Earlier this month, we celebrated Valentine’s Day, and it was all about our relational “love” connections. I hope you had your romantic dinner with your “Boo” and topped it off with wine and a fabulous chocolate dessert.
This week, I want to talk about another necessary type of love… self-love. This is the awareness of your well-being and happiness that is necessary before we can adequately love another.
One of the ways that we express love for ourselves is with self-care.
For some reason, a lot of women put themselves last. They care for others and make them a priority. Then they find little or no time to care for themselves.
We all aspire to be “superwomen” doing it all for everyone. The reality is we end up being “women who do too much” and in need of self-care.
Regardless of age, your current stage in life, you must practice self-care.
Usually, everyone focuses on self-care’s physical (eating management + exercise) aspect. But the realm of self-care should also include the emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of our lives.
Self-care is often a path not taught to us while growing up. It is a path that we find for ourselves out of necessity.
The first step on that path is to accept that we are responsible for our well-being.
How do you know that you are neglecting your well-being and need self-care?
Here are a few signs:
- You are tired all the time.
- You are always irritable. Everyone and everything wreak havoc on your nerves.
- A good night’s sleep is a fantasy. You are tossing and turning every night.
- You are worried and anxious about minimal issues.
- You are neglecting your relational life with family and friends.
- You have abandoned your hobbies and can’t remember the last time you had fun.
- You have negative conversations with yourself about yourself. You can’t get rid of that critical voice in your head.
- You have feelings of insecurity about your career, personal life, and relational life.
- You brood about perceived failures in your life unnecessarily.
If you have even one of these signs, I think it is time to initiate overdue self-care. You can start slow with an occasional remedy, but the goal should be to make it a periodic routine and incorporate it into your schedule. Here are a few suggestions to get you started on de-stressing:
- Get as much sunshine you can. Take a walk, ride a bike, or just sit outside on the patio/porch
- Visit a God-made natural site…the ocean or river, the forest, a field of flowers, the mountains
- Knock off one of those sites to visit from your bucket list
- Incorporate daily prayer in your life
- Try deep meditation
- Relax in a luxurious bubble bath.
- Take an old-fashioned afternoon nap
- Get a massage or do a self-massage
- Treat yourself to your favorite dessert
- Make a playlist of your favorite songs
- Start a daily gratitude journal
- Find a good friend and confidante
- Do something creative…paint, sew, write, sing, etc.
- Learn how to say “NO” and set boundaries
- Limit your time on your computer devices and social media
- Declutter your living space
- Create a TO-DO list and keep it simple
- Set small “bite-sized” goals
These are just a few things you can do to jumpstart your self-care. If you relaxed and brainstormed, I’m sure you could define a more personal list of what resonates with you. Be sure to mix it up and not get stuck doing one or two activities because that will get boring soon. Variety truly is the spice of life.
Remember, self-care is self-love, and when you radiate from its benefits, you will attract the relational love that we also celebrate this month.
QUESTION: Do you practice self-care? If so, please share some of the ways you do so.