Self-care principles – that sounds like a strange combination because when most of us think of self-care, we think of sap days once in every blue moon. But self-care is about much more than that. The self-care principles create a more holistic attitude to caring for ourselves and loving ourselves.
And while most of us know how important it is to practice self-love and self-care, life can take over and distract us from that. At times, we get too wrapped up in work and family needs, which often results in us forgetting to practice important self-care principles. That is when negativity and self-doubt find their way inside our heads.
This month was a good example. I got swamped with work, had more family obligations demanding my time. I was up and working at 3 am way too many nights. The stress and lack of sleep took their toll. Suddenly I felt like I was not doing well enough with my work. I felt like I wasn’t slaying my goals, didn’t like looking in the mirror, feeling like I looked horrible. My mood was off, I was snappy and had no patience which only made me feel worse about myself. The last thing I felt was self-love, which usually is something I believe in, and try to live by. Times like these are when we have to remember the 4 principles of self-care that can pull usout of those stressful periods.
“The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore”
C. Joybell C.
The first principle of self-care – Ask For Help
The first self-care act we can perform is simply to ask for help when we need it. Ask for support, share your burden, and your feelings with someone close. Sometimes when we verbalize our feeling out loud it, it gives us the clarity we need to take steps and do what we need to make ourselves feel better.
Luckily, I am blessed with a partner that notices these things. He is good at calling me out on it and reminding me, that I need to stop and take care of me. It helps to have someone by my side, who validates the fact that I need to take a break. One of the things I still struggle with is admitting it when things get too much. I tend to demand a lot of myself and when things add up, I keep postponing any self-care actions I need to take. Which is when my husband puts up the stop sign.
I try to remind myself every day, that it is not selfish to do something that is just for me. It is a must. Compassion is not something we need to offer only to others, we deserve it just as much as everyone else.
“Do something every day that is loving toward your body and gives you the opportunity to enjoy the sensations of your body”
The second of the self-care principles is – Take care of your health
To find balance and a sense of well being trying to incorporate healthy habits into our day can help us feel better mentally and physically.
Try to pay more attention to your nutrition, trying to make yourself feel better from within. Here are a few things we can do to practice this principle every day:
- Reminding ourselves to drink more water which is something that is often neglected, is another thing that can make us feel better.
- Try to make cooking healthy meals a priority.
- Consuming as much fresh produce as we can is another thing to focus on. If like me, you were never one of those people who loved eating salads, try to make healthy smoothies and shakes. Vegetable plates is another option – I snack on one while working. In general Eating “real” food can do a lot of good for our energy levels which is great.
- Try to make working out a part of your weekly routine, even if it is inside your home – you don’t have to sign up to a gym to do a workout. I got my BFF into my “health kick” and we started working out together at our own pace with a few Youtube videos and a 40-minute walk outside. 2 times a week.
- Take care of your skin. Try to create a simple, sustainable nightly routine.
- Get enough sleep.
For me, this is still a work in process because I am a night owl by nature. However, when I do manage to go to bed at a reasonable hour, it has a huge impact on my day and my productivity.
“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love”
Positive affirmations for self-care
We tend to be our own worst critics and that voice inside our head can have a lot of power over our well being. Language is powerful, so being mindful of how we talk to ourselves and about ourselves is super important. Fighting our self-doubt is meaningful.
Positive affirmations can do wonders for our mindset. I use those a lot when it comes to my work life, and lately, I added some personal ones too. I made it a part of my self-care morning routine
Try to take a quiet hour for yourself every day, it can be between dropping the kids off at school and starting your workday, it can be at night right before you go to sleep, or in the middle of your day when you lose steam. Whenever works for you, just try it. It can bring a note of calm and inspiration and an overall sense of peace and well being.
The last of the self-care principles to remember – Spoil yourself!
Now comes the really fun part. The part we tend to leave out for far too long, the part we always find a million reasons to put off. Pampering.
Yes, let yourself go out on a pampering spree of sorts:) I finally allowed myself to Sit down with my phone and book an appointment with a new hairdresser because I felt like a change (a brand new much shorter style which I am loving). Booked me a mani-pedi appointment, because let’s face it – I NEEDED one. . I get myself out of the house away from work and meet with friends for coffee, even if it is only for an hour.
“Do something nice for yourself today. Find some quiet, sit in stillness, breathe. Put your problems on pause. You deserve a break”
And spoiling yourself doesn’t even have to be outside of your home – sometimes taking a nap in the middle of the day can make you feel like a whole new person. Sit down for a quiet time with your partner at the end of the day and have a grown-up conversation. Whatever it looks like for you, find that thing you want to do for yourself and always say you don’t have the time. Spoil yourself.
4 Self Care Principles – summing up
We all need to remind ourselves, that we do not need an excuse to spoil ourselves a little. There is no need for us to feel bad before allowing ourselves to do something that we enjoy. We deserve it, we work hard, we care for our loved ones, and we all deserve a fun-filled break.
Self-care is not a luxury it is a necessity, and we all need to internalize this idea.