Making Self-Care A Priority | Listen & Learn Music

Self-care is a common topic among the music therapy community. We talk about it a lot, but do we actually implement it in our daily lives? It’s something I personally struggle with. I know what I want to do for self-care, but finding the time to actually take care of myself is difficult. Who else is in this same boat?

We’re all busy. Maybe you’re working a full-time job, you have kids stuck at home doing remote learning, you’re trying to navigate a pandemic, you’re enduring the stresses of everyday life, the list could go on and on. For me, it’s trying to plan a wedding during COVID-19. I find myself using this and so many other excuses as reasons to put off self-care.

Instead of using our busy lives as an excuse why we can’t give ourselves some self-love, let’s start using them as reasons why we need to care for ourselves.

Easier said than done, am I right?

I’ve found that my self-care time doesn’t happen unless I schedule it. You may have a weekly calendar with your work and/or personal schedule. Insert some time onto the calendar for your self-care. Maybe you have a to-do list. Put it on the list and don’t consider the list completed without doing your self-care.

One thing I greatly appreciated about my music therapy internship is that self-care was required. My supervisors put an hour a week into my schedule for me to simply take care of myself. They considered this to be so important that it was literally an assignment. What an amazing example they were setting for me!

“Assign” yourself self-care. Wake up early and do a short workout. Take a long hot bath before bed. Read a good book for 10 minutes every day. Buy yourself some flowers. Order a nice meal. Fuel your body with the nutrients you need. Turn off your phone. Fill your home with essential oils. Talk to a loved one. Take a walk. There are endless options.

Self-care doesn’t need to be anything extravagant, just something that will ease your body and mind for a time. Figure out what works for you and schedule it so you know it will get done.

If you are struggling to find time to take care of yourself, make the time by putting it into your schedule. I’m still trying to figure out what works best for me. So far, I’ve been successful at getting a 30 minute workout done in the mornings. I do this because I love the way my body and mind feels after doing so. I feel fueled and ready for the day after exercising. This is what works for me. What works for you?

Let us know your self-care schedule in the comments! What does your self-care look like?