Life is rough, this we know. With everything going on in the world, in addition to our personal lives, somehow our own well being often times goes on the back burner. This brings me to the issue of self care. Self care includes any intentional actions you take to care for your physical, mental and emotional health. That being said, it’s obviously very important. However, unfortunately, many people lack good self care habits. Our health in every aspect sustains us. People struggle with self care for a multitude of reasons, but if we don’t take care of ourselves, the stress of life will consume us. While self care is different for everyone, I’ve put together a list of helpful steps to take on your self care journey.
1. Take time to rest.
This may seem simple, but it’s not always easy to get the rest we need. Most of us live hectic lives. Between work, school, organizations, extracurricular activities and the like, we take rest for granted. Our body needs rest; that’s when it heals. Resting is one of the ten commandments for crying out loud (“remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy” ring a bell?) If it’s in the Holy Book, you know it’s important.
If you’re lazy like me, this is probably the last thing you want to do. However, we have 206 bones and 640 muscles that we need to use. Exercise releases endorphins (which make you happy) as well as helps to release stress, therefore, benefiting us both mentally and physically. Even though no one wants to do it, it will make you feel so much better in the long run.
Journaling is a great way to get your feelings out without having to go to another person. Journal how you feel, your goals, your strengths, your weaknesses and how you want to improve yourself. Sometimes writing things down is therapeutic in itself. It’s also cool to look back on your past journals and see how you’ve grown.
4. Treat yo’ self.
Seriously, sometimes you just need to treat yourself. Do some retail therapy, treat yourself to your favorite food, buy the shoes and don’t feel guilty about it, or whatever it is that you want. It’s important to discipline ourselves and tell ourselves no, but sometimes, just say yes. Life is short, it’s ok to enjoy it.
5. Put your phone down
This is a big one. According to most mothers, all of our problems are because we’re “always on that phone.” While the technology of today is amazing, mama might have a point. Having the internet at our finger tips can leave us over-stimulated. There are so many horrible things going on in the world, and looking at the internet can expose us to so much at one time. Sometimes, we just need to put our phones down, turn the tv off, and just spend time doing something else. All the negativity can be draining and stressful.
6. Change your eating habits.
Watch the food you’re consuming. Even if you have no desire to change your physical appearance, making healthier dietary choices is still important. So many foods are packed with hormones and GMOs, they can have a negative affect on our health. Even making small changes such as adding more greens to your diet, or cutting out sugary drinks can make a huge difference,
7. Surround yourself with positive people.
Having a support system is so important. There have been times that had it not been for my friends and family, I don’t know if I could have made it. Surround yourself with people who speak life into you rather than being negative. We feed off of the energy around us, so surround yourself with people who are spreading positivity.
8. Create goals for yourself.
Creating goals for yourself is great because it allows you see your growth. If you have something to work towards, you’ll be constantly pushing yourself. Set deadlines for yourself, and create long term and short term goals. When you reach those goals, the feeling of accomplishment you feel will be outstanding. Even if you don’t hit the deadlines you set, you’ll see that you’re a lot further than where you used to be.
9. Find out what makes you happy.
At the end of the day, all we have is our health and our happiness. Find out what makes you happy, and try to incorporate it into your everyday life.
10. Prayer and Meditation
Even if you aren’t religious, I believe prayer is a beautiful concept. It brings so many people peace of mind. Take time to pray, meditate, and be alone. Meditation clears your mind and broadens the horizon of your thoughts. It’s a healthy way to channel your feelings and deal with stress.
11. Remove yourself from toxic situations.
This may be one of the hardest things to do, but one of the most important. A flower cannot grow where there is no sun. Staying in a toxic situation will suck the life out of you. In order to flourish, you must separate yourself. Elevation requires separation.