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I’m talking self-care today because we are coming out of a pandemic, and who couldn’t use a little extra self-love?
I believe through struggle comes strength, and the truth is a lot of people are struggling.
Do you know what struggling through a pandemic makes you? It makes you human.
When you think of self-care, what do you think of? I think most of us think of spa days, treating ourselves to something sweet, or maybe buying a new outfit. These are all forms of self-care.
Self-care means different things for different people. A lot of self-care cannot be bought. It’s a series of decisions. The decision to be more disciplined, to address our toxic thoughts, to prioritize our mental health, and to put our happiness over our history.
Self-love is the best love, and sometimes it takes dedication to truly feel it.
Self-care means holding ourselves accountable. It’s important to me personally and important for our community to heal and grow.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to “self-care.”
Being mindful of what we say is as important as what goes on in the mind. It’s a practice of self-recognition and understanding. Have you heard of manifesting? This is the practice of thinking/speaking about what you want into your life. If you are constantly being negative and feeling down, then you are going to attract negative energy. Stay positive, think happy thoughts, and share love. You get in what you put into this life, so be mindful of what you think and speak. Positive vibes are not just a trend; it’s a way of being.
Setting and sustaining boundaries is a skill. It means knowing and understanding what your limits are. You can show love better if you focus on yourself first, and we’ve all probably heard that “you cannot pour from an empty cup.” Boundaries set your expectations for yourself as much as what you expect from other people. Poor boundaries lead to resentment, anger, and feeling burnt-out. We set the standard for how we should be treated so we must lead by example.
3. Conscious consuming
The things you eat and drink, the music you listen to, the things you watch, and the people you surround yourself with—anything you are putting into your mind and body is what you’re consuming. You cannot eat McDonald’s every day and then expect to feel good. You are what you eat, and you can apply this to all aspects.
A body in motion stays in motion. Consistent exercise is proven to make you happier, healthier, and overall more productive. Exercise is one of the easiest ways to show your self-love. Yoga is one of my personal favorites!
Go drink some now; your body will thank you! Make hydration part of your daily routine and save some plastic by using a refillable water bottle. There are so many benefits to being properly hydrated. Self-love can be simple.
Self-love and gratitude are habits that should be part of our daily lives. Make a mental list when you wake up and go to sleep. An attitude of gratitude is so important and if you don’t believe me, believe science! It has been shown that it affects your brain and releases dopamine.
Get a full night’s sleep or take occasional naps. Listening to your body and its needs is important. You don’t have to earn rest. Good sleep cultivates mental wellness along with a healthier body. Self-love means sleep!
There is medicine in movement. Turn on your favorite song and dance like nobody’s watching. Dancing improves mind and body connection, helps increase self-esteem, and tones your muscles. Movement is vibration, so vibe high and connect with yourself.
Yes, I mean from social media. Put your phone down and plug back into real life. Being present and mindful in the moment is a huge act of self-care that not only benefits ourselves but all of the people around us. We won’t be distracted by comparison if we are captivated by purpose.
One of my favorite acts of self-care. Good for us and the environment. Being in the sun with your hands in the dirt is an all-organic stress reliever. Studies have shown that bacteria in the soil can help with depression. Don’t have a garden? Pull some weeds or volunteer at Aunt Katie’s community garden.
11. Alone time
Sit with yourself and your own thoughts. Healing comes from feeling and it helps to have a clear mind. Adding alone time to your routine is a great way to discover yourself, relax, and recharge. Taking care of your basic needs is a simple way to treat yourself well and get to know yourself better.
Find your favorite feel-good song and play it! Or try listening to hertz tones at night or while meditating. Music goes hand in hand with self-love, and there are plenty of studies to prove the positive effects. When you listen to music, listen intentionally and be mindful of how it impacts you emotionally.
Your space is a reflection of you. If your area is messy, chances are you’re going to be more anxious or depressed. Cleanliness is next to godliness; the idea is ancient and simple. Try reorganizing and getting rid of the things that no longer serve you. Minimalism is an act of self-care in itself. Fewer things mean fewer worries. Donate to your local shelter and make sure your donations are being given to places that pay it forward instead of making a profit.
Write down your goals, your ideas, and your thoughts. Putting things down on paper turns your dreams into plans. Did you know that most successful people write things down? Your mind becomes more efficient by focusing on the things that really matter when you do.
15. Prayer and Meditation
Whatever this means for you, it’s healthy. Spiritual self-care means connecting to something larger than you. Practice self-care in a way that supports your efforts to be more connected to a higher calling.
Spend time with the people you love or connect with people you have never met. Share, grow, and support the people around you. Allowing yourself to be more connected to others is a good investment in your well-being.
Detox your life from all negative substances. Use care products that don’t contain toxins. I might sound like a hippie, but I sleep better at night knowing I’m not pumping extra chemicals into my body.
18. Shadow work
Find out why you are the way that you are; then work on it. Self-love is a never-ending journey. There is always room for growth, and shadow work is the process of recognizing the painful parts of ourselves that continuously cast shadows into our lives. When we are aware of our weaknesses, we are more open to working on them. Honor your inner child. When our needs were unmet as children, the result is trauma that shows up in our adult lives. It’s never too late to heal.
Life doesn’t have to be so serious. Go outside and play, ride a bike, jump on a trampoline, take a walk, go swimming, read a book, cook, or go explore! We are not here just to pay bills and die. Live your life to the fullest.
20. Prioritize your happiness
You are worthy of the love you give to other people. Treating your mind, body, and soul with love is the ultimate form of self-care.
Try adding one, or more, or all of these things to your daily routine, and remember: self-care is not selfish!