There are some days that practicing self care is as simple as remembering to drink water. Getting some vegetables in your body. Eating some almonds instead of cookies. Remembering to caffeinate yourself. Bringing your lunch instead of eating at the diner (even though the diner in that moment feels like the best idea you’ve ever had, and then doesn’t approximately 28 minutes later). Changing your clothes into something more comfortable, or something you feel good in.
One day last week, I arrived to work feeling super down. I was overtired and grumpy. My whole subway ride, I thought about the meaning of life and tried to get a grasp on why I felt so low. When I arrived to work I discovered my co-workers were in the same head space. We grunted “hello’s” to each other as we attempted to get our clinic ready for the day. Two hours later we were laughing, regaling each other with stories and feeling nothing like that grumpy mopes we’d been 2 hours earlier. What caused such a drastic difference? Caffeine. I wish I could tell you it was from a heartwarming connection with a patient. Or that I realized my purpose in life. Nope, I was overtired, I drank some coffee, and I felt better. Almost too simple.
I’m not saying that caffeine is the answer to all your problems. Just MY problems. Fine, I’m kidding. Sometimes we do need to ask ourselves the hard questions. And sometimes we’re just a little dehydrated. I’m simply suggesting that you take some self inventory of what’s going on before you decide your day is ruined or that your life is without meaning.
When I was in college I would often go back to my dorm room and change in the middle of the day if my clothes weren’t making me feel good. Many times a simple clothing change made all the difference and I was back feeling like myself. Feeling comfortable in my clothes is of vital importance to me. If I’m working a double, that’s 13 hours that I need to feel comfortable, otherwise that uncomfortability will just make my day harder.
Years ago, I committed to buying good shoes/sneakers for work. I’m the only one suffering when I’m stingy with my footwear purchases.
Also my workplace is EXTREMELY cold, and only recently did I notice how grumpy it made me to freeze the whole shift. Then one day I had the genius idea to bring a hoodie. Game. Changer.
So before you throw in the towel, see if your day can be fixed with some simple solutions. Ask yourself, have I had any or enough water today? Have I had any vegetables or fruit? Do I have an itchy tag on my shirt? Have I gotten any fresh air today? Am I comfortable with what I’m wearing? Am I too cold? Am I too hot? Do I need a snack? Do I need a 5 minute break from humans? Are my shoes comfortable? Is my underwear comfortable? Do I need to brush my teeth? Do I need to drink something warm?
Take care of YOU.