Summer Speech · The Human Connection

Good For You: Why Self Care Isn’t Selfish

In this summer of transition, I find myself following two very simple rules. 1) Everything I do needs to be good for me, and 2) I only do what I enjoy to reset and begin with a clean slate. After years at one school, I am looking to set some healthy habits for myself. The easiest time for me to do this so that they carry over into the school year is the summer. Some of these are goals. Some of these are practices. All of these are a restart button for myself, and can be incorporated as such for anyone.

  1. Expanding my interests.
    Up until this summer, I knew next to nothing about sports. My students’ interests often intrigue me to explore them independently. I’m learning about baseball, and getting to bond with good friends and my father over the sport. Those are added bonuses I didn’t see coming, and I’m grateful.
  2. Getting back to what I love most.
    As I’ve mentioned in several posts, I am obsessed with the art form of dance. I’ve committed myself to drop in classes for the summer, and I’ve never felt more like myself (or more sore). I begin each class with a moment of gratitude, with my hands on the floor while I stretch, and I think of how fortunate I am that my body is able to move in a way that brings me joy, that I can return to classes, and that I cut out this period of time for myself.
  3. Journaling.
    When words move from thoughts to pen to paper, my mind frees up. I get my feelings out, and I am able to let go of whatever unnecessary baggage I’m carrying. I tend to write about what inspires me and how I can keep that inspiration alive and well within me. I find this especially important once I return to the academic setting in the fall.
  4. Staying in contact with those who are important to me.
    I enjoy spending time with those who value me as much as I value them. I prefer to do this in person, and if I can’t manage that, I call people. This is far more effective than text. This includes family and friends.
  5. Treating my body with the respect it deserves.
    In the summer, I find it’s easier to criticize my body. This is not great, so I’ve turned that into respecting my body. I get to eat all of the fruits and vegetables that are at their peak in the season, including cotton candy grapes and leafy greens. When it’s a truly rough day and I finding it hard to respect my body, I treat myself to some at home pampering, focusing on skincare and relaxing any tension I’m feeling.
  6. Feeling out the day.
    Every day, I like to see where the day is directing me, instead of dictating the day. This freedom is extremely relaxing to me. It takes the pressure out of my summer and gives me options. Do I want to spend the day reading? Out with friends? Don’t get me wrong, I like my days where everything is planned, but I’m far more Type B during the summer.
  7. Making time for mindlessness.
    Every summer I find a show to binge-watch during the summer when I completely want to turn my brain off. Sometimes I fall down a YouTube rabbit hole, sometimes it’s a Disney marathon, sometimes it’s a full series on Netflix or Hulu to occupy my brain.
  8. Upgrade my space.
    No, not my home, but my new therapy room. I want to completely overhaul what I’ve done in years past and change up all my themes and decor. There’s no better way to incorporate a fresh start than a new look. I go to Pinterest for ideas, but I’m not a Pinterest SLP–much more of an Amazon Prime SLP.
  9. Expanding my knowledge in the kitchen.
    Having so many summer days to myself gives me time to explore new recipes and healthier options to old favorites. And I get to try friends’ ideas we’ve been swapping all year. All of this will lead to easier meal prep during the academic year.
  10. Operating from optimism.
    This past school year, I found myself operating from a place of pessimism. I’m trying to change my narrative by changing my perspective. This will help me healthily and clearly operate at my optimal skill set throughout the summer and carry this practice into the next school year.

My challenge for you this week is to set some practices into motion for yourself that will make you feel good or are good for you, whatever that may be. Enjoy yourself, enjoy the sunshine, enjoy the present. I look forward to hearing about these practices in comments.

Keep playing with words and see what your message creates!
–Stef the StageSLP

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