Join Me In Redefining What 'Self-Care' Really Means

Join Me In Redefining What 'Self-Care' Really Means

True self-care is important and should be maintained daily and with purpose in order to be effective. Here are some ways to prioritize and maintain your mental and physical health during your busy life.
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During winter break, with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays and family reunion, it is very important to slow down our busy lives and take time for ourselves. Self-care is defined by Dictionary.com as “care of the self without medical or other professional consultation.”

However, shouldn’t self-care reach beyond the physical aspects of picking up some over-the-counter drugs, putting on a face mask, going on a shopping spree, or taking a bubble bath? Shouldn’t the effects of self-care last longer than the physical acts of relaxation done on your days off? With a so much emphasis in today’s fast-paced society on reaching one’s “full potential,” it is alarming that the importance of self-care is often brushed under the rug.

True self-care is important and should be maintained daily and with purpose in order to be effective. Here are some ways to prioritize and maintain your mental and physical health during your busy life.

1. Write in a journal.

Take time for yourself to reflect and write about your life. While leading such busy lives, time can seem to go by so fast. Take time to slow down and reflect on your day. This can be as simple as a few sentences. Not everything needs to be shared and documented on social media for everyone to see. Sometimes it is important to sit back and write about your daily happenings without an audience.

2. Be OK with being alone.

Doing things alone allows you time to think and reflect. When constantly surrounded by others, it is so easy to get sucked into the “groupthink” mentality. So take yourself out to dinner, people watch at the local coffee shop, go on a walk, close the door and be OK with just being alone.

3. Set goals and rewards.

Set short and long-term realistic goals and rewards for yourself when you reach them. A big part of self-care is helping yourself reach your full potential and appreciate the work and effort you put in, even if others don't.

4. Cut out toxic people.

You become the company you keep. Putting energy into toxic people will end up hurting you. Choose to spend time with people who build you up, not break you down. You deserve better.

5. Realize when you need a break.

We’ve all been there. Feeling completely worn out; burnt out on our daily lives. This is the time when self-care is the most important. Listen to yourself and trust yourself when you aren’t happy in a situation. Take time to regroup and reassess. Doing something that you aren’t excited or passionate about is not worth the trouble.

Cover Image Credit: Julianna Merry

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Go Confidently In The Direction Of Your Dreams

Confidence is contagious. Catch it. Spread it.
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Being confident is the best thing you can be. Having confidence in yourself brings you so much happiness and takes you closer to accomplishing your dreams because believing "you can" is half of the battle.

"How I feel about myself is more important than how I look. Feeling confident, being comfortable in your skin, that's what really makes you beautiful." - Bobbi Brown

Remember that life is too short to do anything other than what you love. Don't waste your time comparing yourself to others, or even worse, tearing them down. Love and appreciate yourself as the gift that you are, because nothing would be the same if you didn't exist. Reflect on all of the people that love you and take the time to show them some love in return. Count your blessings and say thank you. Stop stressing the little things and relax.

So, what is confidence?

Confidence is...

believing in yourself and your abilities.

saying I can and I will.

self-love and self-respect.

speaking up when you have something to say.

feeling beautiful without needing someone to tell you.

standing up for what you believe in.

being a friend.

forgiveness.

putting yourself out there.

helping others see their own worth.

knowing you deserve the success you achieve.

spreading positivity.

never giving up.

inspiring others.

being proud of yourself and where you came from.

being a leader.

smiling.

having fears and facing them anyway.

Confidence is something worth spreading.

Be so confident that when others look at you they become confident too. You have the power to change your life at any time, be that person you've always wanted to be.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.

Cover Image Credit: Emily Beltran

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The Scars That Are Left Behind: Part 2

Words hurt more than you could ever imagine.
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It blows my mind that people think two words can make everything okay. They think that just because they apologize, everything will be magically changed. Well, NEWS FLASH, "I'm sorry," doesn't change what you did. It never has and it never will.

See also: The Scars That Are Left Behind

I have sat on this for weeks. Thinking that maybe I would be okay with it. That maybe I was over reacting. That maybe what he said wasn't too bad. Well, it was bad, it was beyond hurtful, and I am not over it.

It was on Instagram, the social media of the angels and demons. A picture that was posted MONTHS before he even saw it. He also never followed me. He sought me out to post something so hurtful that nobody could ever say to another person's face, unless they are the most disgusting person alive.

Let's set the mood of the picture first. It was the last day of my summer beach trip with one of my best friends. We were having a great time, had a few drinks, and wanted to make sure that we documented how much fun we had that week. Honestly, we spent a good 20 minutes trying to get the perfect picture that we both loved. It was finally approved by both of us and it was good to go (cover photo is said picture).

Now fast forward roughly six months and somebody posted this comment: "amazing how you stomach fits in that even though it stretching it out." Thirteen words that changed me. I have spent a good portion of my life hating the way I looked until a couple of years ago. I finally accepted who I was and learned to be okay with it. Those words he typed from behind his phone screen absolutely ruined me. I look in the mirror and hate who I see, what I see. I don't see somebody who is confident in her looks, I don't see a 22 year-old woman who has gone through so much to get to where she is today, all I see is some disgusting human being. For days after his comment, I didn't eat, and if I did, I would excuse myself to expel every last bit of it from my body. I spent my nights crying myself to sleep. I made myself believe I didn't have a boyfriend and guys don't show interest in me because of the way that I look. I convinced myself that because he said it, it was true and everybody believed it. I still think people believe it and in all honesty, I still believe it.

Body image is a huge thing. It takes one person to ruin everything that somebody works for. The moment I read that comment, I was ruined. Sure I joked about it with my friends so they wouldn't see how bad it hurt me, but it did, it does, and I think it always will.

The next day, I mustered up enough courage to send him a message and this was our conversation:

Me: The fact that you think what you said was any kind of okay is a testament to who you are and how you were raised.You think that what you say will never matter and never hurt anybody, but your words have power. A young woman these days could spend days telling herself she is beautiful and it takes one person to ruin everything she has worked for. I don't know who you are, your gender, or anything at all except for the fact that you have ZERO regard for others.
Orlandofanpage44: sorry God bless you <3
Me: I sincerely hope you learn from this and NEVER think it is okay to treat a woman the way you treated me. Next time think how you would feel if somebody said those things about you, or better yet, your children. It may not make a difference if they were said to you, but imagine how your child would feel is somebody said those exact words about them. Think before you act. Watch what you say.

Since this conversation the person has since changed their username or just blocked me completely, but this isn't for them. It's for me to finally be free. Hoping and praying that maybe letting all of this out, will somehow free me of all doubt and hatred towards myself.

Cover Image Credit: Leah Alfaro

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