How to Cultivate Self-Care. (We Asked a Therapist)

We asked one of our favorite therapists how we can start to cultivate a self-care practice. Lauren Cohen of Hope & Humor Therapy agreed to teach us how to do it in just 5-minutes a day. 

Let's Talk About Self-Care

"Let’s talk about self-care. I mean, really talk about self-care. There are a lot of myths floating around about it these days. It has become synonymous with spa days, weekend getaways, long trips to the beach; things that can feel out of reach for most of us, most of the time. We ask ourselves, “How am I supposed to practice self-care? I can’t just take a day off and flit about town; I can’t be away from work/my family/school/my responsibilities for that long! COME ON!”

In an instant, self-care becomes this giant, insurmountable task, and it gets placed on a long-ignored shelf next to cookbooks that we never open and treadmills that we never use.

Well, I’m going to let you in on a secret: self-care doesn’t have to be that way. The crux of self-care is for you to take action to maintain your physical, mental and emotional health. There’s a whole range of things that you can do to cultivate this practice. It does not have to be this giant, sweeping gesture that you do for yourself every once in a while, (maybe). It can be something small that you do every single day." -Lauren Cohen

 Self Care Doesn't Have to Be The Perfect Dream Vacation. 

Self Care Doesn't Have to Be The Perfect Dream Vacation. 

Try This Self-Care Exercise

"At 2 pm every day, stop what you are doing, find a quiet place, take a moment, and ask yourself what you need right now. Literally, internally ask yourself, “What is the best thing that I could do for myself in this moment?” Then go do that thing.  

(Alternatively: if 2 pm is the worst time of day for you to try this, then pick another time that works better for you. Commit to that time. Put a reminder on your phone. Then do it.)

(Alternatively: if you can’t meet that particular need at that exact moment, commit to a time when you can. Put it on your calendar and then do it.)

At the end of the week, notice if you feel any differently about yourself and your life. After extended use of this technique, people have reported having more positive feelings about themselves and feeling better able to handle life’s challenges. You’ll be surprised what this simple change can spark in you!  

I wish you luck in this endeavor and encourage you to try all forms of self-care!" - Lauren Cohen

Self-Care is Caring

Like Lauren said, it's really easy to allow ourselves to become overwhelmed by the idea of caring. There are all the choices, decisions, responsibilities and the idea that caring takes up too much time and energy. Start small. It makes a world of difference. Remember, that taking care of yourself makes the world a better place.