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As women, we tend to put ourselves last by neglecting to realize the importance of self care. We overwork and get to our breaking point only to realize we don’t know how we got to the chaos in our lives. We put ourselves through physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional pain. My goal is for us to take care of ourselves before we get to a breaking point. To be productive, we must be healthy. When I talk about investing in ourselves and health, I’m talking about REALLY investing in wellness. Making sure we are doing things daily to improve our health by making informed and intentional decisions.
What does the importance of self care mean?
It means living in a way that does not disrupt our lives. Everything we do revolves around keeping us mentally, physically, spiritually prepared so we can give one hundred percent into all aspects of our lives. It is always good to splurge on ourselves: going to the spa, movies, getting our hair and nails done, eating out, trips, etc. However, financial and time constraints do not allow us always to splurge daily. Throughout our life, we neglect our own being. We create this world in our heads that we can do everything all the time. We end up neglecting the importance of self-care. Taking care of ourselves means being with ourselves in the difficult moments throughout our day. Learning to navigate our emotions, slowing down, taking a few moments to get ourselves together to be our best. In all moments of frustrations, anxiety, happiness, relaxation, we need to learn about ourselves, how we react to stresses, and what we yearn for when we need to reflect. Below, I outline how to take care of ourselves in three forms: Emotionally/Mentally. Physically. Spiritually.
Family and friend relations.
Ask yourself, are the people in your life a benefit or a stress point? Ask yourself, how do you feel after you had met up with someone? Do you feel better, motivated, encouraged, or do you feel down, stressed, anxiety? Do you feel like time went by too fast or dragged on? These types of questions should help you acknowledge the importance of self care and empower you to take steps to prepare yourself. The answer to the questions tells you how you should interacting and prepare yourself when you are interacting up with certain people. I’m not saying to cut people out of your life if they cause you anxiety, stress, overwhelmed, but know and recognize what feelings arise in different situations. There are people in your life that are there for a reason; sometimes, they need you more than you need them. Sometimes they show up as lessons for reflections later on. Whatever, the reason the real question is how do you feel? After the interactions that cause you anxiety, maybe going for a walk afterward to clear your mind will help. Perhaps just being alone for thirty minutes will allow you to regain and relax from the situation. Ensure you keep your boundaries and allow certain people into your life at certain times so you can maintain your mental health. Other times you need to reevaluate the relationships and see if it’s worth your time and energy.
Find time to give yourself space. Sometimes you have to be alone to discover who you are. We are always surrounded by others, looking after others. Even if it’s just a few minutes a day, or you choose to splurge on a whole day. Giving space to yourself brings calmness. Take the time to write, read, thinking. Do what you want to do. There is empowerment in being alone. You are taking care of your body. Your body is the only thing guaranteed to be with you your entire life. It’s been there since day one it requires nourishment, health, and wellness. However, you choose to take care of your body, do it.
Real happiness. Find your real happiness. Ask yourself what do you love to do that brings a smile to your face and fills up your soul? What makes you happy. Becoming more aware of what brings you happiness will drive you to your ultimate lifestyle dreams. Knowing what makes your soul happy will allow you to use it as a tool to keep yourself grounded. Strive for peace. Find out what brings you peace. Is it that cup of coffee in the morning, or is it that long five-mile run? Whatever it is that allows you to be at peace with yourself, do it. No matter your beliefs or religion. Being spiritual and understanding that there is a higher power guiding you and helping you through the process in this world. It’s a sense of belonging and a feeling that is beyond this world. Being spiritual is about being happy and satisfied; you have to serve and realize that happiness comes when you have meaning in your life.
The importance of self care means we understand that wellness is essential to your daily progress; our minds, body, and souls need it for growth. We need it to be fully present and give one hundred percent in our day. Two other aspects of wellness to consider are environmental and social. Environmental includes your physical and natural environment. Where you live, what you live by, the air you breathe are all factors that determined your health and wellness. Social includes who you connect with and interact with your community. To strive for a holistic lifestyle we must consider and analyze all things that will affect our livelihood. We have to adjust and work toward our own goals.
Throughout moments in the day.
When you have to take care of yourself at the moment, what can you do? You may be in an important meeting or go to places that are out of your comfort zone, but you are mentally not feeling your best. What can you do at the moment? Go to your five senses and work through them. Going through them will allow you to relax and get your mind together.
- Look at things that bring you comfort.
- Listen to something that relaxes you.
- Taste something the calms you.
- Feel something that brings you comfort.
- Smell the flowers to recognize their gifts.
Make a list of things you can do. Go through your list when you need to take care of yourself. Lotion bars are a great tool to use to ground yourself. Once you start using your techniques more, you will realize they will come naturally. The list will be gone, and you will live in moments of comfort.
Being prepared helps calm your nerves, enables you to be confident, and allows you to feel secure. You don’t have to know and be everything, but preparing yourself for your days helps you take care of yourself mentally.
Step to putting yourself first
First, you need to commit yourself. You have to keep yourself accountable to meet your goals daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. Making that commitment to yourself allows you to stay focus and center yourself. It allows you to measures your results and achievement. When you feel like you’re at a standstill, it shows you your results and consistency. When you center yourself it means you saying you are important. Your body, mind, and soul matter. You can write down your goals and task to look back at them when you are not feeling motivated and drained. A lot of people find themselves feeling like they are not doing enough. The cycle of negativity affects our movement in increasing our productivity. It’s the I’m stuck feeling that harms us. It’s the unstuck feeling that causes up to spiral out of control. What happens is when we don’t see the results that we want, we slowly start becoming unmotivated, not believing in ourselves, and not feeling a sense of accomplishment. Another way to tackle this is by using a gratitude journal. Using a gratitude journal helps you see your results. Doing daily journaling and weekly reflects will motivate you and keep you on track. It will allow you to reflect on your past work leading you to become grateful and continue working towards your goals.
Gratefulness comes when you are acknowledging your progress. You become grateful for the knowledge that you have, for the skills that you possess, and for your achievements. When competition is out of your mind, you know that everything that you do is out of pure love for what you’re doing. You’re not trying to be better than someone else; you’re not trying to prove yourself. You’re doing something that you love and something that is bringing you happiness. And that, in return, gives you a feeling of gratefulness, achievement, and motivation.
You believe in yourself, commit yourself to trust your process, and trust your knowledge. Everything you do has a purpose. When you believe in yourself, your mindset will pivot you to live with intention allowing yourself to reach dreams and goals. You need to believe in yourself, and you need to think about the process you are going through. All of the steps that you take to build has an ultimate larger goal. The importance of self care allows you to see and reach these dreams and goals.