I liked the analogy of the picture here with regards to self care. I want to emphasize the idea of self care, that it is not just a one day effort or one moment - which of course is good but for a maintenance stage.
There is the burnout stage - where you are distressed, overwhelmed, frustrated, lethargic accompanied by feelings of distrust, anger, sadness, unmotivated, hopeless, helpless and more. Physically, stress that is not released may manifest itself in your body where you ay experience migraine, body aches, tooth or jaw ache, skin issues, immunity disorders, loss or weight gain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, insomnia and the list goes on. At this stage, you need a high level of self care. Your body, mind and spirit needs a high level of care. Here are some self care tips but are not limited to these:
1. Find someone to talk to, a trusted family member or friend who would not judge you, or a professional therapist.
2. Find time to reflect on what's changed that caused you to feel the way you do; reflect on what's important for you. Prioritize.
3. Incorporate a daily self care plan / routine that works for you that helps to soothe your mind and body in a healthy manner - it could be going for long walks, spending time to meditate, pray, dance, sing, paint or rest more. Find creative and safe ways to clear the stress form your body. Remember, stress tends to sit within the body and if it is not released, may manifest itself in physical symptoms (I know I sound like a broken record about this statement but these were and are experiences I have encountered).
4. See a physician if you are having a physical issues; I would also recommend that you find holistic ways of healing your mind, body and spirit. Find a holistic therapist to do some emotional work; for your body work, find a chiropractor and or a yoga center that does plenty of stretching and breath exercises, work with (TCM) a traditional Chinese medicine center that works for you, go for more massages or foot reflexology, change your diet by eating clean and fresh diet, and for your spirit, spend time in meditation or contemplation - it can be done even as you do your walking exercises.
When you are in recovery, you continue with the mid level self care. You may choose to cut down on the daily routine to perhaps 3 -4 times a week; continue to work on prioritizing what works and is important for you. That's being aware and mindful; in this journey you are beginning to learn more about yourself of what works for you and what doesn't. You lean to scale down, draw healthier boundaries and spend your time with more purpose and meaning, make new friends or establishing healthy relationships.
Lastly, when you are over the recovery stage, where you feel motivated, rested, and inspired, a low self care maintenance would be appropriate and very helpful. This helps you to keep on track with care for your mind body, and spirit. Don't stop here, keep maintaining your self-care routine albeit a simpler one.
The main thing is to do something about the challenges you're facing, and help yourself towards a healthier version of your Self - body, mind and spirit. Be generous with yourself and invest in yourself. If you don't start now, when and who is going to take care of you when you are down low. Don't let that low battery happen to you. A strong reminder here again: Self care is not a Luxury! It is a priority.
All that I have shared are from my experiences and not necessarily yours; so take what you need. Stay well, and stay blessed xxx