Updated: Aug 26
Self-Care. When you read those words, what do you think of first? Even better, how does it make you feel? Do you cringe? Oh, not this again! Do you smirk? I have got my face mask on right now! Does it evoke mental pictures of meditation, lotions, massages, or ice cream? Maybe you are at a similar point as I was, where I just wanted this self-care message to leave me alone! Not because I did not think that it was important, but because I thought that a lot of the messages being spread around self-care were actually full of it and they just wanted my money. I will scream it from the rooftop - a facemask will not fix your problems! - even though they are really nice. I want to share with you some of the mindsets that have completely turned my life around and keep me on the right track.
Self-care comes from the heart. It comes from the inside out. All you have to start with is the desire to do it. I am not talking about the, well in a perfect world-one day-if only, kind of desire. I think there are exceptions, but, especially in my own life, I have found that if I really want something, I am willing to inconvenience myself for it. Now, be brutally honest with yourself. How much are you actually going out of your way to change your bad habits? If you really wanted something, you would not make so many excuses. The reason why I am being so hard on you is because I want you to know that the life you want is available to you, but only you can make it a reality. I do not want you to reach the end of your life and realize that you have wasted your days.
Your heart follows your actions. Look, there will be exceptions to this; however, as the saying goes, if you want to know where someone’s heart is, follow their wallet. I also like to add follow their time. That is why folks ask, “when was the last time you did something for yourself?” It does not need to be a spa day, although that is nice. It can simply be setting aside an hour for yourself to take a walk in the park. Free. I will also add this. We should be very careful not to blame and get upset at others for their self-care. Especially spouses. Do you catch yourself saying: Why don’t you help me more? Where were you? Oh, you were at the gym? How dare you. No, no, boo. You are upset because they made time for themselves and you have not done the same for yourself.
Ask yourself, what is stopping you? All of your obligations? I guarantee that if you looked at your schedule through the lens of “Do I HAVE to do this?”, you would find some things that you could take off your plate. Self-care is about taking back the reins in your own life. The biggest act of self-care is basically taking self-responsibility. Owning up to the fact that you play the biggest role in your destiny. All the choices that you have made have led you to this point. Are you where you want to be? I did this with myself, and it is not a fun process if you have made some bad choices. This is a hard process, but a necessary one. You can never change what you do not acknowledge. This is the first step in taking concrete steps towards practicing self-care. My mantra for self-care is to simply be better than yesterday. That does not mean perfect. That does not mean, reaching my goal. That means, taking steps in the right direction. Over time, this mentality will help you make huge strides towards becoming who you want to be.
What the big companies will not tell you is that self-care does not really look all that glamorous most of the time. For example, some of the ways that I love myself the most are: waking up early, eating healthy, keeping a schedule, making deadlines, working out, slowing down, and knowing when to push myself. To be honest, none of these things are really fun for me. Sure, I will get a burst of energy every now and again, but I know my goal and I know the kind of person who I want to be and I want to set myself up for success. I do not want to sabotage myself. I do not want to be my own worst enemy. If that means not staying out late every night, saying no to the cookies, and paying the bills before I go shopping, then so be it. This ties into my point about being better every day. Rarely is sacrifice fun in the moment, but when I look back over the progress that I have made, I am so proud of myself and I build so much confidence. I believe in you! Go out there and get it!