The Art Of Boring Self-Care

The Art Of Boring Self-Care

What introspection lacks in intrigue, it makes up for in importance.

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Can we have a moment?

Check in with yourself. When was the last time you took a pause, took a breath, really thought about where you're at and how you are feeling?

It is incredibly easy to get caught up in the day-to-day monotony that is human existence. It is nearly impossible to see past the cloud of deadlines, business casual, interviews, bitter coffee, stale donuts, grocery shopping, rent--the list goes on for decades.

It's hard to sift out the unimportant tasks from the ones that really matter, especially when the unimportant tasks are mindless but indulgent.

So let's take a moment. Deep breath. You don't have to squeeze in a yoga class to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. How are you? Take longer than a second to answer that question. Maybe you are fine, but let's expand our default response to one that is actual, one that is genuine--how are you?

What is your body telling you? Do you need water? How long has it been since you've taken a walk, or danced, or used your body as more than just a medium to take your laptop from your car to the coffee shop?

Have you been in the sun for longer than it takes for the walk-sign to turn on? Has your nose been buried in social media all morning? Take a break from your screen, your Twitter feed will still be as relentlessly political and obnoxious when you come back. I promise.

Self-care is more than just a face mask and a bubble bath. It looks different for everyone. You can't always just peel an avocado and drink some detox tea and expect a miracle. Self-care is an ongoing process. Find a healthy balance between indulgence and restriction. Eat what makes your whole body feel good, not just what makes your heart or mind satisfied.

You will get the job you want. You will get your degree.

You will go to wonderful concerts, drink coffee that tastes like magic, meet people who have sunshine in their souls, see sunsets that make you believe in heaven. Your life will happen. You have time. Your life will happen.

So let's take a moment.

Breathe.

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs. In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm..

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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I Have Always Had This Fear Of Rejection But Now I Am Learning To Be Unapologetically Unfit

Embrace the "unfit" pieces, go with your gut, and don't apologize for being you.

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I always thought the phrase "be yourself" was just a common suggestion spewed off by comforting grandparents and older siblings that wanted you to feel comfortable in your own skin. I really didn't even know what it meant, except that it seemed to be used as a response to a negative event and as a kid those words meant nothing - you just wanted to fit in. You wanted the bad feeling to go away.

Since I can remember I have felt this irrational fear of rejection - constantly feeding into the belief system that I had to have certain things, behave a certain way, be a certain type of friend and daughter and worker to be the best version of myself. What if those things weren't me at all? In those attempts, I was only trying to be something - more and different - I didn't really like who I was, but now I think that's just because I never got to know WHO that was. Feeling different from a lot of people as a kid, and even more so as I got older, changing myself seemed like the answer.

There was a very nervous image in my mind about being out of ordinary, being on my own. It made me scared to stick up for myself, hesitant to disagree, concerned that people might not like the person in hiding. Concerned that I might not like her either. A people pleaser at heart, there was a guilty pleasure I felt in pleasing myself. One part of me dreamed about how magical it would be to take care of myself in the way I do others - I could be the best friend I ever had. But the other felt safe in this corner of appeasement that was undoubtedly dangerous.

For years I said no to a lot of things I would have loved and yes to a lot of things I did not. I had a behavior based on response and there was always something missing. Even in college, I wasn't choosing things for me, but instead, for this plan I had that "made sense", one that would make people proud, make me liked and successful and worthy. Even if I didn't see it in my own eyes.

I always loved writing but didn't tell anyone for 7 years, scared that people would judge me or think what I had to say was stupid. I never thought that I could write articles one day - ones that people actually wanted to read, but I do now and I've gotten better feedback than I ever imagined. Up to this point, it's my proudest accomplishment. It could turn into something because I took the chance to go off my perfect path of business degrees and money. I didn't share the interest with anyone in my family, nor many of my friends, but I fell in love with it anyway. How freeing it was, the ability it gave me to finally let go. Every part made me feel 100% real and it was the first time I could feel my own authenticity. It made me very different from the people around me, the things I admitted to and how I chose to illustrate my story. But, for the first time, the difference was worth the fear it instilled.

Relationships were applicable just like writing. I was scared to be in one, usually concerned that it would cause me to lose close friendships or miss out on "opportunities." I wanted to love someone, badly, but I chose not to get too close. I knew it would be harder to actively please others while simultaneously fostering a romantic relationship. I would come to walk away from many relationships, for this reason, each time wondering if I would get another shot and usually terrified I wouldn't. I wanted my own feelings to matter more than what other people thought. I wanted to be strong enough to not care.

In this very moment, I can see, I can even feel, that being different, for me, may just be the most fulfilling thing I can do. Being like other people, trying to make them happy at the expense of myself, didn't get me very far. I know I will always care, but I'm learning to care for "me" just as much. I am starting to see that something will always be missing if I don't let myself embrace the "unfit" pieces I tried to stuff away.

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