I’ve been thinking a lot about what to write this week for Self Care Saturday. I’ve already covered my three favorite self care things: meditating, journaling, and practicing Reiki. So I did what anyone does when they need an idea nowadays . . . I went to Google. And there are all kinds of suggestions for self care, everything from get a pedicure to make yourself a pot of tea to go for a walk. While I agree that those are all excellent suggestions, they weren’t really the types of things I had in mind when I set out to do these posts.
So I thought. And I thought some more. And then I remembered an email I got the other day. It was a response to a thank you that I sent to someone who did some volunteer work for me. In that thank you I said how much it meant for the people he helped to see him there and know he cares about them. And you know what he said? He said, I think it does more for me than it does for them.
I’m going to propose that volunteering is something that could be considered self care. It’s counter intuitive, I suppose, because generally self care is recognized as something you do strictly for yourself. The very name is self care which definitely implies something for one’s self. But maybe it doesn’t have to be something that’s just for one’s self. Maybe it can be something that you do for others, too.
I don’t think I have to tell you that helping others is rewarding and uplifting and wonderful. It fills you with a sense of purpose and it makes you feel valued in a very unique way. I’ve experienced this over and over again when I volunteer with Kiwanis. Sometimes it’s hard, it takes away from time when I could be doing something else, but even when it’s hard it’s good. It makes me feel better to make a sacrifice, to do something that makes a difference in someone’s life. To work with other volunteers and get something done. It definitely does my heart good to know that I helped someone else. And what’s better for self care than caring for my own heart?