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Self-care can seem like a daunting task when you've already got a lot on your plate, so let's take a little time to reflect on what works best for you, and make an action plan.

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RESOURCES (almost 50 self-care action ideas to take!):
https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/10/internet-self-care/408580/
http://tinybuddha.com/blog/45-simple-self-care-practices-for-a-healthy-mind-body-and-soul/
http://lifehacker.com/why-self-care-is-so-important-1770880812
Hey there.  Let's talk about self-care.

(Intro)

Now, Parks and Rec, of course, is pretty great, but self-care is more than just "Treat yo' self".  Self-care is not a reward, though sometimes that can be part of it.  It's a vital piece of the ongoing process of being a human.

To quote the self-help classic Codependent No More, "Self-care is an attitude that says, I am responsible for myself."  In other words, I am my responsibility, and I will honor that responsibility as I would anything else that was precious to me.  

So let's make an action plan for using self-care to make our lives more awesome.

Step 1: Recognize that it is indeed okay to take care of yourself.  Nay, it is not just okay, it is smart.  As LifeHacker puts it, self-care helps prevent burnout, reduces the negative psychological and physical effects of stress, and helps you refocus on what's true and important.  Like, there's an entire peer reviewed international journal on burnout.  This is like a real big difficult problem to solve.  Now this may seem counterintuitive, but it actually makes you more productive, not less, to set time aside for yourself, and regardless of your productivity levels, recognize that you are a human being and that is enough to warrant compassion and kindness.  For real.

Step 2: Ideally, before the need strikes, research outwardly and inwardly what self-care means and what works for you.  There are self-care actions that can help pretty much anyone, getting proper nutrition, some exercise, enough sleep, hydrating, and taking small breaks throughout the workday.  I like to go for walks and I like to be forced to do it by my friends and family or baby.  We'll link to a list of almost 50 self-care actions down in the doobly-doo, but everyone is unique, so it's important to ask what actions make me feel better.  Journaling, texting something nice to a friend, like, watching videos of pug puppies doing a bunch of push-ups, pillow-fights, putting some projects on the back-burner maybe.  I personally am all in for the baby cuddles.  I have a baby now, and I like, that's, I feel like I'm doin' a thing that I was designed for and that I need to be doing and that I also just really like.  Sometimes he's angry though and he yells at me, but most of the time, I get cuddles.  

Now, one possible self-care action from us to you: start a digital warm and fuzzy file and fill it with compliments or kind words you've received, good memories, and favorite photos, like, I have to admit, I get lots of people saying nice things about me on the internet, and that helps get me through the day.  Being able to look through this file when you're feeling down might go a long way to bringing you back up.  You want this list to be both ample and flexible, and you may even want to break it into different categories.  For instance, T. Michael Martin, the fella who wrote this script, by the way, has a spreadsheet of self-care actions organized by types of negative experiences.  After all the self-care you need while you're depressed may not be the same self-care that helps when you're overwhelmed with work.  Also, if other people are involved in these self-care actions, it's totally cool to let them know now that they are part of your action plan.  They may not always be available, but odds are, if they're a good friend, they're gonna do their best to do their part.

Step 3: Self-care powers activate!  It's best if you can recognize the warning signs that you could use some self-care before things go into the red zone.  For me, by the way, it's when I notice my fingers going to websites that I didn't intend on going to, like, just typing in reddit.com when I have a ton of work to do is a side that I should go for maybe a little walk to recharge the batteries.  If you're keeping a journal, you might notice a pattern or two in your behavior.  Perhaps you'll notice a bleaker mood than normal or disturbed sleep.  Either way, once the need becomes apparent, consult your list and follow through.

And that is all that we have for you today, but if you have any self-care tips, please let us and other people who are looking know down in the comments below.  We'd love to hear from you.  In the meantime, take care of yourself, your friends, and your neighbors.  It's the adult thing to do.

It's okay.  Just put like, this trick I always use in Vlogbrothers when something drastically changes is just a full-screen graphic, real quick.  
Like, I like cuddles.  So I'm out for those.  

For instance, my friend T. Michael Martin, the dowd--the dowd?  

They may not always be available, but odds are, if they're a good friend, they'll do their best to do their part.  Ahhhh.  Burp.  Okay.  That was holding me back.  

What's up with this cup?  How could this possibly--what?