Top 10 Tips For Practicing Self Care
01. Start The Day With Intention
I like to get up when my house is still quiet, so I can better hear my thoughts & needs. I will either meditate or do some journaling, creating space to set an intention for the day. This is number 1 on my list because it works for me! You don’t have to choose “monk-like” activities. Listen to whatever calls you.
02. Do Something To Honor Your Body
This will look different for everyone. I will sometimes go for a run to get the energy and blood flowing through my body. If I need it, I will take a nap. Sometimes I will put some make-up on (even when no one will see me). Or I’ll go out without make-up, feeling confident and comfortable in my own skin.
Find something that honors your body. If you’re having a hard time, pick something small and simple…dance, take a bath, do yoga, or one of my favorites, go get a mani/pedi. You deserve it!
03. Bear Witness To The Negative Self-Talk
Many people aren’t even aware of how critically they talk to themselves. And often when I’m not feeling myself my first question is “how have I been taking to myself?” I encourage you to notice the voice but don’t internalize it. Challenge it by changing it into what you know to be true.
You can give that voice a name if you need to. Do whatever you need to pull away from the negativity and speak kindly to yourself. This voice of love will grow stronger and louder and will silence out the negativity that has held you.
04. Honor Your Feelings
Everyone goes through periods of insecurity, depression or suffering. It’s a natural part of life. We can’t avoid it. We’re not machines. We have feelings and we need to acknowledge our feelings while showering them with compassion and love. Instead of judging and criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, be kind and understanding toward yourself. No one expects you to be perfect.
Once you apply compassion to your feelings, you open yourself up to the lessons they can hold, and then you can move through the discomfort. Know that you won’t stay in that place forever. Life is teaching us, so we can see what truly matters most. These difficult times create understanding, and by showing yourself compassion, you can realize the need to wake up and get back to the path of light and love.
05. Reconnect With Your Rhythm and Routine
Having a routine may sound intimidating to you, or maybe you think it will be boring. Routine gives my life stability, it’s a tool to uplift and rejuvenating you and/or your day. Use it to help in the areas of life that need your focus, like getting enough sleep, participating in physical activities or having a date night with your spouse.
My husband and I easily get caught up in our own projects, but having a scheduled time every day to connect with each other, we are able to stay on the same page. Find a routine that will help you flow through life with ease and grace, but don’t overdo it. Add one thing at a time until you have full incorporated it into your daily practice. Allow yourself to change things up if it no longer seems to work. This is an evolving process. As you change, so will your daily routine.
06. Create A “No” List
Getting clear on what you don’t want is just as important as knowing what you do want. Making room for the things you want to do means you have to be willing to first let go of the things that aren’t serving you, such as gossip, procrastination or eating sugar.
As much as we believe we can do it all, we can’t, and we shouldn’t try. This list represents the things that no longer serve you and therefore, those things which you will no longer give your time and attention to. The goal is to create a list that makes you feel safe, cared for, and free to be your best version of yourself. This will allow you more time to focus on the things that better serve you.
This could technically go in the category of honoring my body, but, it just had to have its own place in this list. The ability to be in a place of sanctuary, away from the noise, crowd and clutter isn’t actually that far away. It’s within us! We just have to remember that it’s there and available when we choose to use it.
Meditation will take some practice, like anything else unfamiliar or new, but it’s worth it. We can use meditation to center and bring ourselves back into our hearts. Whenever I am feeling tense, cloudy headed, or just in need of serenity, I find that sitting in silence for a while allows my mind to relax and connect with what I need at that time. I highly recommend adding mediation to your regular routine! You will see a major shift in yourself, how you manage stress, and how you see the world around you.
08. Forgive Yourself and Others
Forgiveness isn’t about releasing the other person, it’s about releasing you. As much as we love/hate holding onto the pain of our past/present, forgiveness brings true freedom from that pain. The process isn’t easy, but so much healing can be found when we practice forgiveness. Not only forgiveness of yourself, but of the people who have contributed to your pain or suffering.
If you still hold on to resentment against family or friends, take a step back allows you to see that they too have been emotionally hurt as a result of their own experiences. Purposely or even subconsciously, people often inflict on others what they had to suffer through themselves. This was so powerful to me when I heard this for the first time, but it was the key element in choosing to forgive. In no way does forgiveness glaze over or erase the hurt that someone may have inflicted on you, but it does allow you to release the power the other person has had over you, and reclaim it for yourself.
09. Spend Time With Your Tribe
There is a power in the fellowship of others, especially in other women. It was a challenge for me to let down my walls and trust others, but through the process of letting go I have found the most amazing, supportive women.
In times of need these are the women that help me see who I truly am. These people challenge me to be the best version of myself, calling me out when I need it and supporting me through the great, and not so great, moments of my life.
This is something that everyone needs. It might take some time to attract like minded people into your life, but things that are worthwhile, usually take time and patience to achieve. Get clear on the qualities that the people in your tribe should have. Then build those qualities in yourself and you will find yourself attracting them more and more.
10. Cultivate A Thankful Heart
This is truly one of the greatest things you can do for yourself. In a world where we are always wanting more and are constantly comparing ourselves to others, choosing to be positive and have a thankful heart allows us to fully embrace life as it is.
Start to practice gratitude daily, make a list of all the things that you are truly thankful for. Miraculously, your experiences and perceptions of how you see and live will changes in astounding ways. I have come to the conclusion that a thankful heart is a happy heart and I choose to be happy.
NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN
In order to make this a habit in your life and not just a periodic “good choice”, I found it important for everyone to create their own self-care list. There’s no set prescription for how or when to do it. We all must define it for ourselves.
What are the things that nourish you?
Create a list of all the things that feel good. Keep this list visible and pick 3 things to do from that list daily. Once we start to take better care of ourselves, we will begin to see improvements in all aspects of our lives.
Creating Your Own Self Care Practice
If your feeling like your energy levels are depleting, or our enthusiasm for life is lacking, then take a look at ourselves and determine what needs are we not getting. Ask yourself…?
How have I nourished, supported and cared for myself today?
What actions have I taken toward my commitment to self care today?
What will I commit to for my own well being this week?
What boundaries are nourishing me or where might I need to re-commit to them?
Where might I need to make some adjustments in my self care practices?
My Challenge to you is to stop caring for others at the expense of your health and happiness. There is another way and it begins with the decision to love and nurture yourself first. Remember that your needs matter and honoring yourself with love and care is truly a gift to the world.
I hope this post helps you create a self-love and self-care practice. I’d love to get the conversation started and hear how you practice self-love on a daily basis. Stay tuned for more Top 10 Tips and let me know what other topics you would like to discuss :)