Sunday, August 15, 2010


Summer is a hectic time for many of us. We try to cram a lot of activities into our limited supply of summer weekends – I am writing this early Sunday morning after having driven my son back to ISU in Normal IL yesterday, and my daughter hosted a party on Friday night. Today is an Anniversary Party for a cousin and a family reunion picnic, plus getting ready for a day of meetings at work tomorrow.

Katie Anson wrote a blog article about the emotional, physical and social importance of self-care, specifically the need for getting sufficient sleep. I hope you are inspired to squeeze self-care into every day.

Amy Grabowski

I am big on self-care. Historically, I never made time for myself. I was always busy, doing a lot of things that I enjoyed, but many things that I did not, and I wasn’t taking great care of myself. I wasn’t listening to what I wanted emotionally or what my body craved physically. I wasn’t doing things that would make me genuinely happy. To me, self-care was selfish and indulgent.

This perspective held for many years, but as I explored and experienced more, and became surer of my true self, I reframed what I formerly called selfishness as self-care. And the more I practiced self-care, the less selfish and better I felt.

In my mind, self-care can take many forms. Sometimes I treat myself to a splurge when shopping. I do my best to go to yoga on a weekly basis. Occasionally I’ll forego a social activity to relax and spend some time with myself at home. I like to treat myself to morning lattes.

Sleep is an essential aspect of self-care for me. It’s always a battle in the summer - the sun sets later and there seem to be so many activities going on during the day and night, which don’t promote a full night’s rest. I’m reminded of the “sleep when you die” quote, of which I’ve never been a fan. For me, lack of sleep leads to numerous emotional, physical and social side effects that negatively impact my life. For instance, my overall outlook on life is more negative the day after I barely sleep. I’m grumpier and my patience decreases, meaning I’m terse at work and complain more. I’m not as friendly or outgoing and I just feel crappy. I will actually get a sore throat the day after I don’t get sufficient sleep - my body’s way of telling me I’m not giving it enough rest. In order to avoid all of these negative effects, I’ve learned to prioritize, plan and say “No.”

Getting enough sleep is still a work in progress and there are still days, and even weeks, where I feel overwhelmed and wonder if I will ever feel well rested. Luckily, I’m able to recognize that when I feel this way, I simply need to realign my priorities and make myself the main focus.
Taking good care of yourself can be challenging, and with all of the roles we balance in a single day, it’s easy to forget about yourself and fulfilling your own needs. Think about the things that make you happy and then make yourself a priority by scheduling some self-care.

Katie Anson, MA, LPC
Katie is bilingual (Spanish/English) and sees clients for individual therapy at The Awakening Center. She can be reached at (773) 929-6262 x23.


  1. Good reminder about the importance of sleep even when it is summer!

  2. I could not agree more! Learning to say no to certain activities and commitments has been hard, but it is definitely something that needs to be done sometimes in order to make time for myself and often much needed r&r

  3. I too sometimes forget that self care doesn't have to be some spa weekend that I don't have time for but instead can be sleeping in an extra hour or treating myself to coffee or tea. Thanks for the reminder!