If you hate it- don't do it!
2020 has thrown routine out the window and is forcing us to learn how to get along without all of our day to day distractions. The quarantine has forced us to be mindful of our day to day activities and highlighted how much we impact the lives of those around us. Slowing down can certainly be uncomfortable at first. Especially as the physical boundaries from work place, school, and home life are now so blurred. Creating self-care practices can help us not only lessen stress, but help infuse our days with meaningful practices that enhance our lives.
If you are anything like me, you probably get down on yourself for not being your best self and franticly look for ways to enrich your life. Hours of Pinterest later- we have an exhaustive list of ideal self-care routine ideas. Maybe we stick to it for a couple months; or a week, only to find that our new life style doesn't inspire us anymore. If you are at this point don't throw the towel just yet.
Take some breaths and ask yourself, the key question that Miss Marie Kondo gifted this world with: “Does it bring me joy?”. If it doesn't make you feel good don't categorize it as self-care. Maybe you hate the gym- but your cholesterol is high so you go anyway. This is a smart life choice to promote your health, but not so much self-care. Self-care should truly make you feel like you are feeding your soul and giving your life a boost of creative life force. So, I hope to give a few quick tips to truly enjoy self-care- which can in turn become a lifestyle change.
1. Set your intention: Yes! We are talking about this again. Is your intention to cultivate peace in your day to day? Increase self-esteem? Begin setting healthy boundaries? My only restriction here is to steer away from intentions that come from a place of lack such as “I need to lose 10 pounds” or “I need to start relaxing more”. It seems trivial, but once you make this distinction you won’t fall victim to negative self-talk like- “I’m fat!” or “I’m a failure.”
2. Identify things that have brought you joy in the past- Do not feel guilty if you can’t think of anything. This just means you can look at your Pinterest board and start trying things that inspire you.
3. Start small- maybe you’ve identified walking down the beach as your self-care. Be honest with yourself and set small goals- this way you are sure to achieve it, which feels good and will keep you going.
4. Be in-tune with yourself- this is where meditation, journaling, or therapy can really help. Is this commitment still making you feel good? It’s natural to have some setbacks- but too often we feel that “quitting” will just mean we are failing. Being able to look at the situation a bit outside ourselves can help us surrender to what we truly need.
5. Change it up- Be aware that at different times of our lives we will need different kinds of self-care more than others. During extremely stressful times we might seek things like meditation or connecting with friends. During times that we feel stuck and not motivated, things like physical activities, crafts, or cooking can be a real boost in energy and confidence.
Nicole Y. Herrarte