For a long time I didn’t really take care of myself and what I mean by that is I didn’t really prioritize my wants or needs. I was always good in the sense that I had necessities and amazing people in my life, but I wasn’t really taking care of me physically, emotionally and mentally. It wasn’t until I got older, in my mid 20’s, where I started to realize how important my self-care was. The way we take care of ourselves is super important; it can make you or break you.
Honestly, it was also just really hard for me to focus on myself because I was always focused on others or other things that was going on. I was focused on external relationships more than I was concerned with the most important relationship I would ever have. The relationship I had with myself.
I decided to focus more on how I practiced self-care. I wanted to make sure I was actively working on myself and loving myself. This isn’t to say I ignored people or didn’t show up in other areas of my life, it just meant that I would start to pour more love and energy back into me.
One way I did this was taking myself on dates. Sounds silly but no matter if I was in a relationship or not, I made sure to spend time with myself doing something I loved, like stuffing my face and having some fancy drinks!
Practicing self-care more often also helped in how I showed up in relationships when those moments came. Because now I was operating at my most truest, best version of my self.
Keep in mind that self-care is not the same for everyone. So before you dive into these tips, make sure you define self-care for you. Figure out what will work for you, even if it looks different than someone else’s. I made the tips as general as possible so you can find what works best for you. So read below how you can put self-care first improve your overall self-care regimen.
Find a Hobby
Honestly, everyone needs a hobby, both men and women! I feel like growing up, we had hobbies and it was a thing, but it’s harder as adults. I think we get caught up in the rat race of life that we forget about the joy that we found in the activities we enjoyed.
Running is probably my favorite hobby. I would like to run a little more competitively like participating in marathons and such but at its core, running is my favorite thing to do, and I do it often.
Find a hobby that makes you feel the happiest with yourself. What do you enjoy doing that you want to continue? Or maybe there is a new hobby you would like to get into. Either way, this is the perfect time to start practicing self-care and make it a real habit!
Get More Active
By moving your body, you will also be helping and improving your mind! According to Harvard Health Publishing, exercise will help to improve your thinking and overall memory. Now those are some great benefits!
Also, it feels good when your body is at its best. You will feel better physically and over time you will as well mentally. For me, running is how I stay active, but I also go on long walks on my off days when I just don’t feel like running (happens to the best of us). So find something that works for you and try to do it more often!
Related Post: Running for Beginners: 10 Tips To Get You Started
This is another part of taking care of your body but instead this tip focuses on your diet. As you guys know, I am not a huge fan of dieting per. However, I do think it’s important to pay attention to what you’re eating and how often you are indulging.
For example, I love me some Chex Mix (specifically the Bold Party Blend), but I had to pull myself away from it in the last few months. I was trying to get into shape and I knew it was bad for me, I just didn’t care. When I checked the nutrition facts, I saw that a regular sized bag was 1040 calories. Yeah, can’t eat that anymore, so buy bye Chex Mix.
I realized that when I ate healthier and removed a lot of snacking and candy out of my life, I felt better both physically and mentally. Literally no more feeling bogged down or overly full after I ate.
Try to be conscious of what you are putting into your body every day. Are there things you can remove that you know are unhealthy? A general rule of thumb is to eat more fruits and vegetables and to drink more water so for most, it’s about starting there!
Journaling is a great way to practice self-care because it helps you churn out all of your thoughts and emotions onto the page. This in turn clears your mind, making it easier for you to generate new ideas and better thoughts.
I like to journal when I get the urge or a sudden feeling to write. Like If I have a random idea for my blog that pops in my head or if I’m feeling kinda sad or down, I will grab my journal to note everything I am thinking, feeling, experiencing. It’s been a great therapeutic tool as well!
Spend a few days a week journaling and allow yourself to move naturally through your thoughts on the page. Try to not over-correct spelling or grammar, instead just focus on getting words on the page!
Spend Time Alone
This is an important one! Sometimes I don’t even realize how often I’m around people. Not saying it is a bad thing at all but it can be draining sometimes to always be around your family, friends, significant others, etc. Again, being around people is perfectly healthy and normal, but I do think it helps to carve out some time where you are alone… just you.
Self-care means really just means finding ways to spend time with yourself. It can be tricky doing this with other people around so find a few minutes or a few hours one day to be completely alone. Some people use the bathroom to get away from distractions, or some go on long drives (that’s my thing).
The point is to just put a little extra effort into being with you, as much as you are with others. As my best friend always says, you cannot pour from an empty cup. So take care of you!
Cut Yourself Some Slack
Every day is not going to be perfect and filled with flowers and rainbows. Some days are harder than others and it is perfectly okay if you don’t practice self-care every single moment of every single day. Actually, it’s pretty damn near impossible with how much we have going on in our daily lives.
Adulting can be rough, seriously.
So honestly, give yourself a break if you can’t get to that hobby today or if you can’t find time to be with yourself at this exact moment. It’s okay! Just try again the next day or whenever you can.
Talk To Yourself Kindly
This was something I learned in my younger 20’s and I’m not even sure where I came across it to be honest. But what I learned was that it is so important to talk to yourself nicely. Be kind to yourself by thinking you are talking to your very best friend in the world. You wouldn’t be rude or mean to them, right?
For example, one day I felt really blah and just kinda ugly if I’m keeping it real. And I get it, we’ve all been there, where we are not feeling how we look at all. But telling myself I’m ugly doesn’t help me, and it doesn’t do anything about how I look either.
So instead of just kicking myself down and picking apart what I didn’t like about myself that day, I thought, how would I encourage my best friend?
I would tell them they are beautiful no matter what (for the most part…jk) but I would encourage them and tell them maybe a change of clothes can help them think differently about how they look in that particular moment.
You should talk to yourself with kindness and compassion, the exact way you would talk to your best friend or anyone you respect that is in your life. It’s okay if you’re down or not feeling your best, but sure that you still speak positive thoughts to yourself.