In today’s world, there is so much going on. We are a busy people always on the go.This is really emphasized in the millennial generation. We are a focused group. We’re either getting to the bag, chasing a dream, or building our empire. When we aren’t doing that, we’re taking care of others, paying bills, and overall making sure everything and everyone is straight. In doing so, it is so easy to forget to take care of yourself. It is so important to take care of self, and a number of us don’t. I honestly did not know what self care was until I moved to Miami, and I am so happy I am aware now.
I am a person that loves to take care of others. I put other people before me ( a blessing and a curse), and seeing others happy makes me happy. Although this can be a really good trait to have, it can be extremely draining. I was doing it to the extreme. I worked a lot, spent my time and money on others, and I often ignored signs my body would try to tell me whenever I needed to slow down. At the beginning of the year, all this began to catch up to me. I was stressed to the point that I began to have headaches, and I started having really bad anxiety. I’d just be in a constant state of stress and worry. My face broke out, and I’d get constant migraines.
During the summer I was at training for Teach for America. We had a seminar where it talked about self care. As a teacher, you cannot go into the classroom and teach if you are not at your full capacity. It dawned on me that I could not give anything my all if I didn’t take care of myself. You cannot pour into others from an empty cup. It is that overflow that other people get from you. From that seminar, I started taking care of myself. I asked so many people about their self-care routines and things they did to de-stress. From my inquiries, I learned self-care is not just physical and skin related. It is mental, spiritual, emotional, physical, financial, etc.
Self care isn’t a general concept. It is individual. It is based upon the needs of the person that is practicing it. It is a healing; a medication in fact. It requires you to medicate in all aspects. Self care is so crucial because if you do not stop and recharge, you’re literally going nowhere. People think self-care is a luxury, no! It is a necessity. It’s needed. With our phone, we’re so quick to throw it on a charger when it drops 1%, why can’t we take care of ourselves the same way?
I’ve learned work will always be there, bills will always be there, but you only have one life to live. Do not spend all of your days just working. If you’re sick, take off! If you are not there mentally, take a personal day. It is so important to do things to maintain a healthy mind, body, and soul. It is so easy to throw on a face mask and scream self care, but are you really taking care of self? Are you catering to your needs? To have self care isn’t just physical it is so many other things. With that being said, here are some ways I practice self care:
- Pray: Let me say this right now, prayer is the key to everything, okay. When I feel stress, anxiety, or worry, I drop everything and pray. BUT, understand that you have to put some work behind what you just prayed for. Faith without works is dead, and so is prayer without works. This means to pray against anything that is harming your sanity or peace, and once God reveals it to you, LET. IT. GO.
- Unplug: Sometimes self care is as simple as logging out. It isn’t healthy spending the majority of your day looking at your phone screen. We expose ourselves to so much, we don’t realize how much social media can really affect us. You see so many influences (both positive and negative), you don’t see that subconsciously it affects our mental. Just do yourself a favor and log out!
- “Me” time: My roommate and I love me time, haha! This is a time dedicated to YOU. During this time you do whatever you want. You unplug from the world and spend time with you. It is no work, just you enjoying your own company. That can mean putting on a face mask, sipping wine, watching Netflix, getting a massage, sleeping, or you can even use this time to balance and budget your finances! Ayaba, you spend this time doing whatever it is your heart desires! It is completely up to you.
- Get Physical: One of the best ways to let go of some stress is through the body. I know times when I’m really overwhelmed, I go to the gym. Getting physical should not be limited to the gym. You can try out boxing, yoga, swimming, or something as simple as taking a walk! Plus, you’re getting your body right. Thats a two-for-one. Who doesn’t love a two-for-one?! Lol.
- Feed your soul: It is so important to feed your soul! Everyday so many things are thrown at you to influence you. If you are not careful, it can throw you off. So you have to do whatever it is to keep you grounded. This includes meditating, reading, listening to positive music/podcasts, or even taking a lavender bath! Whatever makes you smile from within, do it!
- Cut it: Cut off anything or anyone that is disturbing your peace. It is about to be a brand new year, and we’re not bringing that negative energy into 2019. Protect your peace sis. That job you don’t like, quit it. That friend that always has you in drama, cut them off. That toxic relationship, let it go! Free yourself and be your own peace. Peace and self care go hand in hand. Peace is what you get as a result of taking care of yourself.
One of the reoccurring things that I believe God wanted me to understand this year is that life is too short. Tomorrow is not promised. We should not take anything for granted. We are supposed to be using our days to make us happy. We should be taking care of us and our individual needs. It is okay to be selfish sometimes! This upcoming year start treating you. Make it the year of self. Take care of your needs. Actually take the time to cater to you. Listen to your body, pay attention to your thoughts, and remove anything that is contrary to your progression and growth.Anything that is disturbing your peace, do away with. Start doing whatever is it you need to do to take care of you. If that is meditating, praying, going to therapy, journaling, or laying down doing absolutely nothing, do it. You deserve it!