Types of self-care: Prioritizing you.
The word self-care is talked about a lot lately but what does self-care look like to you? Seriously, take a moment of your time and really think about what it is that you do to prioritize taking care of yourself. We live in a very fast-paced world, that seems to prioritize a burnt-out, hustle culture more than encouraging rest when needed. We seem to always be on the go, looking for the next big thing, another way to make money (don’t get me wrong, I like this one too😅) however it is not the end all be all. What’s the point of burning yourself out trying to make more money if you’re not earth side to enjoy said money? Remember, rest is needed and should not be a reward.
We all need to do better when it comes to taking care of ourselves. Personally, within the last year and a half I have ramped up on prioritizing my self-care and I am loving it. For one, putting myself first and ensuring my cup is full allows me to be in a constant state of peace. I don’t know about anyone else but I love peace. Peace of mind, being at peace and living in peace. Do you catch my drift? I’m going to share with you a few ways I indulge in self-care. I’ve broken down my steps into categories of 1)Spiritual self-care 2)Emotional self-care 3)Physical self-care 4)Mental self-care 5) Social self-care and 6) Environmental self-care.
Spiritual self-care: I take my faith very seriously. My faith in God and His mercies are what keep me grounded, covered and at peace. As cliche as it may sound, without it, I truly don’t know where I would be. spiritual self-care for me is spending time reading my bible. Last year, I made a vow to read the bible from Genesis to Revelation. I started and read up until the beginning of Leviticus; however, I decided to restart with the new testament instead. If you’ve read the bible then you’ll know the Old Testament is a bit complex, which is why I am now reading the New Testament first. I am currently in the book of Luke and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I also keep a prayer journal, where I write down scripture that stands out to me and prayers. I am refreshing my knowledge as well as learning new things as I read. This
is a set of both the Old and New Testaments making it simpler for the person reading to understand. Aside from reading the word, I also have worship sessions where I will turn on my gospel playlist and just bask in God’s presence while singing and praying. Sometimes when I don’t have the words to say, I just let my praise and worship say it for me😊 Last year I also started this Power Thoughts Devotional which gives you scripture and accompanying passage every day for the entire year. If you’re looking for other devotionals, the Bible app has tons that are curated based on what your needs may be.
Emotional self-care: These days I am noticing that a lot of people do not know how to self-regulate. They fly off the handle easily, take offence to any and everything, they’re unable to control themselves and overall just have a poor EQ rating. Many contributing factors can result in an individual having a low EQ; however, it doesn’t have to be that way. I think that the older we get, we should be able to control our emotions better and not let them get the best of us or control us. We often hear about self-love but for some reason, it’s not being practiced enough or when it is, we’re told things like “you think too much of yourself”, “you’re not all that”, “lower your standards”, “don’t love yourself too much” etc. It’s baffling, to say the least. I would often ask myself, “why does it bother some people so much when another loves him or herself, and know their value”? I then realized it’s because 1) a lot of people are insecure in themselves 2) they’re intimidated by a person who is confident in themselves 3) they’re intimidated by a person who is not afraid to be their authentic self even when judged. 4) misery loves company. If more people loved themselves, I think a lot of those ill feelings will dissipate. The following are some ways you can take care of yourself emotionally:
- Affirmations: a lot of people swear by them and I believe they can be a big help in shaping how you view yourself. A simple one would be to think of 3 nice things you can say to yourself every day.
- Treat yourself the way you would treat others. (FYI: If you’re out here being nasty to people then chances are you’ll be that to yourself ).
- Make time for yourself. Develop enjoyable routines for yourself. I have a solid morning and night routine. My morning routine helps me start my days on a relaxed note. After praying & reading my devotional, I typically turn on a cozy setting on youtube (posted below) playing in the background, while I make and then eat breakfast and get ready for my day. In order to have a pleasant day routine, a solid evening/night routine is a must. My night routine consists of me listening to classical music, jazz or one of the playlists listed below from Youtube. I take the time to write out my to-do’s for the following day, catch up on emails I may have missed during the day, catch up on my favourite shows or a movie etc. When it’s time to unwind for bed, I like to have supper, laze about on my laptop or iPad, colour, take a hot shower, body and skincare routine and then get into bed. I go to bed between 10:30-11 pm and will read between that time instead of being on my phone. When it’s time to actually sleep, I must have some sort of simulated sound playing typically rain sounds, waves crashing or bible prayers by Abide on Youtube.
- Create healthy boundaries: This is something I had struggled with, simply because I didn’t know how to say no without feeling bad and also letting people impose their unsolicited ideas, insecurities and nonsense on me. I can’t stress this enough but learn how to say no without explaining yourself.
- Check-in with yourself daily: This can look like journaling, meditation, brain dumps or just sitting with your thoughts.
Physical self-care: This one is sometimes a hit and miss, only because it involves having to show up and doing the actual work. The benefits are numerous for physical self-care such as relieving stress, anxiety and depression, developing stronger bones & muscles, lowering cholesterol and HBP etc. Personally, over the last two years, I have seen my weight fluctuate and finally figured out what my “goal weight” is; however, the overall goal is to be healthy and happy. I currently work out at home and to be honest, sometimes I lapse but I will be joining the gym soon and plan to work out with my fiance. He’s built beautifully 😏
- Yoga: I try to incorporate yoga into my evening routine, helping my mind and body unwind before I go to sleep
- Massage: a few years ago my doctor literally gave me a prescription for getting a massage once a month. I haven’t always kept up with it monthly and have been going sporadically. This year I’m going to make it my mission to get one biweekly. I encourage you to get a professional one at least once a month. It does wonders for the body.
- Exercise: Since this pandemic started, a lot of us lost the zeal to work out much less exercise. You don’t have to join the gym to get your body moving. Take a 30-minute walk, put on a 15-minute workout video on youtube and follow along, park further away from the store entrance, light jog around your neighbourhood etc are all different forms of exercise you can do.
Besides moving your body, physical care encompasses other things such as eating proper meals, skin, body and hair care, drinking water etc.
Eating: Lately, I’ve been taking the time to be present while I eat. For me, that means not scrolling on my phone (typically in the evening) but just sitting in quietness and savouring every bite of whatever it is I am eating and honestly, I am enjoying my foods more.
Skin/Body/Haircare: I am big on all 3 and take great pride in finding the right products for my types. For my skin, I use urban skin rx and the ordinary. As for skincare, I love body butter, the consistency is thicker than lotion and provides more moisture for my skin. I lock in that moisture with a body oil after. I love body scrubs and also use a body brush in the shower. I always make sure that my body products are paraben and phthalates-free. I recently cut my hair and regrowing it this time around, I am having fun finding products that work and actually taking care of it😅
- Facial rolling
- Dry body brush
- Scalp massager
- Body butter/oils
- Body scrubs
Social self-care: We all desire companionship and friendship, the key is to make sure you have solid, genuine people around you and to remember that not everyone is your friend. Assess your friend group(s) and as the saying goes, promote and demote accordingly. When spending time with a friend or group of friends assess how you feel after. Do you feel uplifted, positive about life or do you feel drained and negative about life? Depending on your answer, you will either nourish or cut the cord of that friendship. A lot of times, we sometimes feel like we need to remain friends with everybody with grew up with or went to school with and that may not always be the case. As we grow older, our priorities, responsibilities and life path may change and we sometimes outgrow friendships. Don’t get me wrong, there are some friendships that last a lifetime and I love to see them; however, there are some that are only meant for a season and that is okay. Again, make sure you have genuine people around, ones that will speak life into you, edify you, encourage you, pray with and for you, have fun with you etc.
Environmental self-care: If my environment is disorganized and untidy I simply cannot function. I may be a tad bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my home and that’s okay😌 organization is a must for me. My space has to be in order and clean. If things are all over the place, I start getting anxious and my mind becomes cluttered. I have curated my home in such a way that it feels like I’m in a spa 24/7. I am nowhere near finished but what I’ve done so far makes me happy. Your home should be a safe haven, an oasis, a place that brings you ease, peace and joy. These are some items that can help brings that serene feeling into your space:
- Warm lighting: I love warm, soft, cozy low lighting.
- LED/strip lights: 90% of the time I use LED/Strip lights in the evenings on the low setting
- Candles: One cannot have too many candles. Along with the strip lights, I have a few unscented candles lit throughout the home.
- Blankets: I am all about living a cozy life and having blankets is a big part of that, and also because my feet are always cold😀 throw them on your couch, bed etc.
- Plants/Flowers: My fiance has roped me into wanting plants strategically placed throughout. Currently on the hunt for bigger ones for the living room area.
- Curtains: During the winter months, I like heavy light-blocking curtains; however, during the spring/summer months it’s all about light, airy pieces.
- Fluffy rugs
- Mood music: 99.9% of the time I have soothing music playing. Either jazz, classical, spa or lofi music playing.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading🤍 I hope you all are taking proper care of yourselves, especially during these very uncertain, scary and trying times. Nourish your soul, body and mind and go at your own pace because life is not a race. Take your time, do what’s best for you, shut out the naysayers and most importantly enjoy it.