Peace in the Violence: Self Care
By now you're probably starting to get sick of "How to Do Self Care" articles (besides this one obvi). Self care is a wonderful trend happening now and I hope it sticks around. Fresh from my own intense practice period, I can see the appeal (if done correctly). It's one of those things that you have to actively/continuously work for, but once you get the hang of it, your life will change.
I'll make this short and sweet: The whole effectiveness of self care is about giving yourself permission to just be. That's it. That's the big secret. Let yourself be honest with the fact that you don't want to do the dishes, then don't do them until you're ready! Be honest with the fact that you don't feel like doing anything besides sleeping or drinking wine in your bath tub, then do that! If you've made the time to honor yourself, there is no better way than just going with the flow of your thoughts and desires. We always have time within our days for ourselves, we've just learned not to allow it.
Disclaimer: Self care is NOT just about buying yourself all kinds of crap (that's only a minor part of it). The real work in self care / self love can actually be frustrating, painful, and may bring up things you need to be prepared to sit with (emotionally speaking).
Signs you're in need of some self lovin' ASAP:
- exhausted all the time
- feeling just emotionally SPENT or on edge
- passion is downplayed or burning on a low flame
- getting sick frequently
- irritated by surroundings or loved ones
- negative self talk (i.e. Why can't I do anything right? I can't catch a break!)
- The amount of fucks you give is 0
Granted- I'm not a doc, but these are a sign that you are not at 100. Know that this remedy isn't a cure-all, however, it can help you face stress or handle responsibilities like a zen warrior. There are infinite ways to honor yourself through self care. For me, it's shifted around and it will likely do the same for you depending on your needs and living situations. Self care looks different for every single person. What works for me, will not necessarily work for you. Here are some steps to help you identify needs and to learn to make time, along with some jolly resources.
1. Identify a list of things you do to unwind. You don't have to write that shit down but start to be aware. If you only think of one thing that's no biggie, sitting comfy on your ass is a fantastic way to spend your time occasionally too!
2. What are some things left undone? Untried? Unexperienced fully? Is it possible to make any of them work within the near future?
3. Look for times in your day that you will be alone, or without responsibility. Perhaps, if you have extravert tendencies, call up your best friend and schedule something. The point of this part is to give yourself an opportunity to be alone or at ease.
4. Open up communication with yourself. Don't trash yourself and be honest with how you're feeling. If you notice any negative self talk, try and understand where that is coming from. Chances are this is a learned behavior or state of mind, replace it with a positive thought.
5. Social Media cleanse. Ah did I hit a nerve with that one? This is both easier and harder than it sounds, but when I really started to take my self care seriously, I deleted it all; IG, Snap Chat, and Facebook straight off my phone. The accounts are still there and can be added back but now that it's been 2.5 weeks I. could. not. care. fucking. less. While, I'll likely add one or two back in, it's changed my outlook and gave me uninterrupted space to do my own thing.
6. Treat yo'self. Treat yo'self with a walk in the sunshine, with a dank joint, with something you've been needing to buy, with a trip to the beach, with a haircut. Just say you deserve it because you absolutely do.
7. Work with yourself. This is the knitty gritty- Once you've relaxed your fine self, you can begin to trust there are things you've been overlooking. Maybe it's that you haven't been challenging yourself, or maybe you haven't been fully present when with friends/family. This is the part where you can expose and rewire things in your mind. Apologize and forgive yourself for things you are ready to let go of. Then let them go.
8. Repeat 1-7 as needed (basically the idea is for the rest of your life so you're always growing, learning, and treating yourself with respect).
Resources/more self care ideas:
- Living room yoga (15-45 minutes naked on the mat? Uhm yes.): Yoga with Adrienne
- Painting, drawing, writing, sketching- anything physical and tactile
- Meet with friends/family that make you laugh
- Use mantras such as "Do no harm, Take no shit" or "I am strong, I am happy"
- Day trips/adventures (if possible) maybe even a couple days off of work
- Eating whatever the hell you want. Take out anyone?
- Reading, learning a new language, or museum time
- Podcast on self-care:
- Learn to meditate. It's hard but well worth it. There are apps, videos, literature, but I find focusing on just breathing slowly in and out, filling your chest and exhaling fully... does the trick.
Cover Photo & Article By: Lauren Royer