This is where I think self-care fits in.
While self-care most often brings to mind massages, days off, a bubble bath....I believe self-care includes all of the things you do to nourish, refill, and strengthen yourself. What you do to support yourself physically, spiritually, emotionally - that's self-care. Those routines you do that help you stay balanced; those books, music, meditation, education and seminars; those exercises, diet, sleep, water - all of these nourish, support, and refill you. You need these things to care for yourself and to grow.
What I find most challenging about self-care is balancing the needs of those around me and my dharma (mission) with self-support. I tend to give way too much and when you give all of your energy away, there's nothing left. That's it! A friend recently told me to think of self-care like juggling 4 balls: spirituality, work, family, health. The only ball you can drop and it will bounce is work. All the others are like glass balls...they shatter and are very difficult to rebuild. So what do you do?
Do what you love to do, what lights you up, what inspires you, fills your cup! That can be reading books that bring you joy and inspiration or simply make you laugh. It means sitting outside and soaking up the sun and staring at the clouds. It means exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet while getting enough sleep to keep you healthy physically. It means saying NO. It means letting go of negativity and negative people and surrounding yourself with positivity and positive people. It means taking on only that which is sustainable for long term. And that is exactly how I am beginning to apply this daily. I look at each project with the question "is this sustainable?" I am reducing my negative energy around me by focusing on building strong and supportive relationships and letting go of the things and people who drain too much of me. I am taking more time for art, music, education, gardening, baking/cooking, loving on my animals and kids, personal yoga practice and meditation.
Each day you wake up with a certain amount of energy and you have to decide who and what gets that energy. Choose carefully because as much as other things need your energy...so do you!
Play, live, breathe, work, share, give...but do it all equally.
Back to samskaras...choose your habits, reform your patterns to better serve you. Don't just say that right now I am required to overdo, push too hard and come home empty and later I will take care of me. Would you tell a loved one that? Make self-care a priority every day. Throughout your day, make it a point to do things that nourish you and uplift you and try to reduce the draining things. Nourish mind, body, & soul EVERY DAY!