Self-care is key for taking care of ourselves and achieving our life’s purpose. When we are connected to others and mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually balanced, we are able to make good decisions and move through the world with our goals in mind. When we are not balanced, anxiety, self-doubt, and other negative thoughts can zap our energy and leave little room for thinking about or achieving our deeper goals.
Pay attention to your body’s signals.
Part of self-care is noticing what you need in the moment to help you come back into balance. For example, are you noticing that your heart rate is speeding up and your mind is racing? Ask yourself, “what do I need right now?” Practicing self-care might mean pausing to take a hike, listen to calming music, or call a good friend.
Quiet your inner critic.
Everyone has thoughts that run through their minds throughout the day. For many of us, this inner voice is critical, telling us that we are not good enough. Many of us believe these statements about ourselves that are simply not true. The kinder and gentler you can talk to yourself, the easier it is to face the ups and downs of life. Practice listening to your inner dialogue and try replacing the critical thoughts with positive affirmations. When we practice talking to ourselves like we would a good friend, we are doing self-care and developing our inner strength and mental resilience.
Do things that nourish your soul and help others.
Making our community stronger and strengthening our connections to others is self-care. Activities that are positive for your soul and for the community can be anything from participating in planting a community garden, tutoring, or doing volunteer work. It doesn’t have to be big. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It just has to make you feel good about yourself and help others.
Detach from social media.
Whether it is for an hour or a day, remove yourself from the constant exposure to negative images and commentary. Remember, social media allows a person to post what they want the world to see, which usually just includes the good, not the bad or the ugly. Try giving yourself time to regularly separate from the virtual world, rebalance, and connect with nature, people you care about, and your inner thoughts and wisdom.
Managing your mental health is also an important part of self-care. Want to learn more? Visit Managing Our Mental Health, the next article in this series.