Last weeks post, Why Is Self-Care Important?, I got the ball rolling on what I hope will be a regular blog series talking about self-care. I say hope, because self-care is my number one priority. It comes before even committing to do things like writing posts for this blog.
Be Aware Of Triggers
In fact, I try to stay away from any hard commitments on purpose, because I can’t stand being on hard deadlines. It’s one of the things I have recognized as a trigger point for me, so I try to soften this trigger point as much as I can.
That, my friends, is one important aspect of self-care. Recognizing your triggers, and being kind enough to yourself to stay away from them, or find a way around them, or soften things until you can face the trigger more head on.
Learn To Know How You Feel
Self-care is about being aware of how you feel. It’s about noticing when you get angry or upset and asking yourself why. And asking––Is this really worth getting upset about? Is this worth my peace of mind?
Does something, someone, or a situation make you feel bad? What can you do to minimize or cut any of these feel bad things from your life?
Minimize what feels bad and increase the good feeling stuff (whatever that might be for you). Do more of what you love. Do more of what you feel passionate about. Do more of what lifts you up.
Build Up More Awareness Of Yourself
Self-care is about getting in touch with yourself and recognizing what feels good and what doesn’t. Do things on a daily basis that’s going to help you get the awareness you need to identify your emotions.
For me that has been meditation and yoga. These two things have allowed me to raise my awareness significantly over time.
There are other ways to do the same thing if mediation and yoga is not for you. Do some research and see what resonates with you. I personally think that any sort of regular exercise, even just walking everyday, would be helpful. Regular movement of the body and mind are important for not just physical health, but mental as well.
An important part of self-care is taking care of yourself. That means implementing choices that are going to help you on a physical, mental, and emotional level.
Do Something For You First Thing In The Morning
The best way to get the day going on the right foot is to do something for you as soon as you roll out of bed. It doesn’t matter what it is or how long it takes, the main priority is to get those good feelings going right away. When you feel good, the day will go a whole lot better for you.
My usual go-to first thing in the morning is to journal. I do this either in bed before breakfast, or first thing after breakfast. I can spend anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes journaling. It just depends on what I need for that particular day.
My journaling can include releasing negative thoughts and emotions, but I also make sure to end my journaling session with some sort of uplifting writing that sets me up for my good mood to start the day. This is why I created the Journaling To Feel Good series.
Take A Time Out Through The Day If Needed
Just because you start the day off on the right foot, does’t mean something won’t come along to knock that right foot from under you. It happens, and when it does, be prepared to stop whatever it is you are doing (if you can), and do something for yourself. And try to do that thing (whatever it is), until you feel better.
Make A List Of Things You Like To Do
I would suggest making a list of things you like to do so you can quickly pick something and do it whenever you feel the need. This can be done when you are recognizing you are having a bad day, or when you just want to spend time with yourself. To give you an idea of what a self-care list might look like, here’s mine.
- Taking a walk
- Spending time in nature
- Coloring and/or sketching
- Drinking tea on my porch in silence
- Bird watching
- Going somewhere new
- Going out to lunch by myself
- Learning something new
- Taking a bath
- Getting a massage
- Taking a nap
Some of these may take more time than others, but hopefully you get the picture.
Make Time For You Time
Outside of taking time for self-care first thing in the morning, a daily movement (exercise) routine, and taking a time out when needed, you should also just spend time with you. Set up a time that you spend with yourself on a regular basis, or just wing it and fit the time in when it feels right. Just make sure it is regular (as regular as you need it). Believe it or not, the more time you spend on you, the more energy you will have for others.
Realize It Might Take Time
This might not be the case when you first start out with a self-care practice. At first, you may be spending WAY more time on yourself than anyone else. That’s okay.
Ask yourself–– How many years have I spent exhausting myself and depleting myself for everyone else?
My answer to this––pretty much all my life.
So realize it may take some time to build your reservoir back up. Be patient with yourself, and know that every single minute you spend on self-care, you are building yourself into a much better, much more stable, and much more satisfying life. Eventually, you will be able to give back to others in ways you never could before you started a self-care practice.
Self-Care is A Lifetime Commitment
Self-care is a journey. It may take time to get big results, but once you do, it will be amazing. But you can’t stop once you get results. Self-care is a lifetime commitment of putting yourself first. You deserve it, so why not? Why not commit to putting yourself first? This is your life after all.
Maybe you are new to the idea of self-care. Maybe this seems like a lot to take into consideration and implement right away. So then, take it slow. Do one thing today to start your self-care journey.
You choose. It can be anything. It can be as simple as just taking a walk, knowing that you are taking that walk just for you.
Maybe you decide right now to take that walk (or whatever you choose) every day for the next couple of weeks.
Maybe once the two weeks are up, you feel comfortable with the idea of trying some mediation (or whatever).
You add a daily ten minute meditation to your routine for a bit, and then after a few more weeks, try something else.
It doesn’t matter what you do. Just do something for you. Do it for a while, and then try adding something else to your practice when you feel ready.
Experiment with different practices. Experiment with trying different routines. See what works best for you. The most important part is to have fun. Enjoy yourself. And love yourself enough to turn away from what feels bad, and tune into what feels good.
You deserve a self-care practice. Every single one of us does. So if you haven’t already, maybe it’s time to do you for awhile.
Are you already doing a self-care practice? Please feel free to share in the comments what you like to do (and give the rest of us some ideas to try).