Now that the new year has settled in it’s a great time to set our intentions for the new year. It can be a good time for evaluating your life. What worked for you in the past year? What didn’t? What parts of your life would you like to improve? Are there any old habits lurking about that you would like to be finally rid of? What new habits would you like to incorporate to improve your life?
This year instead of approaching the changes you want to make as a laundry list of the same resolutions that everyone seems to make I challenge you to see this as an opportunity to practice true self-care. The term self-care has become a popular phrase in recent times conjuring up images of pedicures and bubble baths. While these are certainly ways to take care of yourself, how do we take care of ourselves in a meaningful way? Short escapes of pampering ourselves are nice, and does help us briefly recharge our batteries, how do we create lasting routines that don’t just recharge, but rejuvenate our batteries? Self-care is a constantly evolving practice that requires a willingness to really take stock of ourselves and our habits and adjusting them to allow you to live the fullest version of your life. Here are a few ways to begin your own practice of self-care
It’s your life
Banish any feelings of victim hood and understand that while life isn’t always fair, it is your life and your choices shape the trajectory of every day, you are capable of making significant and beneficial changes. By holding yourself accountable, you are giving yourself the clarity of vision to take the reins of your own destiny. Make a list of things you wish to change in your life. Do you have trouble saying no to things? Do you spend too much or eat too much? Are there relationships in your life that you find toxic or draining to your time? Understand where you are capable of setting stronger boundaries in order to honor yourself and act by them. The way you do things is a reflection of how you value yourself, so act from a place of self-worth.
Let it go
Letting go of clutter is a wonderful way to clear space both mentally and physically. This simple act will leave you feeling calmer, more organized and more available to handle whatever life brings. Let go of those resentments, past slights, and conflicts that can trap you in a negative mindset. This act alone is a powerful release and a way to show yourself, love. Make a regular habit checking in with both your mental and physical space and where you can and let go of those objects or thoughts which no longer serve you.
Watch your thoughts and your words
The way that we talk to ourselves has a huge influence on our daily lives. Check-in with your thoughts and self-talk on a daily basis and start to become more aware of how you talk to yourself. We find it much easier to be kind to those around us than to ourselves. Chances are you don’t talk to yourself the same way that you talk to your closest friends when they are struggling kind words can go a long way to show that they have your support. Why deny yourself the same? The act of self-compassion can be one of the most difficult and rewarding practices of self-care. Our thoughts and words are so important, try to speak with positive intent or at least teach yourself to become aware of why you say certain things, either to yourself or others. Calming down your negative mental chatter is an incredible exercise in self-care that will benefit your life on all levels. After all the voice we hear most in our heads is our own, make friends with that voice.
Mindful social media
So many of us waste time idly scrolling through reels of other’s carefully presented lives with no understanding of just how it affects our self-esteem, not to mention our attention spans. Think about what aspects of social media you actually enjoy and just follow people that make you feel uplifted and positive. The constant bombardment of advertising, images, quotes, and memes can make us question our lives and lead us to make harsh comparisons. Limiting the minutes you spend scrolling and taking up an alternative activity is more beneficial to your brain and body. A few minutes reading a book, learning a few words in another language or just going for a walk with your phone off will be of much greater benefit than mindless scrolling as well as helping to eliminate the anxiety and envy that social media can cause.
Do things for your future self
Self-care can certainly mean tending to your immediate needs. But you also need to think of what your future self wants. Sometimes those wants are harder to hear, for example, you might not feel like budgeting your money, but future you desperately wants to escape the paycheck to paycheck life. You may be putting off a doctor’s visit you know you need or avoiding going to the gym or any number of similar wants and needs. Instead of giving into your present frame of mind, take a moment to visualize the outcome of these actions on future you, and decide what’s most important in the long term.
Self-care isn’t necessarily all good. It’s about making uncomfortable decisions for a better future. This requires us to pull the curtain back on the parts of our lives that we might normally shy away from. The reward for doing the hard work of self-care is the satisfaction of living your best life, which not only benefits you but everyone around you. We here at Essential Mind and Body are here to support you in your practice of self-care. Whether your needs are physical or energetic we offer hands-on support as well as a number of supplements to assist you in finding the right self-care regimen. Contact us today and let us help you find your way to the best life ever.
Yours in Good Health,
The Team at Essential Mind and Body.