How To Love Yourself with Self Care
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I have been trying to be more intentional about self care, and I think I'm finally improving.
Self care is a lot of things, it's physical, emotional, personal, social, spiritual, and practical. It requires checking in on every part of your self, which sometimes pretty much sucks.
PhysicalI am exhausted 90% of the time, I don't sleep well, I don't like eating breakfast, and because of these couple of things, I have a hard time taking care of my physical self. I don't exercise enough or at all, and some days the only healthy thing I've done is drink water.
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I have also been trying to keep up with getting my hair cut and colored, and getting my nails done semi regularly. I do these things not because they are making me healthier, but becasue they make me feel put together, and ready for life. My job involves a lot of presenting, so it's important to me to look at least one step up from just rolling out of bed. I also try to make time to take a fancy bath once in a while, use face masks, and do other relaxing things. I am a little uptight, so relaxing is really hard for me and takes a lot of effort, but I know it's important.
EmotionalFeelings are hard for me. I see a therapist pretty much every week to help me figure out my feelings. I had to print a list of feeling words at the beginning of my mental health journey, because I didn't know how to articulate them. I would literally tell my therapist, I feel blah, or meh, or make an actual sound effect. I still struggle to put my feelings into words, but I am getting better and my feelings vocabulary has grown to almost 15 words I can regularly use. There are still sound effects though.
I journal most days to help me process my feelings. I write out anything I've done for self care, five things I'm grateful for, a compliment to myself, and anything else interesting that has happened that day. I also track how much water I drink and how often I meditate.
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As an adult I have had a difficult relationship with church (the building) and some of the people inside. I know some of the difficulty is my own insecurity, but there is a big part of this relationship where people are just straight up shitty. I took a break from attending church and six years later that break is still hanging on.
I pray and check in with God. I consult scripture when I need advice, encouragement, or reminders about life. I discuss these things with my friends and Christopher. I sing worship songs around the house and celebrate Christian holidays in full force. This might not be ideal, but it's where I am, and I'm happy with this for now.
PracticalSometimes you just have to be a damn adult. Dishes have to get washed, or else you'll end up with flies. Laundry has to get done, because our society prefers you get dressed before leaving the house. Bills have to get paid, or else you won't have electricity, or water, or something like that. And there are times when just showering is about all I can handle in terms of self care, but that's important. Part of my self care routine is checking to make sure all of my bills were paid correctly (I auto pay everything), and highlighting the little boxes in my spreadsheet once they have been paid. This helps me stay organized and alleviates some of the anxiety surrounding getting bills paid on time.
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I also try to make showering more fun by having a small variety of options for my bath products. Smells I love, scrubs that feel good, and always a clean fluffy towel. We also just installed a color changing, dimmable light bulb in the shower so now I can have mood lighting. I also find that if I listen to podcasts or books in the shower so I don't rush and then it's a more relaxing experience.
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Self care look different for everyone. Some days it's getting your to do list done, using a face mask, and reading a book. Other days self care is staying in bed and remembering to eat.
Share your favorite self care tips in the comments.