Find out if you’re really taking action into self care.
We invest so much time taking care of the people we love, that we tend to forget about our own wellness. And while it’s really thoughtful and kind to do the things we do for others, we have to think about ourselves too. Over time we develop little treats that help us make it through tough times: reading a nice book, watching our favorite movie, having a piece of the sweetest cake, shopping, drawing a bubble bath, among many others.
Each of these activities has the intention to make us feel better. Sadly, in the long run they don’t seem to be enough. Eventually we have to face reality again. This doesn’t mean you have to stop doing all of these activities. The important thing is not to depend on them to feel you're taking care of your soul. Self-care means taking action into caring about our own being, not just pampering ourselves once in a while, but actually practicing self-love on a daily basis.
It’s necessary to truly love ourselves, and to do so, we may also need to give ourselves some tough love from time to time. We may need a very solid talk about what's going on in our lives and answer questions such as, “Is this what I really want?”, “Am I hurting myself by staying in this situation?”, “What am I waiting for while doing this?”, among many more. This is genuine self-concern, the first step into self-love and self-care. It means to feel real and deep concern about us, wondering what is going on inside our head, being realistic, accepting who we are, and seeing situation as it is.
This way, we will be able to see clearly where we are and what we need to keep moving forward. This is where self-love comes into play. Self-love looks for down to earth solutions that will bring peace to our heart. There are lots of things you can do to implement self-love, and most of them are pretty simple. Here is a five-day routine you can use as a starting point:
Day 1: Let go.
We all have that one friend that always makes plans and cancels last minute. It’s so frustrating, right? You just miss them, but hate to see that months pass and you can’t have a cup of coffee. Don’t worry, the time will come when you’ll see each other again. But first, let go of that resentment. These feelings usually are stored in the shoulders and back. That’s why they can hurt so much, no matter how many massages you get. If you don’t let go of the little things, they’ll eventually grow, and you might end up in mayor physical pain.
Day 2: Try something new.
Change your routine every once in a while. Monotony can be very annoying after a while, and this may lead to general unhappiness. To avoid turning your habits into annoying activities, dare to change them. Instead of taking the road you always take to work, try a new one. If you always get ready in the same order, have fun and get breakfast before your morning bath. Seems silly, but changing our mindset can prevent illnesses such as anxiety and depression.
Day 3: Spend some time alone.
Sometimes, life gets so heavy we can’t even stand ourselves. But with the passing of time, we must learn to be comfortable with ourselves. Dare to go to cinema by yourself, or if you feel more adventurous, pick a music concert you know you’ll enjoy, and go by yourself. It seems scary and maybe even tedious, but once you learn to be by yourself, you'll find out there's no such thing as being bored. We are our best company.
Day 4: Practice your hobbies more frequently.
If you’re a bookworm but haven’t found time to keep track of your literature, give yourself time to read one chapter a day (I know, it’s hard when we get hooked, so be strong!). If you're more of an outdoorsy person, schedule at least one camping trip once a month. This way, even if things get tough, you can always count on these time-out moments to take a deep breath and keep on going.
Day 5: Love yourself actively.
Sometimes it seems hard to find reasons to give ourselves some love. Low self-esteem or thinking we're not worthy may indicate that you're leaving self-care out of the equation. To practice self-love on a regular basis, you can start with making a list of things that genuinely make you smile and how to make them happen. This way, when you’re feeling down, you can always take the list out, pick one of the items and use it to “hug yourself.”
All of these behaviors attempt to cherish yourself in the way you deserve it. Pay close attention to your surroundings and act up when needed. True self-care is choosing a good life, instead of a life that just feels good. It’s about being honest and, by doing so, being happy.
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