Self-care is not an option. It’s a requirement. I realized this after becoming so overwhelmed my skin started to react to stress in a way that I’ve never experienced in my life. I’m currently dealing with a severe case of adult acne. This is happening to a person who never experienced acne even during puberty.
If you’re not taking care of yourself, your body will eventually let you know that it needs some tender love and care. That’s what happened in my case. Since then, I’ve started working to incorporate more self-care in my weekly routines. If you’re like me and neglecting yourself, but taking care everyone else,stop it! Start loving on yourself more. Here are five ways to get you started.
Establish a Healthy Work-life Balance
This is an area I struggle with and have been for a long time. I put so much pressure on myself to be great that I working after quitting time, I’m working at home , and on weekends trying to prepare for the next day or week. I always feel like “ I’m On,” whether that’s tweeting out an update, posting a breaking news story on Facebook, or just watching the news. I rarely ever officially unplug. But at the start of the year I made a conscious effort to start unplugging and leaving work at work. I carved out a day where I do absolutely nothing related to my day job.
I’ll be honest, it’s been hard. I feel like I’m going to miss something and get to work the next day completely lost in the sauce. But I have to fight the urge, otherwise we’re back to where I once was and that’s overwhelmed.
Here are a few ways I unplug from work:
I leave my work phone in a place that’s hard to reach at least one day during my two day weekend.
I watch a romantic comedy or any great movie. If I’m busy watching a movie or a fun tv show I lose the urge to watch the news.
I grab brunch with a girlfriend and talk about anything other than work.
Give Yourself Time to Take a Break
Completely unwind. Sometimes you need rest and relaxation. I finally took time to rest over the holidays and it was exactly what I needed to recharge for the next months of work.
I finally had time to just sleep. No alarms. No work deadlines. It was great being carefree.
This was mentally rewarding because I no longer had to think about work or anything heavy. Physically, my body needed to rest. I was literally running on fumes. Don’t allow yourself to get that beat up. Take a break when you need it.
It’s Okay to Say No
It’s okay to say NO! I’ve been preaching this since 2017 and I’m going to continue to spread the gospel this year. I’m coming from the book of “I’m tired and sometimes busy, so I don’t have the time.” If you allow it, people will run you and down. Don’t let them. Tell them NO. Respectfully, of course.
As women we are a people-pleasers and often times say “yes” to avoid conflict or possibly hurting someone’s feelings? I want you stop putting someone else’s needs before your own. Sometimes it’s okay to be a little selfish.
Make time to treat yourself to a pampering sessions. Whether it’s a massage or a pedicure, treat yourself.
I recently had my first my massage and afterwards I said, “Why I hadn’t I tried this before.” The massage therapist used aromatherapy oils to help relax me even more. She said I was very tense in my shoulders. The massage was really relaxing, but something I still haven’t implemented in my self-care regimen. That massage was a one-time experience. If we’re being honest, and we are, a massage isn’t cheap. So, I found an inexpensive option that I added to my self-care routine. I added pedicures and manicures to the mix. I get them once or twice a month.
According to therapyforblackgirls.com, “Regular exercise can improve our physical health, decrease our risk for serious health conditions, and help us feel better emotionally. “ Since we’re being honest, this is an area I’m struggling with. Hopefully we can keep each other motivated. At the end of the day I rarely have the energy for a trip to the gym. I’m definitely NOT a working out before work. So how do I make it work? Honestly, every answer I would say I will find a way to say it’s too hard to make it work. That’s the problem. I’ve allowed excuses to get in the way of long term mental and physical health.
How am I breaking this cycle? I’m starting small and working my way up. I’m starting with a walk around my neighborhood. This is the perfect time for me to walk the dogs and get my daily exercise fix. I usually clear my head during this walk, releasing a lot of thoughts that are dancing around in my head
I know life gets the best of us all, but don’t allow it to distract you from your responsibility to take care of yourself. Let me know if these tips will help you practice better self-care.
Living Out Loud,