AN EMPTY LANTERN PROVIDES NO LIGHT. SELF-CARE IS THE FUEL THAT ALLOWS YOUR LIGHT TO SHINE BRIGHTLY
One of the biggest misconceptions of self-care I hear about nowadays is that self-care is selfish. Which could not be farther from the truth.
Today’s society we are in constant rush. We need the fastest (and free) delivery, our texts need to go through right away, emails be answered within thirty minutes and we pre-order our Starbucks so we can walk in grab and go. Every day we do the same thing over and over again. Creatures of habit. We get so caught up in the world we let precious time slip through our finger tips.
When we have some down time what is the first thing we usually do? We check our phones for our social media apps: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. Scrolling through the same things we saw that morning when we woke up and we will see the same things when we go back on the app 5 minutes after we close it out. Before you know it 20 minutes has passed and your “rest” is over. Does anyone ever really feel rested? Our generation has the highest record of people with anxiety….and honestly, I am one of them. Doctors and science both agree people who worry, stress and over work themselves are most likely to get sick quicker, more issues with their bodies, and have a shorter life. The pressure we put on ourselves is actually shortening our life, something that no one wants! So, I started researching things to help and every article I read and doctor I have talked to said the best medicine is “self-care”.
A few things that I have started to do and have truly helped are: Yoga, saying no, turning off the phone, and of course a little beauty time. Some of you are probably thinking “I do not have time to do all of this” or “I never get time alone so this will never be a possibility for me”, I truly understand where your mindset is at. I was there and sometimes I still let my mind go to that place. It takes time to teach ourselves to care for the most important person in our lives….our self. Once we get into the mentality that it is okay than I PROMISE you that you will eventually feel more confident, relaxed, happier and for those with anxiety like me..well you can manage it so much more.
When things start getting overwhelming or when I catch myself on my phone for over 15 minutes I know that it is time to take a few moments to myself. All those wasted minutes on our phones could have been a few seconds of peace closing our eyes or even doing a few simple yoga poses. I started this about six weeks ago and taking those extra minutes for me has helped clear my mind and as weird as it sounds made more time in my day to get things done. Now I am not saying I am never on my phone because I love social media just like or more than the person next to me but now whenever I am with someone I do not go on social media. I will take pictures with who I am with and post them later in day when I am alone and using my “phone time”.
I am due in about 5-6 weeks with our first baby boy. Since June I have been making plans with people trying to crunch in as much as I can before James comes into our lives. There was two weeks in June where I had a plan every morning and every night. I was always driving to someone or somewhere they wanted to meet. Not even thinking about what my doctors told me to rest and take it easy. Of course, after those two weeks I put my body under so much that I had to cancel my next few weeks of plans because I became so weak and tired. You would think I would have learned from June not to schedule too much right? Well you are wrong, I did not learn and here comes August I started doing the same thing but then I stopped when I realized my anxiety was getting so high with all I was trying to do for people and none of it was taking care of my health or myself before the baby comes. After one of my OB checkups I had to text all my friends/family and cancel a lot of plans because these next few weeks I needed to take it easy and honestly enjoy by myself. The rest of our lives my husband and I will always be putting our child first. For the first time in my life I had no guilt about canceling. I simply started saying “no” to plans not out of anger or boredom with my friends but out of taking care of me. In those moments you find who truly is your friend and I can honestly say I did not lose any of them since I was honest with each of them and they respected me taking a stand for myself. (For the record I have the sweetest friends in the world and if I would have asked them to drive to me they would have but the stubborn person I am I did not do that)
Beauty time. A little face mask with wine can go a long way for a girl. After a busy day all someone wants to do is get in their comfy clothes, grab a drink, get their phone out and sit on their bed to relax. Yet, our minds cannot actually relax because we keep stimulating it with our phone. Once we start scrolling through the same things as earlier we once again wasted time we could have been truly resting. After I realized that I started turning off my phone at night for about thirty minutes. I got a bath ready with some Epsom salt, grabbed my favorite drink, and put one of those cheap face masks you can get from Walgreens, Wal-Mart, or TJ-Maxx. Take those few minutes in the bath and train your mind to shut off the world. Instead of thinking of all you have to do or what is going wrong, try thinking of all that’s going right and all that you have accomplished. Start turning all the negatives into positives.
A lot of us have kids, a husband or a demanding job so being able to do all of this can be hard but just like working out you can modify these few things. When you are on your lunch break at work turn off your phone for a few minutes and take a deep breath or even do a few yoga poses (you can do some in your chair at work). If you have kids, when they are napping or finally in bed, grab yourself that glass of wine or put on that one face mask a week. Say “no” to plans when life starts getting too overwhelming for you. You are NOT selfish. You are the complete opposite. You are making time for yourself so you do not become an anxiety filled or bitter or angry person. Whenever you do have plans with your friends or family you are able to give them your full attention without constantly worrying about the next thing you have to do.
There are so many other things one can do for self-care: Reading a book, making a good cup of tea, or going on a walk etc. The list is endless. Find what is right for YOU.
Everyone says it takes 21 days to create a new habit. I challenge everyone reading this that for the next 21 days decrease your phone time, fit in 5 minutes of yoga or start a new book or turn off your phone for a few minutes to get your head straight. You can do this. Repeat to yourself over and over again that this is not selfish, you are important. Take care of yourself!
Thank you everyone for reading todays blog post! Only positive comments for this is simply me sharing my journey.
Love you all ❤