3 Free Ways to Practice Self-Care
Over the past few weeks, I've been really reminding myself to slow down and enjoy every moment possible of my life.
I was literally putting on my make-up and it dawned on me that the single most important thing about life, is that we enjoy it. It's not just, "Did I do it?," it's really, "Did I enjoy it?"
So I decided to challenge myself by doing and learning the true meaning of 'self-care.' Even though I love a good face mask and bubble bath, I challenged myself to go beyond the usual ways that we treat and take care of ourselves, to explore what is the root of self-care that's imperative to our mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical health.
For me, that meaning was to truly believe that:
"I am worthy. I am enough. My feelings, wants, and needs are valid. I feel comfortable taking up space and owning my presence."
Once you have that belief and knowing embedded in your psyche, saying no to things that don't serve you comes easily, taking time for yourself to recharge becomes second nature, protecting your energy and staying away from toxic people is your norm, practicing self-soothing and speaking kindly to your self about your self is your constant sermon, and being confident, grounded, and self-assured is just who you are.
True self-care is a mindset that 'you' are your first and best priority in your life and then from there, your actions, words, thoughts, and feelings will move in alignment to honor that belief.
Please read on for the three ways that you can express the true meaning of self-care in your everyday life:
#1: Check-in with your self throughout the day
It might sound weird, but by simply checking in with your self throughout your day is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety and increase joy, calmness, and a sense of well-being.
Often times we are just going through the motions and are on auto-pilot without really acknowledging the present moment.
Simply ask your self, "How am I feeling right now?" It's the perfect way to be present and still in the moment. It's also a great way to realign yourself into a good-feeling and conscious mode. If you're not feeling good, then change what you're thinking about or what you're doing to something that brings you joy and happiness.
It could be as simple as you're irritated while being stuck in traffic, so rather than focus on being frustrated, switch your thought to how happy you'll be once you arrive or think about a fond memory. You're still in the same situation but you're feeling better just being switching your focus and by being mindful of how you feel.
#2: Harness the power of the word "No."
As a natural people-pleaser, this was a hard skill for me to master. I was accustomed to saying, "Yes, of course I'll do that, be there, help out, show up, etc." without really giving thought to if it was something that I actually wanted to do. I put the need to please others over the need to honor my own feelings.
Operating in the people-pleaser mode is a recipe for disaster and burn-out, so I'm super grateful that I've been able to harness of the power of the word, "No." I had to get over the hurdle that other people would think that I was mean or selfish for saying no to them or by putting my own needs first, but then I realized that there's nothing selfish about taking care of self and that the people who truly love and respect will be ok with that. If they're not, then you really don't need them in your life in the first place.
As a healthy individual, it's your responsibility to place your time, energy, well-being, and mindset above all else, because you're not your best, then you cannot give and be of value to others. Remember, put your own rescue mask on first before helping others.
A few easy ways to say, "No."
"No, I can't do that right now."
"No, but thank you for thinking of me."
"No, but I'll keep it in mind for next time."
"No, thank you."
Personal favorite: "No, but I still love you."
#3: Subscribe and listen to my podcast, Sugar Pills: Your Weekly Dose of Inspiration to Grow Your Mind, Body, and Soul
Shameless self-plug here, but I recently launched my very first ever podcast, Sugar Pills: Your Weekly Dose of Inspiration to Grow Your Mind, Body, and Soul, and I would be super honored if you subscribed and listened.
One way that I practice self-care is to be mindful about the type of content that I watch, listen to, and read. I want to keep my energy clean, joyful, and continuously elevating, so I listen to happy music and listen to inspiring and insightful podcasts, and it is my goal that my podcast can serve as that inspiring safe place for others.
Subscribe, comment, and listen to my first episode below: