A True Guide to Self-Care
Self-care goes beyond spa treatments, meditation and yoga. It's actually about committing to one's self; making yourself a priority; and ultimately, becoming a better person. This is the one true guide to self-care and how to rediscover your hope, joy and happiness in life.
Self-care is not a luxury—it’s important. We need self-care to be resilient against certain life stressors that come and go. But it goes beyond just looking pretty. I mean, what's the point of having one fun weekend with saunas and face masks; bathrobes and steaming cups of tea just to return to a sad, boring life? Also, why detox when you’re just going to go back to pumping your body with more toxic substances?
That isn’t self-care.
Self-care should be intentional and driven. It should be done solely for the purpose of bettering oneself and becoming the best person you could possibly be. This is the true definition of self-care; and is exactly what you should aim for every single day. Here are some tips to put you on the right track of self-worth and self-acceptance.
- Free Your Mind
Self-care starts from the mind. To be truly happy in life, you have to find your inner happiness. To do this, take a step back and relax. Think about certain areas of your life that made you truly happy and write it down. Afterwards, replace negative thoughts with positive actionable thinking. Discover things that you fret about and exercise mental control over it.
Do you lack money? Did you endure a bad breakup? Dwell on the positive side of things, like how to make money and how to be self-sufficient. Envision the steps to these goals and work towards it. With time, you’ll not only be able to free your mind, but you’ll also be strong enough, mentally, to control it.
- Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle
Nothing brings about self-esteem like a healthy lifestyle. It is super imperative that you watch the substances you ingest. Reduce caffeine and sugar. Sure they taste great but the temporary “highs” of caffeine and sugar often culminate into a crash in mood and energy. By reducing the intake of coffee, soft drinks, chocolate, and sugar snacks, you’ll feel more relaxed and you’ll sleep better.
Try to get enough sleep at night. Sleep fuels both your mind and body; it also reduces stress. Exercise frequently, no matter how little. You don’t have to lift enormous weights to keep fit. By simply stretching, walking, jogging or meditating, you can greatly improve your mental health and reduce stress.
Don’t forget to eat well. Remember, you can’t defeat stress without a proper diet. A great diet can greatly improve your quality of life. Try incorporating certain foods like banana and egg which contain ‘serotonin’, one of many ‘happy’ hormones.
- Challenge Your Problems
Face your problems head on. You can’t hide from your problems—ignoring them won’t change things either. Many people are caught up on substance abuse because of seemingly insurmountable problems. Drugs will make you feel good for a moment, but they will never fix your problems.
To avoid the buildup of anxiety and stress, ensure that you tackle problems as soon as they surface. Life comes with ups and downs, all of which are temporary. Face your problems with a clear mind. Try to change and solve the problems within your power. Alter and adapt to problems you cannot change, for example, the loss of a loved one.
- Connect with People
Close connections with friends and family is an important part of self-care. In fact, connecting with people is integral to your overall well-being. You need to have relationships with certain people to thrive in life. Dedicate time and energy into building relationships with people you love and admire. Make time for your friends and family. Do fun activities together. Make connecting with people a regular thing, once a week or more. It certainly helps to have something to look forward to after a stress-filled week.
- Cut off Toxic People
Sometimes, you may be caught in an unsettling environment filled with toxic people. No matter how well you tend to a rose in a field of weeds, the rose will not bloom. Toxic people are the real problem. These are people who make you feel small and insecure; belittle your achievements; or get unexplainably upset when you interact with them.
Love yourself enough to value your happiness. Cut off toxic people when you notice them, friend or family. Such people do not deserve you. It's much better to be alone than to sacrifice your happiness for people who don't respect you.
- Release The Past
Forgive and live in the present. No one can change the past; it has already happened. Identify painful events in your life that you still carry in your heart and write them down. Visualize whoever caused you pain and release them from your mind. Wondering ‘if’ doesn’t change anything. You’re better off leaving that relationship or job that made you feel weak and insecure.
Let it all go; the anger and resentment. It's not easy but it's totally worth it. Overthinking is a burden that weighs down the mind, body and soul. Holding on to the past is similar to holding coals to your bosom. Release the past; live in the present; and hope for the future.
- Commit to Improving yourself
Take on that tasks that you would usually avoid. Lead that group project in class. Take that online course in business. Exercise. Get involved in sports. Fill up your blog. Become a true gym shark. Invest in yourself now and someday you’ll look back at how much progress you’ve made. Achieving your goals is the love language of self-care
Do things that truly make you happy. Go to church. Play paintball with your friends. Go clubbing. Knit something. Read a novel you love. Listen to music all day long. Watch TV shows all day long, if you want. Just do things that make you smile and enjoy yourself.
Don't be too timid to say no to activities that you don't like. You own your life; you’re allowed to say ‘no. Be in total control of your time and activities. Choose ‘you’ every single day. Make yourself your number one priority.
That's what true self-care is.