I have heard the term, “self-care” thrown around endlessly lately. From a momma’s bath being a moment of “self-care indulgence,” (which, newsflash, is a basic life necessity and NOT a self-care moment) to the latest bubbly, oxygen 24K gold facial being all the rage in the self-care realm. We are in the midst of a global pandemic (STILL! ) and actively prioritizing self-care is beyond important, but stop thinking of superficial things as the be all, end all of self-care. Self-care is a lot more than a sheet mask, sis, open your eyes and focus on your inner peace to reach the highest self-care peaks. I promise, you won’t regret stretching yourself the extra mile to reach a new level of understanding when it comes to taking care of you. Self-care may be trending right now, but your inner peace and happiness are always significant.
Set healthy boundaries
With social distancing in full-swing, physical boundaries are everywhere. At this point, we are used to avoiding each other without question or repercussion. It’s kind of freeing, isn’t it? Especially being able to avoid those random run-ins at the grocery store. You know the ones where you run into someone from high school that you try to avoid, but then cross paths with and have an awkward 5-minute conversation ending with the cringe-worthy, “let’s get together soon!” banter? Eek! You will feel more fulfilled once you start setting healthy boundaries in your life. Don’t be afraid to say, “no,” and mean it in any situation that you want to. Don’t worry about reactions or small talk around your choices. Stick to your boundaries and you will live more fully being exactly who you are meant to be.
What I am about to say next is going to sound kind of in-your-face, but trust me…
Don’t be afraid to burn toxic bridges
Whether you’re a natural at being true to yourself and avoiding the unnecessary forced relationships and conversations or are learning to listen to your gut more, we’ve all lived through toxic situations. For most of us, there is still a bridge, most likely unsteady, that leads us back down the path to toxicity. This is the time to burn those bridges to the ground. Let go of the hold you have on these bridges and free yourself from anything that causes you pain, stress, harm and unhealthy relationships. The moment you begin this internal cleansing process, you will understand how this act equals self-care.
Close the door on people and situations that make you feel less than you are
Slam it shut! You deserve to live your life fully, as your whole self, not shrinking or deforming to fit the status quo of the moment. If a person in your life makes you change who you are to better fit their ideal, RUN! You are made to be exactly who you are and should not feel the need to conform based on other’s visions of who you should be. Live your life as yourself, openly, honestly and proudly. This is such an important factor to self-care and should be practiced daily. Reflect on your current relationships and make changes as you see fit. You are in charge of who you allow in your life, so choose wisely. Understand that your space, energy and time are sacred and should not be shared with everyone to the same degree. Protect your peace. And yes, this includes family members. Just because you are related to someone does not mean you need to include them in your life. If they do not bring you happiness, love and peace, keep on moving.
Stick to a sleep routine
Sleep is vital to a healthy life. Create a sleep routine that works for your schedule and stick to it. The more sleep you get the better all other aspects of your life will be. This simple idea is often overlooked and actively thrown to the wayside. Prioritize your sleep and speak up when you need help to get enough of it. Mommas I am talking to you.
Take a social media break
Social media is all encompassing these days. Although it can be the most wonderful go-to source for information, connection and creativity, it can also be utterly draining. Step away from the screen and focus on ways to be present in your life every week. Spending less time online and more time in-life will keep your emotions and mental health in check. Swap out your screen time with active exercise time and watch the endorphins flow.
Prioritize your mental health and communicate your feelings without fear
Stop being so afraid of speaking your mind! There have been so many times in my life that I’ve held back my feelings with fear of how someone would judge me. Often, we think that because words hold power, we will be placed in boxes based on a person’s thoughts. While this may be true, use the power of words to speak up. Your mental health will thank you for sharing exactly how you feel, even if it makes you a little bit uncomfortable. Stick up for yourself, stand your ground and always hold strong to your opinion on a situation that is important to your heart. Communication is such an important facet of your life, don’t be afraid to go all in.
Leveling up your self-care has a lot more to do with your inner peace than your outer appearance. Although indulging in spa days and vegging out on the sofa with your favorite dessert may feel like self-care, I am asking you to dig deeper into caring for yourself over the next 365. The more self-work you invest in, the more self-care you will experience.