There is great joy to be found in working as a community of people who are dedicated to serving others; it is both humbling and inspiring to see the depth of genuine care and commitment. With so much good being done, how do we ensure it is being done well? One answer is self-care.
When we are at our best, we maximize our impact. Selflessness—putting the needs of others ahead of our own needs—seems like a virtue. But isn’t it more laudable to increase our impact by taking care of ourselves so that we are able to serve others to the best of our ability?
Self-care is not selfish, it is essential; it is not a luxury, it is a necessity. As Vincent de Paul said, “We must be full reservoirs in order to let our water spill out without becoming empty, and we must possess the spirit with which we want them to be animated, for no one can give what he does not have [emphasis added].”
We are served best by a balanced and individual approach to wellness, as self-care will vary for every person. Start with eating well and getting enough hydration, sleep, and movement in your day. Layer in fresh air, human connection, creative expression, communication, learning, and reflection.
Spend some time considering what you need to be your best self, and then commit to it. If it is difficult, post reminders that taking care of yourself means you can better serve others.
What will help you be better? Read a book. Write a letter. Walk among the trees. Meditate. Sing a song. Play a game. Get enough sleep. Eat more plants. Tell a joke. Share a personal goal with a friend. Dance to a favorite song. Drink enough water. Take a yoga class. Compliment others. Compliment yourself. Go for a swim. Donate your time or money. Hike a trail. Express gratitude. Listen deeply. Watch the clouds. Ask for help. Write a poem. Learn something. Call a friend. And, maybe, exercise at The Ray!
Reflection by: Maureen McGonagle, Director of Campus Recreation and the Ray Meyer Fitness Center, and a serving DePaul Mission Ambassador
 Letter 1623, “To a Seminary Director,” n.d., CCD, 4:570. Available at https://via.library.depaul.edu/vincentian_ebooks/29/.
Care for Yourself: DePaul Busy Person’s Online Retreat. Week of February 21st.
Life can be exceptionally busy and overwhelming, moving at an ever-accelerating pace, leaving you wondering if you can keep up or how you can remain grounded and at peace in the midst of the constant shifts and challenges coming at you. During the week of February 21st, the DePaul Busy Person’s Retreat will offer daily 15-minute reflections, inspired by our Vincentian tradition, exploring the richness of intentional time for pause, for meditation, and silence in the midst of the noise and busy-ness. We hope that you’ll find new meaning, tools, and inspiration to anchor your life and work, to deepen your understanding of yourself and your community, and to re-connect to what brings you peace. REGISTER NOW.