I am in love with the fact that topics such as self love, self care and mental health have received more and more attention over the past two years. This movement resulted from a former trend, that grew big together with social media: the more you achieve in little time, the more valuable you are.
People have burned themselves out going by that thought and most of us got scared by the expectations it created. So? It didn’t get us anywhere. Slowly thanks to this, another attitude has formed: Take a step back and stop defining yourself through your work.
So what does self care mean really?
Self care means checking back on your mental health, reflecting on what you need in order to feel content and happy. It helps you to slow down and take some time out of your day, only for you and your inner peace.
Self care can be applied on many levels in your life: Physical, personal, social and emotional.
It addresses your physical needs (ex. getting your hair done as a treat), as well as taking care of your social hygiene (ex. getting rid of people that make you feel bad about yourself), encourages your personal growth (ex. educate yourself) and has you sort through your emotions ( ex. putting you in control of them and not the other way around).
My favorite self care tips:
Since I have been on this topic for three years now, I gathered my researched information and favorite self care tips to give you some ideas of how you could actively start integrating self care into your life.
- If you feel cared for on the outside, it will reflect back on how you feel inside. So get that haircut and colour you wanted to, get your nails done or put a fancy facemask on.
- Create a simple (!) workout routine for you to do 2-3 times a week. Nothing too difficult (or you won’t do it). That way you will create a more positive relationship with food and your body.
- Get enough quality sleep. It doesn’t matter how long you sleep, but how deeply you do. It positively affects your mood, performance and mindset!
- Educate yourself. Keep up with the news on a daily basis and start to integrate reading for 30 minutes into your day. More knowledge will help your confidence.
- Practice conscious self reflection. You only grow by actively reflecting on yourself, your goals, your mistakes and your pain. If you all let it happen, if you don’t reflect your actions and suffer anyway, you are not growing.
- Move past your comfort zone.
- Actively create a network of people around you, that you can trust, feel yourself around and that you can fall back on.
- Liberate yourself of toxic relationships that bring you down and create more doubt within yourself than confidence.
- Say no, when you feel overwhelmed.
- Give yourself downtime to meditate and recharge, away from people and far away from your phone.
- Create awareness of your feelings and get to know you. What lifts you up, what stresses you out – and realize that you are in control of your feelings. Don’t let them make you feel like a mess, because you got this. You know yourself, feel those emotions intensely and then clear your mind.
This article is not about aggressive self-improvement or personal reinvention, it is about taking a step back, admiring who you already are and making the most of it.