Updated: Jan 5
Have you ever tried to take a road trip with no gas in your car ? Bizarre right ? Thats what its like going through life without Taking Care of You.
If you were to hashtag #selfcare on Instagram , 39.7 million post would pop up, so its no secret that self care is important . But what does "Self Care" mean to you ?
When most people think of self care, the think of bubble baths, face masks or devouring their favorite bottle of wine. While indulging into those things may be cool , self care is much deeper than that. Self Care is a mindset, a way of living ... a lifestyle.
Every day at least 100 women , probably more , fall into depression because they have completely forgotten about themselves . When we have children , we are actually told "its not about you anymore" , at least I was. That statement alone led me to push myself into taking care of my daughter, only ! Focusing mostly on providing financial support for my child as a single mother, while loosing sleep, stressing AND caring for a newborn. That was the ultimate recipe for depression. It took a while for me to find Myself again because I didn't have anyone to tell me what I was feeling was normal and that there are other women that struggle with post pardon depression . Caring for a child or your children is something that will never go away. Your maternal instincts won't allow you to neglect them, so you move in tunnel vision, completely forgetting about YOU !
Children aren't the only challenges in life that aids in mental break downs , unfortunately. To be honest , being a parent may be more on the easy side for some women. You also have Relationships, Jobs and Careers, Family Issues , Health Issues, and all these other things that effects you daily. There is NO ONE out there that isnt struggling with something . If someone appears to have it all together, please understand that they don't not. Some may become hostage to the "strong black woman" narrative and put on the "I got my ish together" face. But, because you don't have it all together doesn't mean you cannot be at peace. This is where the importance of self care comes in. Finding things that provides true bliss or makes your life so much more easier to deal with is critical to your mental health. #BlissLife
There is great power in finding the courage to change the things you can and accepting the things you cannot. As women we tend to fall into being in control of things because we have to be. Circumstances has lead you believe that being in control is a defense mechanism and you put so much into it whereas; you can put that same energy and more into accepting the things we have absolutely no control of. Once you've accepted that fact, a weight is instantly lifted off of your shoulder. Understanding that you have the power to literally change your whole entire life, by changing your mindset , your views and controlling your reactions is the Key to a Better YOU.
So, what does Self-Care look like to you? How do you practice it? Heres a list of a few things that helps me and reminds me to take care of me.
*Journaling : For those of you who enjoy writing , like myself, Journaling is one of the most effective ways to practice Self Care. You could write about your day , vent and even plan out your life goals. Theres something therapeutic about connecting a pen and paper. Looking back on all you've written down allows for you to visually see what all you've been holding in.
*Goal Setting : These is one of my new favorite things to do. We all have goals in life but what are we actually doing to achieve our goals? Are you working towards your goals daily ? Keep in mind Goals are not only occupied by materialistic things such as, "I want to buy a house" or "I want to buy a new car" or anything else you can posses. Goals can also be, "I don't want to buy or eat any fast food for 30 days" or " I want to put $100 in my savings account every week for 90 days". Goals can be literally anything that's helps you look at the brighter things in life or help you to level up your life.
*Meditation: Contrary to ones belief , meditation is not always sitting Indian style surrounded by candles and chanting. However, if that's what meditation looks like for you , go for it girl ! Meditation can also be setting your alarm for 10-20 mins earlier and lying there in silence. Meditation can be taking 10 mins out of your day to be still. It can be sitting outside your job before work and sitting in silence. The purpose of Mediation is allowing yourself to sit and lesson to yourself. Calming your mind , allowing yourself to see your visions clearer. Meditating also helps with anger and emotional outbursts.
*Day Dates : Oh Em Gee Day dates are lit. Treating yourself is the literally the definition of "Self Care" . Going to lunch solo or a movie is so fun. Do I even need to mention Spa Days? I could write whole other Blog entry on why Spa Days are essential to your overall mental health. Day dates can also be with a person or people who make you happy.
*Exercise : Depending on how in shape you are, workouts can be intense or moderate. Taking daily walks is calming and allows for you do get a dose a fresh air.
*Doing Absolutely Nothing : This is probably the best one. Not to be confused with sleeping your life away because you're too depressed to deal, but effectively resting your mind and body. Its so easy to over work yourself. Keep in mind you cannot pour from an empty cup. Putting on your favorite pajamas curling up in bed, watching a good movie is definitely self care.
Applying these things and a list of unlisted things will guide you into creating the perfect self care routine.
After reading this Blog. I can only hope that you have a better understanding on how you can do things to make sure you are taking care of you and why it's important to do so.
~Your Self Care Advocate ~