I decided to write this blog since I get questions about it all the time personally and professionally. Since I have this relaxing three day weekend to enjoy, I felt this was the perfect time to share my advice and personal thoughts with everyone. Hope you all enjoy!
Are you really practicing self care or self sabotaging?
If you know me personally then you know first hand I advocate for self-care ALL THE TIME! No it's not just because I am a therapist, but because I value myself and my time. If you don't make the time you are self sabotaging and it will show in many ways. Now how is that? Well, this could be through extreme moodiness, increase irritability, or having a negative state of mind just to name a few ways it would show. Now that it's a new month and a holiday weekend, this is the PERFECT time to reset yourselves and implement self-care or at least plan how you will soon. I enjoy my peace so that requires me to often disconnect from work, my phone, and the internet. These are the things that typically keep us busy or "distracted". I do believe it is easy to get wrapped up in work or other activities especially if you are involved in many things. For the longest I remember taking pride in being busy all the time, but as I grew older I began to realize the importance of taking better care of my physical and MENTAL health. While learning this I also made sure to not feel bad for wanting and needing to take more time out for myself. In the work field, a lack of focus, feelings of burn out, or producing poor quality work are some indicators that self-care is needed as well. For some who allow self-care to come second often times will have to learn the hardway which can lead into one experiencing a mental break down before they understand how vital it is. An article through the INLP Center listed five self-sabotaging habits to quit after working with 150+ people. These were the most common areas people found themselves struggling in. Resources like this one is a great way to help overcome self-sabatoging ways to help build you back up. When making the decision to put yourslef first, you won't regret it.
So what is self-care and how do I apply it to my life?
In a nutshell, self-care is described as an individual taking the action steps or engage in various activities that have a positive effect on their mental and physical health. Are you selfish because you decide to add in self-care to your daily routines, absolutely not!? If anyone tells you differently, they more than likely need to reevaluate their own lives. Let's avoid self-sabotaging and focus on ways to help improve ourselves. How you decide to practice self-care is different for each person, there is no wrong or one right way to do it. The ultimate goal is putting you first and making sure you reduce your stress level through RELAXATION techniques and/or activities. How you apply it isn't difficult at all. In fact it's simple and are many creative and "free" ways that I've decided to put together. Listed below are my top ten favorite ways to practice self-care.
Journaling: When I feel overwhelmed with thoughts or ideas I write them out. Releasing on paper how you feel is great outlet especially if you typically don't like to express yourself to others.
Binge watch Netflix or favorite shows: When I get the chance to watch my favorite shows or movies I get sooo excited. Give me a good comedy or action film and I'm GOOD!
Listening to music: I love all genres and listen to songs that speak volume and uplift my spirits. I literally listen to music all day every day.
Coloring: Since they came out with all of these new adult coloring books, I find myself at times coloring more than my clients!
Affirmations: Saying out loud my daily affirmations remind me how important and loved I am.
Manicures/Pedicures: I've always made sure to keep track of these appointments every 2-3 weeks, guaranteed relexation!
Burning candles: Rather it's in my office or at home i'm burning my favorite candle. I love a good tropical smell.
Write in my gratitude journal: I love my gratitude journal because it reminds me of how far I've come and blessed my life is regardless of the circumstances.
Excersing with friends: It's always fun and a encouraging time when I get to work out and catch up on life with my friends. Very therapeutic!
Plan out my goals: My mind is always filled with ideas and I'm always making sure to keep track of my previous written goals. Checking off my goal list and setting future goals helps me stay focused and motivated.
Now these are my top ten, but there are hundreds of other self-care ideas you can use. I attached a free printable that you can download and choose to use as well. I personally set aside weekly every Friday and implement a few of these and I can honestly say it helps. I see a huge decrease in my stress level, I feel at ease and way more positive with my thinking and behavior. I also plan in advance "self-care weekends" at least once a month where I'm completely unavailable from everything and everybody. I purposely set aside these times and make a commitment to stick with it because of the many benefits. I would recommend if you haven't already or (after reading this blog) setting aside day(s) and plan what you will do. Setting up a routine helps you stay on track, hold you accountable and allows something fun to look forward to. Remember, if your mental and physical health isn't intact it will begin to negatively impact relationships, work, and your overall health. Try adding in some of these things or develop your own and give yourself the attention and care you deserve. The smallest things can bring you so much happiness. So what will you choose?
I truly hope this blog helps someone who may be struggling within this area. Focus less on self sabotaging and more on self care! Stay encouraged beautiful people!