“Self-care is how you take your power back.”
– Lalah Delia
I've read too many articles that talk refer to self-care as something you do now and again.
...like pamper yourself with a medi-pedi or go on vacay.
While I certainly advocate for these awesome activities, this is not my definition of consistent self-care.
But as this Forbes article explains perfectly, self care is not an indulgence. It's a discipline.
We are living in a world that has put enormous burdens on us and sometimes the circumstances can be too much to bear.
So many of us are giving and giving and giving, and not realizing that our reserve tank has also depleted and are running on empty, and this is how a lot of mental and emotional breakdowns happen.
You have to take significantly better care of yourself, put yourself first and not in a selfish way.
I think the act of taking care of yourself must be done every single day, because we are constantly put in situations that require us to be at our best, and we can't do that on an "empty battery"
So here are 10 self-care tips that you can practise every day for your mental health and well being.
1. Setting clear boundaries at work, relationships
Too many of us have a problem with saying "no" and it can cause some serious burnout when you are compromising yourself to take on things that you don't even like or didn't sign up for.
Yes it is much easier said than done but working on deep seated issues like fear of rejection or a deep need will help you significantly.
2. Develop self awareness
There is nothing more dangerous than not being self-aware.
Constantly looking on the outside for answers or for guidance instead of relying on your own is a recipe for disaster.
You must seek to understand yourself and your weaknesses and strengths, and how damaging your negative emotions can impact yourself and those around you if unchecked.
This is a crucial skill that you must develop.
It can save your life.
3. Movement is crucial
Whatever you have to do to stay physically active, please do so.
Every time you are active, the brain rewards us by releasing dopamine hormone into our bloodstream which causes us to be much more active, alert and ready to take on even the most brutal of days.
Exercise is essential to do, even if it means buying a jump rope and dumbells, moving the furniture in your living room, popping in a DVD and doing some aerobics every morning before work or the evening when you get home.
Do what you can with what you have.
Your body will reward you!
4. Know When To Stop
Some of us don't have an off switch!
You are either working too hard, or partying too hard or both, which is a deadly combination.
You know yourself best and you know when your "go-hard" mode takes its toll.
Do not neglect your need for rest, quality time with yourself and with the ones you love.
This is a very important form of self-care, understanding that you need to take time for yourself each day to remember who you are and "smell the roses".
5. Get Out Of Your Head
Now this is definitely my weakness.
I can get in my head about certain situations that cause anxiety and worry, draw irrational conclusions and then act on those assumptions.
I am usually wrong 99% of the time when I go down this route and I have paid dearly for acting on these conclusions!
Self-care is also about asking for help and not constantly relying on yourself for all the answers.
That can be disastrous.
6. Check Your Bad Habits
Over-indulging in bad habits only makes us feel worse.
Self-care means being honest with yourself enough to look at what you are doing that's not working and taking meaningful action to minimize it or remove it from your life completely.
You cannot be your best self if you keep finding an escape from your responsibilities.
7. Do Work That Fulfills You
Working at a dead end job for years and years can leave you mentally stagnant and emotionally jaded.
If this job is your only source of income, then do not quit.
What I am suggesting, for the sake of your own well being, is devising an exit plan.
Make the decision that you will leave that soul sucking job at a certain date.
Put it down in your calendar, create a plan and work your butt off on Plan B.
8. Create A Sacred Routine For Yourself
This can be a morning routine, a daily walk, "soul talk" with your best friend in the world, whatever it is that makes you feel alive and energized.
Do something every day, just for you, that makes you feel whole.
9. Know When To Let Go
If you have been holding on to anger and resentment which has caused you to become bitter, always remember that the day you decide to let it go, you will be doing it for yourself and not the person who caused you pain.
I know, it is easier said than done, but this is a crucial form of self-care, finding yourself again and finally being happy is a gift that you deserve.
You do not have to live in the shadow of your pain and regrets.
10. Adjust Your Sails
You had certain plans for where you wanted to be by now, and maybe none of them have worked the way you thought they would.
Because of this, it has caused anger and resentment like I wrote about in point 9. You may ask "why did it work out for them and not for me?"
I don't have the answer to that, but you can adjust your boat sails by asking better questions like
"What else can I focus on that can ignite my passion and purpose?"
You have a lot to offer in this world, and focusing on that one thing that didn't pan out for you will only lead to even more bitterness.
There is more out there, you just have to claim it.
When the wind changes, adjust your sails!
Have these 10 self-care tips helped you understand the deeper meaning taking better care of yourself? Do comment below with your thoughts.