I thought self-care rituals were all dumb and unhelpful until I got sick of engaging in the same self-destructive habits with often disastrous results. I decided to try several different self-help methods to get my act together and the results were life-changing. This was when I got over my preconceived idea that self-care was just a “trend” and realized that this was my life.
There’s a good chance you’ll feel dumb at first, but positive affirmations are all about changing the way we talk to ourselves. I used to be the queen of self-deprecating humor and was always ragging on myself. It got to the point that I was literally believing all the negative BS I was saying to myself and I knew it had to stop. That’s where positive affirmations come in. This could be practiced in a multitude of different ways. Tell yourself you forgive yourself. Say, out loud, all of the things that you like about yourself. No matter how much you don’t believe it, say, “I’m so beautiful. I deserve love. I am enough. I’m destined for great things.” Practice positive affirmations every morning until you stop feeling dumb and start believing in everything you say. I promise it will come.
Unplugging for a while
Social media is an amazing tool, a great way to connect, and also a great way to induce anxiety. Having the ability to always be connected to everyone and everything can be overwhelming. It leads us to feel inadequate and self-conscious and is a huge source of FOMO. I used to use my phone to cure boredom and fill awkward silences and I can admit I was addicted to scrolling. Letting go of that crutch wasn’t easy but it feels freeing to remove myself from the digital world every once in a while. It really helps me feel present.
Making the bed first thing in the morning
I’ve read that a habit that most successful people possess is making the bed each morning. I’ve always found it to be a waste of time since I’m just going to unmake it and go back to sleep at the end of the day. However, ever since I’ve begun making the bed in the morning, there have been noticeable changes in how I start and end my day. First off, doing something productive first thing in the morning gets your mind motivated to keep that ball rolling throughout your day. Your bedroom space seems more orderly and less messy. The best part, however, is that when I’m getting ready to plop back into bed at night, it feels far more refreshing to unmake a made bed and lay in it than to lay in my messy pile of blankets that are still disheveled from the previous night’s sleep.
It really took me a while to start practicing mediation despite the widely known benefits. It’s still something I’m still trying to get into the habit of doing regularly. I mean, what is sitting in the quiet really about to do for my mental health? Admittedly, I don’t have the attention span to get my brain to shut up for more than a few seconds. Guided meditation is very helpful, though. Letting go of the chaos around us, if only for a few minutes, can help us reset, re-evaluate, and tackle our problems from a calmer perspective once we step out of the silence.
Uncluttering my space and minimizing my stuff
Our environment has a huge impact on the way we’re feeling. Being a bit of a packrat myself, my spaces tend to get extremely cluttered really quickly. After living in what was a small, cluttered, and filthy space, I decided to get rid of something every day for an entire month. The next month, I worked on getting rid of two things every day. Every time I find myself feeling overwhelmed in my own apartment, I work to minimize like this. I found that having a clear environment in which I spend my time really improves on my ability to breathe.
Multi-tasking is useful and even vital for everyday life, but the value of single-tasking is that it enables us to enjoy the things we do throughout our day more. Being mindful of how we’re spending our time is important, and single-tasking allows us to focus more on what we’re getting done, giving it more meaning in turn. While it’s hard to find the time in the day to zone in on one thing at a time sometimes, single-tasking slows down your day and can make it seem more worthwhile and less stressful.
Finding a hobby I can do with my hands
When I’m worn out, being a couch potato and binge-watching some TV calls to me. However, I find myself thinking that there’s something else I should be doing rather than letting myself be lazy. However, it can be hard to get your mind into doing something else when your brain feels fried from a long day. Little, mindless hobbies that we can do while we relax can ease this tension. My therapist recommended this one to me, and now adult coloring books and crocheting are two things that I find very therapeutic.
Not drinking enough water is a bad habit that I think many people have. Being more of a lover of coffee and wine, I know that I don’t get as much hydration as I should. With our minds and bodies being so interconnected, it’s important to make sure that we spend some time nurturing both. Drinking water is one of the most important factors in how we’re feeling physically so I make sure to drink as much of it as possible.
Insecurity can be a debilitating thing. I never used to let people see me without makeup, not strangers that I’d never see again, not even my friends. Even when I was hanging out at home, I still put on a full face of makeup because I didn’t like how I looked without it. Gradually, I started forcing myself to go bare-faced, at first just at home then occasionally out in public. I feel much more confident now with how I look sans-makeup. My skin has cleared up as well. I try to make it a point to go one day a week with no makeup at all. It boosts my confidence and feels refreshing.
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