned about the various strategies others use for self care. Especially in this field of work, the importance of incorporating your own self care strategies in order to stay healthy and take care of yourself is extremely necessary, so you can safely continue on with your job.                        
      Another form of self care I tend to use is swinging! My sister and I started to take our stress to the swings a lot this year. We started going to this one park late at night which overlooks Boston. We called this our form of therapy before I even understood that people actually do small activities like this when needed. Even though it sounds silly to do at this age, I feel like I never appreciated swinging when I was younger. I was just doing it as a form of play. I was always trying to compete with my friends or siblings, seeing who can get higher, who can twist and turn and so on. But doing it now, all I feel is complete relaxation. The reason we go at night is because the silence surrounding us and the breeze flowing through us is almost like it is allowing us to let go of what ever is bothering us at the time and reach a clear my mind. I started to focus on my breath more allowing me to calm down and reach a zen like envrionment.
Lastly, my puppy Nico has really been one of the best self care strategies out there. I could tell my family was starting to take a turn filling up with a lot of pent up anger, even the first dog we got was looking a bit bored with life. But my sisters and I decided to disobey our parents wishes and bring home another a dog. Nico has brought the life and happiness back into our lives and has given my other a dog a play mate. It is not hard to realize that when you heard ‘petting a dog makes you live longer’ as a kid, it only makes more and more sense as you grow up. Dogs are always there to return the love with a wagging tail and a warm greeting. I noticed that Nico has allowed my parents a chance to step away from reality and enjoy the constant positive vibes he sends off. He is there to watch T.V with my parents after a long day at work, and is there to keep us all company when we get lonely. Thinking about the trained therapy dogs which is not something I hear much about, I believe getting a puppy or even visiting some is really a great self-care strategy people should utilize.
Furthermore, learning about all the many types of self care strategies people use such as yoga, meditation, painting, and even focusing on your breathing, has made me realize everyone has a different approach to finding their therapeutic activity, there is not just one way to do it. There are so many different ways people can do to find what helps them feel at ease with their struggles and gain happiness, it does not just have to be what you hear about that works best for others. I understand much clearer now that self-care is a necessity in your life. While taking care of others we have to remember to take care of ourselves because at the end of the day, no one can truly understand how we are feeling except ourselves.

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