By Rachel Casey

Can you believe we are half way done with February 2021?! The new year started and felt like it has flown by already. 

Last year was a struggle for everyone with many people finding themselves faced with worry and stress, but it also seemed to be a year of self-care.

Did you notice the fitness shelves in the stores looking empty?

Many people were focusing on their health and fitness. Maybe you were one of them! If so, that is awesome!

Maybe you found a new hobby during quarantine. If so, that’s great, try carrying it into the rest of this year. 

Self-care, something we often neglect, is so important and can be different for everyone. You can even switch it up each day, because one day we may need self-care in one form, but the next day need something entirely different.  Life becomes so busy with the many stresses of life, and often we forget to take time to relax and reflect.

What makes us happy? Is it a hobby that maybe we put to the side due to lack of time?

Is it exercise? Cancer takes a toll on the body and your well-being. That toll can be physical, mental, or both and everyone handles it differently, but that is why self-care is so important.  Practicing self-care is beneficial because it can help reduce stress, improve sleep, and even reduce anxiety. Trust me, I know we all struggled with those this past year. 

I urge you to practice self-care more often. If you have to schedule time to do so, then by all means, do it! For me, I love photography. I usually will take my camera and walk around a park, and for me that helps me relax and decompress. Other times, I need to stop and just listen to music. 

Other common ideas or options are:

  1. Reading: Pick a book that maybe you have been wanting to read for a while or find a new book that sounds interesting to you. 
  2. Cooking: Look in those Pinterest boards and cookbooks and find a new recipe to try. We even have a cookbook written by Maple Tree Cancer Alliance staff where you can find yummy recipes!
  3. Exercise: Go for a walk and take time to enjoy the fresh air. Find some sort of exercise that you enjoy and incorporate that into your day. 
  4. Journaling: Many people find solace in journaling. Journal about your day and what made you happy. Even on rough days, it helps to take a step back and see the good that we do not always see at the time. 
  5. Try something new: Self-care does not have to be something you have tried already. Some people find themselves craving something new and that might be out of their comfort zone. Try crafting, meditation, or even learning a new language. 

These are just some of the many ways people have learned to incorporate self-care, but now it is your turn. Each day we are challenged with new tasks and challenges. Self-care is usually different each day as well. I challenge you to find the activities that make you happy and work on your self-care. That means taking the time each day to reflect and ask yourself “Is this what my body needs today?”

Oftentimes, we think about what the body needs physically, but it’s important to take into consideration mental and emotional self-care as well. If you follow our blog posts, one of our trainers, Sara, gave great tips on goal setting. I urge you to read her post and use the tips she gave to help incorporate self-care into your schedule.

Make yourself a priority!