Why is Self Care So Important Anyway?
There's a lot of self care talk lately, and with good reason. Self care is so important for sustained wellness. Not just physical, but mental as well! When you hear the term 'self care', I'm sure you think, as do I, of pedicures and body scrubs. However, self care is also about your mental well being and the state of your spiritual health.
I think we live in a society that is obsessed more so now than ever I think with the hustle, and "grind mode". Now, while I definitely subscribe to this ideology, lol, I'm learning (with age) how equally vital having a sound mind and heart is. When I'm focused on strictly going in beast mode day after day, week after week, month after month, I'm most likely paying little attention to a LOT of areas in my life. For example, some days I work so hard on setting up my online business, I forget to eat (right, ME, forgetting to eat, who woulda thunk it?!). Or, some months, I'm so dialed in to creating content for my Youtube channel, I don't check in with my friends--like not even once! And while I understand and fully agree with the concept that "you CAN have it all, just not all at once", I think I can do a better job of balance 70% of the time.
Benefits of Taking the Time to Care For Yourself
Self care habits remind us of how valuable we are, to ourselves, our Creator, and anyone we attempt to love. When you care about yourself enough to check in mentally and spiritually, and break free from the noise of life, you're able to enjoy life as a whole so much more. When I remember to take a break from writing all day, and go have a chat with my mom or girlfriend, I'm practicing self care. How? Because my life is more than work and what doing good work can produce. Goals are nice, I LOVE the grind! But, it's nicer to let my mind be engaged in heartfelt activities and gut blasting laughter with people who love me!
Good self care means eliminating stress more often than being drown by it! As I mentioned above, I'm a millennial, we love to work! But with having such big goals, comes a lot of stress. If I don't allow myself a breather every month, I can't possibly continue in any field for long. Burnout is real, trust me. Therefore, be intentional about taking breaks from work and anything that makes you nervous about work. I'm adjusting to this, because it silently says, I love myself more than my credentials or what anyone perceives of me.
Who Needs to Practice Self Care?
I think far too often women get the nod as the only ones who need to engage in "self care". I contribute this idea to the concept that self care is all about manicures, salon visits, and spa dates. All of those are awesome, and CAN definitely be branches on the tree of taking good care of yourself. However, I'm convinced that there's a ton of men out there who can benefit from some basic self care goals as well!
While it doesn't have to be the physical things, like those mentioned above, men should partake in the things that allow them to feel disconnected every now and again as well. Maybe it's playing golf or basketball with the boys, having their favorite dinner--ALONE one night, or even just having a "staycation" in the same city as their residence. The point is, men need to show themselves love as well! I'm always in such awe of how selfless and hardworking men can be! My dad is incredibly "guilty" of both of them, lol, and it's a joy to see him relax in his man cave with his favorite wine on the weekends!
How Can We Add More Better Habits Into Our Lifestyles?
Alright! Now that we're all clear on the many facets of the term "self care", let's take a fun approach to discussing some examples! I know you know all about the super relaxing and fun options of caring for yourself (that are indeed important!), like massages and blow outs.
But for today, I've chosen to dive deeper. I've challenged myself by listing self care habits from A-Z, all involving caring for yourself mentally & spiritually. Because let's be real. I can get a facial every week until I'm 60, this Earth suit will one day just give in, and do what it's supposed to do. Die and fail me in some way, lol. I know how morbid that sounds, but it's reality! I think we should eat healthy, stay active, and get those things we enjoy like scrubs and take care of our skin. But my point is, investing in the health of your mind and the condition of your heart will last forever! Knowing what you're grounded in and what makes you feel confident in who you are, needs to be rooted in habits that continually remind you that you're valuable, worthy, and strong!
So, let's dive in and go for it! These are all things that I'm STILL trying to get right, so don't mistake my eloquent writing and sometimes passive voice for expertise. God is still fixing it for me yall! lol. I hope you enjoy them and that they inspire you to think the very best thoughts about who you are and who you want to become!
*** Insert fireworks and glitter:-)
Goals: Self Care Habits from A-Z
Allow room for absolute worst.
Because things won't always go as planned! Expecting them to is both unrealistic and a little boring! Not stressing out when we have to switch gears to plan B to somehow make plan A work will probably help us appreciate plan A when we DO nail it. Cuz you know we're gonna SOOO nail it eventually, right? :-)
Budget your life; all of it.
I bet you're thinking, okay, how is budgeting good self care? Glad you asked! When we love ourselves and want to take the best care of ourselves we're intentional.
We design our lives to be a reflection of growth, when we actually WANT to grow!
So setting up a budget shows that we're investing in our mental well being, by doing all we can to eliminate going crazy that is sure to follow being broke. Just saying, lol.
Crush all negative head talk!
Okay, I'm sure you all will agree with me on this. The jacked up stuff we allow to run through our heads, is sometimes far worse than anything anyone would actually say to us in real life. So stop letting it! Fight back in your mind, and pray against those thoughts as soon as they pop up! Yes, self care involves fighting, lol. Your self esteem is at stake when you let the lies of your insecurities run rampant! So Imma need you to get just 3 quarters thug here for a moment, and tell those negative thoughts to get lost!
Discover hidden talents.
I genuinely enjoy realizing I'm good at something I never knew I could do! When you try new things, you're making little deposits into that well roundedness jar, and that's always healthy for your spirit! So often we house so many dormant gifts, that are just waiting to be discovered. Plus discovering hidden talents and learning new things, keeps us excited for life in general!
End your fascination with the past.
Living in your past mistakes is doing nothing for your future and absolutely not practicing good self care! We must leave the past BACK there, because we're not going that way!
Loving myself means I'm not hung up on who I could have been, how I should have done it, or why they aren't here. It means saying things to myself like, "Wow, look how far you've come? And to think, it can only get better from here!"
Forgive quickly, often.
Forgiveness sets you free! Nothing screams I care about myself like doing all you can to GET and most importantly STAY free! Forgiving others also makes you gracious for all those times people have forgiven you:-)
Guard your heart, obsessively.
And I'm not just talking about romantic relationships (although you should most CERTAINLY guard your heart there girl! lol), but I'm saying guard your heart from all things! From the media and what they say is beautiful, from music that makes you feel degraded as a woman, from friends who knowingly or unknowingly plant seeds of gossip or foul language--ALL THINGS!
Because while music, gossip, and all those things seem harmless, they have a sneaky little way of seeping into your heart and consciousness.
Sooner or later, what's in your heart will come out in your lifestyle. Don't get caught up, fight back!
Help others with less hesitation.
I'm ashamedly making this a goal asap! I help others, but I could do so much more. I reflect on how freaking AMAZING I feel when I know I've truly helped someone, and it's addicting. Hesitation comes in the form of thinking, "Oh well, it's gonna be weird to just OFFER doing that!", or "I bet someone else can probably give more than me, so I'll let them do it".
Stopping those thoughts dead in their tracks and getting out there to help others, will be such a big step in caring for myself better! Because serving others, makes me a better person and servant all around!
Hey, you know this one had to make the list! Eat the ice cream, grab the burger, drink the glass of wine:-) But I say, do it all responsibly! When I indulge in cheat meals, or things that aren't in my normal diet, I always plan them out! Try to plan it out for the week or month, when you'll let yourself enjoy those not so healthy treats. It's recommended by most dietitians to allow yourself a day of indulgence, so you can keep up with your health goals in the long run! As long as you don't go crazy and pig out for the entire day, or have 3 cheat meals in 1 week. Self care makes room for the OCCASIONAL indulgence, in other words, treat yo'self!
Jam it out, when all else fails.
The power of music! Sometimes we NEED that random morning jam around the house to pump us up for work, or that extra dramatic sing sesh when you're going through a breakup. Girl, get yo life. I mean it. Pretend you're on that stage, killing that song!
Because music is medicine, and if you can lose yourself for a few minutes in some fun tunes, do it!
Be good to yourself by HAVING FUN when all seems to be failing around you! It'll help take the edge off, and far less complicated than drugs, lol, kidding, not really, lol.
Keep an accountability partner near.
I just recently discovered the power of an accountability partner, and if you have yet to do so, man, you're missing out! Having a trusted friend that knows the areas you struggle with making improvements in is VITAL to your self care. Being out here all alone trying to be a better human, isn't easy, because I for 1, allow myself far too much grace, lol. But if I'm a recovering gambler, and I have an accountability partner that I can call, right before I get out of my car in that casino parking lot--I'm practicing an extremely high level of self care. This is because I'm choosing self control, by way of positive influence, to help me become a better version of myself. That's love!
Let people in!
I desperately struggle with letting people in. Not entirely because I think I know everything, lol, but because vulnerability is scary! But if I'm honest with myself, self care HAS to involve letting people in on the deep things that plague me. It for 1, alleviates some of the physical burden that comes from going through a trial. How many of you can agree that when you're going through something, I mean REALLY toiling with a thing, and you share it with someone you trust--you instantly feel better PHYSICALLY? Because it's all related, the body & spirit! And for 2, (is that proper English? I should know these things, lol, smh!), it's not mentally sound to carry so much on my own!
If we're aiming to have good self care habits, we must let people in! But make sure it's trustworthy people:-)
Make time to eat real food!
Even girl bosses need to eat! I'm guilty of having had a mentality that "eating right now will slow me down!". Which would result in me just grabbing something random, which was a) a waste of money and b) usually not the healthiest option! When I started my fitness journey years ago, I decided that loving myself HAD to mean loving my body. This meant taking the time to put healthy stuff in it. Fast forward 5 years, and I've gone vegan, to now pescatarian, developing, photographing, and sharing a ton of healthy recipes here on my blog and Youtube! Eating healthy CAN be yummy guys, and is so key to caring for yourself!
Never compromise what you believe in.
This is hard, especially for women, and I totally get why. We're natural born givers, it's in our DNA! But in the words of somebody from the TV (I can't remember who right now, sorry, lol, but I'm going somewhere with this, hang on, lol!), if you don't love yourself, how the heck are you gonna love anybody else? In other words, compromising in what you believe in is not loving yourself--so whoever you're bending over for, you won't properly be able to love them either, eventually! So you may as well, honor your beliefs 1st! See your morals as valuable, important, and non negotiable. Then use that stability in who you are, to efficiently offer love to those around you:-)
Operate in life as your goal self, NOW.
The saying goes, "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have now", or something like that, yea? Nonetheless, live each day with the mindset that you already own your business, or that you're already a "fit" person. Even if you're in the super infant stages of both, good self care involves believing that you'll eventually fully walk into those things your desire for yourself! Start viewing life through the lens of who you want to become NOW, don't wait!
Because I've noticed that often we aren't attracted to the things themselves, we're attracted to the idea of being the kind of PERSON who harnesses those things.
So if you wanna be a boss, think like a boss, now!
Practice saying no with no, period mark.
I used to (sometimes still do, lol) have a habit of saying no to something, then adding 3-4 sentences of supporting evidence as to why I can't. Well, in doing so, I'm not only failing to practice self care, I'm also flirting with people pleasing. Let your No's be just that, NO! And it's not a matter of being impolite, but sometimes, it's really that simple, I just cannot do it. Because if I'm trying to engage in good self care, I won't dishonor my own well being to make others happy.
Quiet time can save your life; invest in it!
The 1st 30 minutes to 1 hour of my day belongs to God. It's my daily sacrifice to Him, and my therapy to myself! If I'm going to live in this body, I have to take care of this spirit, and spend time with the Spirit that guides it. Get quiet in your morning free time, for even just 15 minutes, and it'll grant you SO much peace for the day! You'll need it for that job where so and so gets on your last nerves, or for your husband who doesn't know you were 3 seconds from popping off, or for yourself--because sometimes YOU get on your own nerves! lol Am I alone in that?! It's true though! 😝
Respect yourself & others by being on time.
I'm STILL struggling with this guys, I won't lie to you. I'm about 80% there though, I promise you! The only way I began to get better with being punctual is by developing this mindset. It's a sign of respect for others when you're on time! If we want to respect even ourselves, we'll fight to be on time--and we all know, self respect is aligned with self care! Let's work on this together guys :-) Drop me a comment on some of your best tips for being on time! **I need them, lol**
Schedule pamper sessions.
Yaaaassss boo, the part we've all been waiting for! Get that massage, grab that Groupon for the mani/pedi, and most definitely book that reservation for the restaurant you've dreamed of dining at. Because you deserve to enjoy the tangible things in life, within your means. Plot these dates into your calendar according to your budget, so you don't feel guilty later, and can enjoy them with a clear conscious!
Take breaks from social media.
I do this often! I'd say I take one major break from all social media, each quarter of the year. If I'm trying to be good to myself, I have to unplug from the machine, and let REAL LIFE inspire me sometimes.
It's so easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing, and to feel inferior because you're not! Love yourself enough to break out and appreciate what you've got going on in life!
Understand that some seasons will suck, period.
This is just the truth, and no one wants to hear it. Some seasons of your life will just suck. They'll be almost unbearable, and no amount of self help books, podcasts, or youtube guru subscriptions will make the seasons pass by any faster. You're just going to have to go through them. Learn through them. But you will GET through them:-) Tough times come to make us strong, and if we TRULY want to practice good self care, we'll appreciate the rain and the sunny days. Flowers need both to grow:-) Just keep going!
Validate yourself, don't wait for someone else to do it.
I've learned that waiting on other people to validate me is a prescription for failure. I can't let the words & actions of my man, my job, or even my family determine if I think I'm special. Self care means I KNOW I'm special, because the God of the whole universe took the time to craft me. And He makes no mistakes. People, careers, and possessions come and go. So if you base your value in them, what will be left in how your see yourself, if they exit your life?!
Wear only what makes you feel aahhh-mazing!
I mean really, do I have to add some extra text here?! lol. You know you can't let the trends dictate your closet! Wear what you KNOW will make you feel confident and look your best! So what if you don't look good in a turban and every blogger is rocking one! But you DO look bomb in some Marley braids, so get out there and SLAY in those braids queen!
X-out that to do list err'day!
In other words, let's be diligent and productive every day!
I have a seriously weird ability to go extremely hard with work, AND ridiculously hard with leisure. Sometimes, the scales don't balance, and I have to pull it together, ya'll.
The truth is, being a good steward of our time is self care, because it shows that we ARE capable of having balance. It proves that we value both! So make that to do list, and X that boy out, erryday! I know I will :-)
Yank off every label from society.
Whether you're a woman or man, black or white, educated or non. Society puts some imaginary label on your forehead from early on. Granted some races and groups of people undoubtedly carry more unwarranted labels than others, it's still not cool on a general scale. But as I always say, just because they're serving it, doesn't mean you have to eat it! Refusing to believer you're lazy because you're Black, you're weak because you're a woman, or that you'll be unsuccessful because of your home town--is all self love! We are far more powerful than we realize!
Z's matter just as much as the hustle, don't fall for the hype.
Let me tell ya'll something. Sleep is delicious. It's magical. Addictive. All those things. And just because I enjoy it, doesn't mean I'm not grinding, I don't care what your favorite motivational speaker is saying! Act like you love yourself, and get some rest! Because you are useless to everyone, including yourself, if you're not functioning at your very best. How do we function at our best? Proper rest and restoration.
The hustle is gonna be there, but you have to be healthy to even enjoy the fruit of the grind!
We're In This Self-Care Thing Together!
That's right, we're in this together:-) So if you're struggling with doing any of these tips, I'd love to discuss in the comment section, or send me a message! I'm convinced that a lot of our issues are rooted in not taking the time to care for ourselves, and tend to our lifestyles. It all begins with self--wanting to be respected & loved by others, depends on how you respect and care for yourself! So I plan to keep fighting towards doing these things, and encouraging you guys to do them as well:-)
If you enjoyed this post, share it with a friend, so they can be inspired as well! Also, link with me on Instagram, Pinterest, and make sure you watch my latest Youtube video! If you like lifestyle blog posts like this, click HERE to see more, and don't forget to sign up for my email list! I hate spam, so don't worry, lol, but I will send you a weekly recap of my blog post & 2 Youtube videos, because life is busy--and girl..I get it, lol. So sign up here, to never miss a post from me, and to get 1st updates on giveaways, free recipe books, and other resources.
I'm so grateful for all of you, and until next time, bye loves! 💋