3 No Bullshit Ways To Practice Self-Care

10.2.17


Everyone seems to be talking about self-care or self-love.  And I get it; we should definitely make ourselves a priority more often and make sure we're being kind to our bodies and minds.

I've seen a variety of articles online promising all the answers, but sometimes this pursuit of inner care just seems a bit waffly.  I'm not saying there's no knowledge to be gleaned from those posts, but here's my "cut the crap" version....

Do what YOU want to do | Let's start with the basics - and it kind of goes against the whole point of this post.  But please, do read on!  So often guides to self-care tell you (specifically) what you should be doing...but now's the time to be selfish.  If you don't want to take a long bath or do some exercise on a journey to clarity then don't!  Do what brings you joy (still not sure how I feel about the over-use of that word, but it certainly fits here) and don't feel bad about it.  This could be some of the more usual things like getting out in nature or reading a book, but it could also be something more adrenaline-packed and out there.  Point is, there's a reason why it's called self-care.  Because you should be looking out for yourSELF.

Take a day out | I don't mean take yourself off on an excursion (unless that's what you want to do, in which case refer to point one above), but just take a day out of you schedule.  Write it off.  Stay in your pyjamas all day.  Have a lie in.  The point here is to take it easy and recuperate.  So often if I find myself having a lazy Sunday I beat myself up over what a waste of a day it was, but I've come to learn that sometimes that's exactly what my body needs.  When it happens I'm trying to remind myself that living in the moment without rushing from one activity to the next is a-ok, and quite often these are the days I look back on fondly and that make me feel content.

Banish negative thoughts | I promise this is the only airy-fairy tip in this list, so bear with me.  A study in Florida found that teenagers who thought they were overweight were more likely to become obese in later life....so negative self-thoughts can have a serious impact.  We are so harsh on ourselves, so practice a little more kindness by only thinking of yourself in the way you'd talk to a friend.  Chances are you'd never berate your girlfriends for carrying too much winter weight/being socially awkward/having a particularly bad breakout, so don't do it to yourself either.  This may take time (as soon as you're told not to think of something it's inevitable that you will), but making the effort to think about yourself in a more positive light (without feeling bad about it!) will ultimately have a big impact on your self-esteem.

SELF-COMPASSION IS SIMPLY GIVING THE SAME KINDNESS TO OURSELVES THAT WE WOULD GIVE TO OTHERS
- Christopher Germer

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