We hear so much about the importance of self-care, especially during this challenging period we are all living through. I'm aware that it is easier said than done, or you may be unsure about what works best for you. You may feel that the idea of self-care does not help or make you feel any different once you attempt to do a suggested activity that was listed on a self-care list post.
Are we taking care of ourselves? Or, are we too busy trying to process all of the external and internal factors in our everyday lives? The truth is, we are no good at serving others and showing up in the world if we do not take care of ourselves first. Our mental health is not ample when we do not take the best care of ourselves.
Self-care does not only include maintaining our mental health. It also includes physical and emotional aspects of our existence. These are all major aspects of who we are as a whole, and they should be considered when paying attention to how we care for ourselves.
Often times, when the topic of self-care is discussed, there is usually a long list of suggestions of what people should do and what they should not do. I'm here to get you to look at the idea of it a little differently. Self-care is about doing something that caters to your own needs. It is doing something that you know you love. It is about taking a mental and physical break, even if it's simply taking a nap.
Self-care is about doing something that will make you feel better; It is doing something that will make you smile/laugh. It is about pouring into your cup and filling your own cup with love, reassurance, positivity, affection, and so much more. It is doing something that you genuinely enjoy that maybe you have not been able to do for a while.
Block Off “You-Time”
Sometimes we get so caught up in our overwhelmingly busy schedule and forget to make time for ourselves because most of our time is absorbed in everything happening in our daily lives. Work-life balance is a concept that many people fail to prioritize, which results in some of us stretching ourselves too thin and continuously making ourselves less of a priority.
If you have a hobby, make time to do that hobby. If you have not yet picked a hobby, I think it may be time to consider it. If you enjoy exercising, incorporate it into your schedule. If you enjoy listening to music, blast your favorite songs as loud as you want!
Get an extra 10 minutes of sleep, or take a nap when it is needed. Put your phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’ for some time in the day so you can have some time for peace and quiet. Block off time in your schedule where you will be unavailable to anybody but yourself. If your self-care is doing absolutely nothing, then do absolutely nothing! Relax!
Self-care is an act of loving yourself. Self-love is just as equivalent to the importance of self-care. Putting yourself first is an act of self-love, as well as self-care. Saying “No” when you do not want to do something, and preventing from overbooking your schedule is putting yourself first. Choosing to clear your schedule in order to have “me time” is putting yourself first.
Mindfulness Through Grounding
Mindfulness and self-awareness are also relevant when focusing in on your self-care. Mindfulness is a way of opening doors to and accessing our emotional, spiritual, and physical sense of ourselves. Becoming more aware of ourselves ties in with mindfulness and allows us to be more in touch with ourselves. One common way to practice mindfulness is through meditation.
I had to learn what worked best for me by paying more and more attention to things that genuinely make me happy and made me feel good while I was doing so. For example, I love nature. I enjoy going for walks and just spending time in the outdoors, in general.
Recently, I adopted the concept of grounding yourself, which is allowing yourself to connect your energy with the earth and allowing yourself to be present and centered. Sometimes I go out to a nearby park and lay/sit in the grass while I meditate and embrace my surroundings. This experience is even more fulfilling because I am planting myself in a space that brings me peace, contentment, and comfort. You have to find your space of peace! Grounding can also be used as a way to practice mindfulness.
Self-Care Should NOT be Expensive
A lot of people may feel overwhelmed with the idea that the act of self-care has to be something big and extravagant. The idea that self-care should be expensive for it to be effective is not the case. Self-care is priceless! Self-care is genuine!
This alone could lead to the notion that they do not have the time to really do anything for themselves, which could cause even more stress and anxiety. It is extremely important to make time for yourself. You owe it to yourself. Truth is, it is okay if it's just 10 minutes a day. Those 10 minutes will make a significant difference, believe me!
What we give to ourselves, how we care for ourselves, the way we treat ourselves all influence the level of self-care and self-love we have for our well-being. Be mindful that if one thing does not work for you, it is okay to try something else. You know yourself better than anyone. Don’t focus so much on what other people want for you or expect from you, but what you want and expect of yourself. Treat yourself how you would want someone else to treat you and care for you. Do for yourself the same way you do for others.
It is time to be a little bit more selfish with ourselves in order to give ourselves what we deserve – peace, love, and happiness. It is time to set boundaries with your environment. This includes your boss/supervisor, your kids/spouse, your colleagues/friends, and any other people in your life that crowd your schedule and prevent you from making yourself a priority.
Love on yourself a little extra starting today. You deserve it! It is time to believe that you deserve everything because you owe that to yourself.