I find it funny that I am here writing a guide to self-care when I am only scratching the surface of it myself. However, I have taken the first step, which is making the effort. Since I’m a rookie myself, it’s important for you to know that this is not a book of rules. I repeat, this is not a book of rules that are to be followed word for word! If you take nothing else from this directive, please takeaway that it is important that one’s self-care and self-love should be personal and customized.
First things first is beginning a routine. We make time and routines for everything else in the world, why not make one for ourselves? Beginning with basics is the best way to step into organizing our routine. Those basics being: physical activity, healthy eating, proper hydration, mental wellness, and minding our business (:)).
Healthy eating, proper hydration, and physical activity are central to being intentional about our wellness routine because we are both what we do and what we eat. Think about how you feel when you eat nothing but junk. We have to remember that 80% of the changes we aim to make physically are controlled by what we put into our bodies. Lucky for us, our energy is easily adaptable and has the potential to do a complete 180 once a somewhat healthy diet is implemented into the daily routine. Add in a healthy water intake and you’ll even see a new glow about yourself.
It is imperative that the other 20% is not forgotten. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a part of the group that tends to ignore the body’s need for exercise most of the time. But remember, like I told you before, I’m just scratching the surface like the rest of you that are reading. However, as I shift into a space where I am making less excuses for myself, it is important that I affirm that me (and girls like me) are going to be more intentional about exercise and getting into our bodies.
Now, while the glow up feels good, we can never forget that line shines from the inside out. So our external isn’t the only part of us that needs special care. Physical and mental care are both important. Mental wellness is also a core component of our self-love routines, as it requires us to assess who we are. And the only true way to that knowing is through minding our business. While it seems silly and/or like common sense, in the age of social media and hyper-access to others’ lives it is a necessary reminder. One big decision we all have to learn to make at some point is to UNPLUG. I know, I know, it’s harder than it sounds. But the honest truth is that unplugging is a great break for the mind. We often get caught up in loops of comparing ourselves and or our lifestyles to others, but it’s only distracting us from our true ability to be fulfilled. Instead of sinking into the hole of allowing our connections to others through our electronics to control our mood and intentions, let’s just make time to log off.
Another aspect of mental wellness is cultivating positive spaces around ourselves and within ourselves. This environmental realignment allows us to begin to limit negativity and eventually discard it all together. While on the subject of limiting, also begin to focus on your surroundings and the people in them and begin to impose proper limits on anything or anyone that threatens your ability to be at peace. Don’t rely on others to be your source of contentment; you should never hesitate to affirm and recognize yourself. Take time for yourself and pinpoint the positives and negatives you see in your environment. Figure out a way to shift the necessary gears in your life, practice gratitude regularly, and choose to be self-motivated. By listing out what you’re thankful for you allow yourself to be uplifted by both big and small efforts of your own.
Remember to be your own cheerleader/hype (wo)man! Take that tyrant that is inside of you that brings nothing but self-doubt and ‘what if’s’ to the table and tell her to shut up! Remember all of those things that you love to talk yourself out of so that you don’t go ahead and jump? Take those things as opportunities to talk yourself IN to leaping and beginning anew! You have the power and capacity to love you like no one else can.
The tips and guidance I have given you will be useful, but remember to tweak and twist those ideas in order to make the time for your specific needs, wants, and goals in this beautiful life you live. Whether you want to hibernate with your favorite book, if you want to go get that biweekly main-pedi, if you want to get that embarrassing amount of coffee, or if you want to meditate before getting out of bed to clear your mind, do what will feel most nurturing to you.
I hope my two cents of how to get your self-care ball rolling gets you motivated to begin your journey! Please, don’t just read this article, put some action behind it and get your glow on. Make the time.
Born and raised in Memphis, Kayla Has grown to love the culture and art of interior design and positive spaces. She uses her writing and photography as an outlet to show her interests in mental wellness, self-care, and balance. By sharing her thoughts and views on becoming at peace within and learning to expand one’s psyche, she creates visual horizons for the mind to explore. At such a young age she has only begun to reach her peak. For more of Kayla's work + bright personality, be sure to follow her on twitter @kaykillah__ and on instagram @__kaylareed and check out her blog.