How to Start Practicing Self-Care

StopWA Main Blog

Self-care is a simple concept, yet for many of us, it can be incredibly difficult in practice. It is especially challenging for victims and survivors of abuse, who are often made to feel like they are not worthy of love or care. But EVERYONE is worthy and deserves love and care, we sometimes have to be the ones that provide our own care. It is important to do what makes you feel happy and healthy.

If you have experienced abuse in your life, self-care may seem like a foreign concept, exhausting, or pointless to consider. You might be questioning how it could be of any use to you, which is totally understandable. It helps to remember that self-care is not selfish or self-indulgent; it’s simply one tool you can turn to when coping with or healing from an abusive relationship.  

At first practicing self-care may be hard, but keep at it. Start with small gradual changes. This can be things like making sure you are getting enough sleep at night, you are eating enough food, and you are getting a little bit of physical activity. It may not be possible for you to start doing all of those at the same time, so pick one and make sure you are consistently doing it for a week. Then slowly start adding another one. Making a list can also be helpful to remind yourself to get little things done everyday. There’s no wrong way to go about self-care, so whatever makes sense to you is what you should do.

If you’ve got the hang of meeting basic needs, try brainstorming other activities that you might enjoy doing. Keeping a personal journal of thoughts is a form of self-care, but only if you’re in a safe place or your abusive partner won’t have access to it. If journaling doesn’t appeal to you there are plenty of other options.

Some Examples:

  • Reading a book
  • Taking a walk
  • Drinking a cup of tea
  • Knitting
  • Arts and crafts
  • Swimming
  • Watching a funny movie
  • Taking a bath
  • Talking to a friend
  • Baking
  • Playing a video game
  • Attending a support group or counseling session
  • Listening to your favorite song

These aren’t the only activities that classify as self-care, you just have to find what works for you.