Posts Tagged ‘fight-or-flight response’

Let’s Talk About Self Care

I just finished writing an article about self compassion for my regular freelance client The Doctor Will See You Now. I’ve been wondering a lot about self care lately, and the assignment got me thinking about how it relates to self compassion. I also thought about what self care means to me. It can mean different things to different people.

The study’s lead author, Dr. Hans Kirschner, is based in Germany, so I interviewed him via email. He told me in his opinion, self compassion when things are not going your way is an act of self care.

I agree. If you don’t get wrapped up in criticizing yourself, you begin to understand that what happens to you happens to everybody. It’s all part of the human experience. And by sending yourself compassionate thoughts, you can actually turn off the so-called ‘fight-or-flight response’. You know, the one where your heart is pounding a mile-a-minute and you are sweating like a pig. And that helps you focus and figure things out.

As Kirschner said in a press release, “Our findings suggest that being kind to oneself switches off the threat response and puts the body in a state of safety and relaxation that is important for regeneration and healing.”

So I am working on giving myself a break more often when I’m having a bad day, and cutting down on negative self talk. I’m also working on making myself more of a priority. Self care should involve making time for yourself.

To me, that means taking regular walks along the Hoboken waterfront to clear my mind. Steve Jobs took a lot of meetings during walks in the hills around Palo Alto for a reason.

I also go to yoga class up to four times a week. I find it gives me energy to be productive the rest of the day.

How cool is my lotus bracelet from

And I write in my journal when I’m feeling stressed and down on myself. Journaling helps me put things in perspective and let them go. I’ve also been known to pick up my camera. When I get engrossed (or to be honest, obsessed) with getting the perfect shot, it clears my mind as well.

Of course, I’d be lost without these two. Cuddling and playing with them is self care for me.

3 year old Petey

12 year old Mesa

And yes, blogging equals self care. I do this purely for the fun of it. The blogger goody bags don’t hurt, either!

Tell me. What does self care mean to you? Let’s talk ‘me time’ in the comments!

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