It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.”Mandy Hale
Who can agree that it is exhausting and nearly impossible to pour from an empty cup?
Many of us stretch ourselves thin with multitasking and catering to the needs of others. We make ourselves available for everything and anyone but…OURSELVES.
We’ll prepare dinner all week, help with homework, listen to our friend vent, celebrate our coworker’s new promotion, send the grieving neighbor flowers, give bae a massage, and come up with every excuse why we do not have time to do something for ourselves.
There is enough time for self-care. There is not enough time to make up for the life you’ll miss by not filling yourself up.”Jennifer Williamson
In our heads we think the more we help and the more we do—the better we’ll feel about our “belonging” in the world and in the eyes of others.
Well let me tell you, I’ve learned that is not the case and far from the truth. Leaving yourself out while constantly tending to others makes you feel worse.
Understanding what self-care really is, the benefits, and ways to practice self-care teaches us how to show up for ourselves first— so we can show up for others.
What is Self-Care?
Self-care is the practice of any intentional activity that improves and protects one’s own emotion, mental, spiritual, and physical states of well-being.
Self-care is a form of love. It allows us to be present and take care of ourselves.
Self-care teaches us how to treat ourselves so, we can teach others how to treat us. When we intentionally practice self-care we are showing ourselves and others that— we are human —we are important —we are a priority —we are worth it!
How Do We Benefit from Self-Care?
Practicing self-care makes us less susceptible to emotional health issues such as stress, depression, and anxiety. It teaches us how to identify and “feel” our feelings without labeling them as right or wrong.
No feelings are not facts, but they are ours. We do not have to be ashamed about how something or someone made us feel. It takes time to process feelings and get to the root cause.
Self-care teaches us to love ourselves for who we are in the moment—not who we’re wishing or working to become later.
Self-care improves and increases our emotional intelligence— teaching us how to maintain a healthy relationship with ourselves and others.
Mental self-care encourages and teaches us how to be more self-aware.
It is when we gain self-awareness, that we learn how to recognize and challenge debilitating cognitions.
Cognitive behavioral theories teach us how our thoughts influence our feelings and behaviors. That’s why we have to be very careful about what we allow in our headspace.
When we practice mental self-care, positive thinking is increased. We learn how to process and manage our thoughts—both positive and negative.
Additionally, we learn how to courageously face and cope with the uncertainties and changes of life.
Spiritual self-care is one facet of self-care that is not discussed much or understood as the others. However, it’s just as important!
So whether you identify as religious, spiritual, or indifferent—nurturing our spiritual needs is an essential part of self-care.
Spiritual self-care is the practice of connecting on a spiritual level and building a relationship with God (or your preferred Higher Power) and our deeper self.
We learn how to spend time with our true authentic selves and discover who we are and Whose we are.
Spiritual self-care gives us a sense of purpose and belonging. It teaches us how to cope during difficulty and crisis. How to mange feelings of being overwhelmed,
The practice of physical self-care is simply taking care of our body with proper diet, sleep, and exercise.
Additionally, we must also address our physical needs. In order to address the physical needs, we must pay attention and listen to our body.
How does our body talk to us you asked?
You know, like when we are exhausted and we think to ourselves, “It’s late, I should go to bed and finish up tomorrow”.
Or what about, not scheduling those important appointments to the doctor and dentist when we’re not feeling ourselves?
I have another one…
What about when those pants do not fit anymore??
Physical self-care helps us stay healthy, gives us energy, and makes us feel good.
What are Examples of Self-Care?
Just know that some of these self-care techniques and activities can cross over into multiple categories.
That’s perfectly ok!
Just find what works best for you.
- Attend Therapy or Counseling
- Acknowledge your feelings and work through them
- Ask for help
- Set boundaries
- Think before you act
- Stay in the present
- Write and say positive affirmations
- Admit your mistakes and apologize when you need to
- List things you love about yourself
- Forgive yourself and others
- Let it out and have a good cry
- Attend Therapy or Counseling
- Challegage and declutter your negative thoughts
- List things you’re grateful for
- Mind your own business
- Be intentional
- Do something creative
- Stop comparing yourself to others
- Plan a road trip
- Stop being the strong friend
- Listen to your favorite song or podcast
- Establish healthy relationships
- Have quiet alone time
- Get a spiritual advisor that aligns with your beliefs and values
- Attend a religious or spiritual service or event
- Read and study the Bible
- Read spiritual growth books
- Help others in need
- Release unhealthy relationships
- Go on a Sabbatical
- Listen to your body
- Get a massage or plan a whole spa day
- Have a dance party
- Establish a bedtime routine
- Change your eating habits
- Schedule and attend health appointments
- Have a staycation
- Laugh a lot
- Drink plenty of water
I hope you , ONE— enjoyed this post and learned the importance of self-care and why it is so necessary and TWO— learned different ways to practice self-care.
I know some of the self-care techniques listed might have struck a nerve because many of us think self-care is just going to the salon or taking a vacation.
But umm…IT’S MORE THAN THAT lol
Anywho, I hope that you now realize that you are worth it and you are encouraged to start being more intentional with practicing self-care!