Self-Care, Self-love, and Changing our Mindset- Why these are crucial for everyone
Self-care is a term that is growing in popularity lately and honestly there is good reason for it. People are starting to realize the importance of actually caring for oneself properly these days. We are starting to realize that we have not been kind to ourselves, physically or mentally. We’ve never been taught that it is ok to love oneself, nor how to actually do this. I’ve put this post together because I think self-care, self-love, and changing our mindset are all incredibly important and these 3 things are all related.
Self-care comes in many forms. It doesn’t have to be something time consuming or selfish. Even if it is something you schedule for 5 minutes a day, or something that lasts for much longer just once a week. It could be something as simple as quiet time in a bath, or as complex as going on a trip.
Some ways to practice self-care:
- Legs on the wall yoga pose (5-15 minutes)
- Listening to music, dancing, watching a show that makes you happy, or reading a book
- Write! If you love writing, start a blog, write a book, or just journal to get your feelings and thoughts out
- Eat clean- reduce the amount of junk food you eat and start working on introducing more healthy foods. Learn how to nourish your body and listen to the cues your body tells you when it’s not happy.
- Take a trip to a spa (there are a lot more out there that are committing to being organic/all-natural now!), or go for a hair cut, mani/pedi, hair dye (again, lots of options for natural dyes now)
- Travel! Where would your dream destination be? If your dream spot is a bit out of reach at first, work on short day trips around your area.
- A relaxing bath with either Epsom salts, dead sea salts, and/or unrefined sea salt
- Changing situations like a toxic job or a toxic person in your life
- Walk in nature, even if it is only for 5-10 minutes. Or just do grounding- walk on the grass with your bare feet
- Join groups of like-minded people to chat with, especially if you don’t have anyone in your life to speak with about what you are going through
- Or the other end of the spectrum- start leaving groups if you are a part of too many. Many groups are full of drama, false information, or just add stress to your timeline if the info isn’t relevant to you anymore
- Do yoga, Butekyo breathing, and other stress relieving activities
- Find a hobby- this is something that tends to get pushed aside when we get sick. Find something that you LOVE to do and try to do it daily, even if it is just 5 minutes. Painting, reading, learning instruments, learning languages, swimming, etc. The list is endless here. If you enjoy it, find a way to add it in.
- Create goals for the future, both short and long term. Or make a list of reasons why you are healing yourself and things you would like to achieve once you are feeling up to it
- Limit your social media exposure, or unfollow pages that stress you out!
- Be silly! Laugh! Look at funny videos on YouTube, play with your kids, watch a funny movie you like- laughing truly is a medicine.
- Say no if you need to. If you are not up to going out or keeping an engagement that you have made, you can say no. Don’t push yourself for others unless absolutely necessary
- Take a social media break, or just reduce the amount of time you spend online each week. Social media is both a blessing and a curse. It allows us to connect with SO many people around the world, but when we’re exposed to so many differing opinions and personalities it can start to get way too drama filled.
I feel like this is different from self-care in many ways. Self-care is the actual action of doing things that you know you need to do in order to heal and take care of yourself. Self-love is accepting that you are worth the time and energy you’re putting into yourself. You DESERVE self-care. In a world where we are bombarded with messages that people are not thin enough, pretty enough, smart enough, etc- it’s time to start realizing that WE are in control of how we view ourselves and outside opinions are not needed. The moment we stop caring about how other people view us is the moment we can start appreciating ourselves for how we are.
This is not to say that we shouldn’t work on improving ourselves in various ways if you want to! If you want to lose weight, get more muscular, dye your hair, do your nails, learn a new language, go back to school, etc then go for it! But do it because it makes you happy and because you truly want to do it, not because others are telling you that you should. Be in control of yourself- mind, body, and soul.
Recently, this message has become even more near and dear to me thanks to a band I have found that has this same message. Their last few albums have literally followed a timeline of how we can learn to love ourselves and how we can learn to speak for ourselves. Over the last few months, I have really been focusing on my own self-love and healing from the emotional trauma I’ve dealt with in my life.
Finding this group has been an absolute blessing- I love music to begin with and it incredibly healing for me, so finding music with meaning that is created by a band that actually cares about their fans has been life changing to say the least. If you want to check them out, this is their Youtube channel (and yes it is BTS- I’m sure many of you are starting to learn about them since they’ve actually been on many of our mainstream TV shows lately!).
Changing our Mindset
It can be hard to be positive when you are dealing with any sort of chronic illness or stressful situation. Trust me, I really understand. Saying things like you’ll never heal, nothing ever works for you, you hate your body, you give up, etc aren’t helpful. The more you say these things, the more your body will believe them and the harder it can be to heal. If you need to release emotions as you heal, that is one thing. That should be short lived and you should feel better afterwards. It is the negativity 24/7, 365 that needs to be re-evaluated and changed.
I find that many people don’t even realize they are in a negative mindset until someone else points it out to them too. So think about it- how do you speak to yourself? Are you constantly putting yourself down? Angry that your body won’t cooperate or because your situation is so stressful? Taking your emotions out on others because of how frustrated you are? Observe the way you think and act for a few days and start to make note about how you can change.
Instead of saying, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired!” (something I used to say myself!) tell yourself, “I hear what my body is saying and I will try to do better to rest more when I can.”
Instead of, “I hate the way my body looks.”, say, “I understand I am going through a hard time right now. I will work on nourishing myself so and giving my body what it needs so that it can heal.”
Just observe your thoughts, words, and actions and see what you can do to start making them more positive. This is not an overnight change at all. This change can take lots of patience and practice to put into effect. But the effort is well worth it as you retrain your mind to be more positive.