What Is Self-Care?
I was thinking about what to write for a self-care post when I know this is an area I don’t excel at. Practice what I say and not what I do, comes to mind. There may be many of us that feel similar, with knowing we could be kinder to ourselves and practice more self-care from time to time.
There are different elements of self-care. There are lower level, surface types of self-care that can be found in the small things, like treating yourself, moisturising, a luxurious bath. Then there are the bigger, more meaningful aspects of self-care, the ways in which you behave in your daily day where you’re actively showing yourself that you matter.
Here are a 5 alternative things to consider when it comes to self care.
1. Stop The Comparison Game
It’s easy to compare yourself and your situation to that of others, whether they’re friends, colleagues, acquaintances on social media or random strangers. We can be our own worst enemy when we pick ourselves apart, weighing ourselves against others and feeling like we never measure up. We can compare anything and everything; how we look, our financial situation, living arrangement, social life, and even our level of happiness.
When we compare, we’re comparing assumptions and perceptions. But things aren’t always as they seem because people only show you want they want you to see. We’re never good enough when we play the comparison game. It’s time to celebrate yourself and your life, as perfectly imperfect as it is. There’s only one you, and that is always going to be good enough.
2. Be Assertive
Be your own advocate for your needs. Learn to be okay with asking for what you want, and stand up for yourself. Learn to say no. You owe it to yourself to use your freedom of speech and choice.
3. Focus On What You Can Do
There are plenty of things in life we can’t control, including other people. But you can control how you respond, and how you deal with what life throws your way. Don’t fall into the trap of focusing on the things you can’t change, or the things you can’t do for whatever reason.
Instead, focus on what you can do, not what you can’t. Take back a little control in your life and start to direct your attention to the things you can do, no matter how small.
4. Ditch the Guilt & Forgive
Guilt can be pervasive and incredibly damaging, sneaking in at every opportunity. Dig a little deeper to see where this guilt is coming from. Don’t apologise for being you and don’t feel bad for taking care of your own needs. When life gets overwhelming, cut yourself some slack; you’re doing your best, so take a step back, breathe and rest, without feeling guilty about it.
Many of us also find it easier to forgive others than ourselves, but it’s an important step to healing hurt, nourishing ourselves, and ditching the guilt.
5. Write Your Own Rules
There seem to be unwritten rules and guidelines in society about how your life ‘should’ look and what you ‘should’ achieve by certain points in your life. It assumes that these are things you want, but do you really even want them? It can be a heavy weight on your shoulders with the pressures and expectations, but do these ‘rules’ even apply to you? Re-evaluate what your values and goals are. Decide for yourself what you want and what makes you happy. Furthermore, we don’t always get a choice when our life takes a detour, such as if we suffer ill health.
Our lives don’t always look the way we’d expected, but that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you can’t carve out a new path and enjoy a scenic route, making the most of your journey as best you can. Forget about what others think. Live your own life by your own rules.
What To Remember About Self-Care
Self-care is not self-indulgent & it is not selfish. It’s vital to your mental & physical health, helping you to live your best life & to be there for those around you, too. Without self-care, we can easily become more exhausted, overwhelmed, utterly frazzled, frustrated, and even resentful.
Self-care is about taking responsibility for ourselves. It’s about making sure our basic needs are met first, then going beyond those to treat ourselves with more kindness and compassion.
A big thanks to Kate for featuring me on her amazing blog, please do check it out! Keep your eyes peeled because she’ll be sharing a post with InvisiblyMe soon, too!