Self-Care (aka Sanity)

The year that was 2020 has been hard on us all. Mentally, physically, phyically, emotionally and financially. So what are you doing to stay top game for 2021?

1. Gratitude – Every single day, write down five things you are grateful for, and reflect on why you feel thankful for these aspects of your life. They can be small, monumental, boring, exciting, static or ever changing. Follow your moods and your phases in life. But no matter what, always take the time to find gratitude in your everyday life. Examples can range from having nice weather, to waking up rested, to reflecting on your support system, to thanking yourself for working hard. Try to connect your gratitude to your values. What are you proud of yourself for? What compels you to get out of bed every morning and keep going? Be intentional about your gratitude list as often as possible. Secondly, feel free to spread gratitude to others. While it’s crucial to focus on being thankful for your own skills and determination, it’s also important to show gratitude to your support system. Write a gratitude letter to someone in your life once per week. The people you surround yourself with have a profound impact on your own self-worth—and telling them so will only help strengthen your relationships with them, and with yourself.

2. Affirmations and Positive Self-Talk – “The words we speak become the house we live in.” Think about that. If you are living in a space of negativity, badgering, shaming, judging and criticizing, how in the world are you supposed safe? Secure? Happy? It’s virtually impossible. Be careful how you speak to yourself. Show yourself love and gratitude by choosing kind and encouraging words. Have your own back—especially when it comes to standing up to your inner critic. In fact, if you have a rather vocal inner critic, be sure to externalize it by naming them. This creates a separation between yourself and your negative voice, which can help you realize that you are not indelibly tied to them. You are able to produce kind, reaffirming words, even if you are used to your inner critic being the lone voice. To get in the habit, practice saying at minimum one to three affirmations per day. They can be as simple as “I am worthy,” or as detailed as “I do not wait for others to give me permission to do what I love.” Ideally, these affirmations will set the tone for the rest of your day, and the more you repeat them, the more you’ll believe them. Between the constant source of positivity from yourself, and the undermining of your inner critic, you’ll be on your way to creating a safe environment for yourself to thrive.

3. Self-Care – Self-care can be defined as any act that nourishes the self. Some self-care acts might re-energize, while others might be for relaxation purposes. Typically, it’s used to rest, reset or reflect. Self-care will also look different for everyone. But the most important takeaway is that In order to have self-love, you have to show yourself you love yourself daily with acts of service. Taking care of yourself can be divided into three different categories: mind, body and soul. On an amazing self-care day, you’ll check off an item under all three categories. On more challenging days, you might only check off one. Here are some examples of self-care under each category:

Mind: journaling, reading for pleasure, watching a relaxing show, puzzling, drawing, crafting, knitting.

Body: exercising, having a spa day, doctor’s visits, visiting a salon, stretching, taking a bath, doing a skincare routine, facial masks.

Soul: prayer, meditation, connecting with a loved one, participating in a community event, reading a self-help or spiritually inclined book.

Remember: Everyone will have different self-care items that speak to them. For example, under “body,” some might prefer exercise over a manicure—and that doesn’t mean their self-care is better or worse than anyone else’s! As long as you are practicing self-care that fills your cup, you are doing it right. If you’re having trouble staying consistent or coming up with ideas for your own self-care, consider investing in a self-care calendar or self-care bingo to assist with the planning. Both could take the guesswork out of your planned activities and help you stay on track with your progress. I hope these tips help you curate a healthy and happy relationship with yourself. Your stability, security and sanity will thank you immensely if you can dedicate time to yourself every single day.

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