I am writing this during a time where I’m struggling to take care of myself. Although conceptually, I understand how I can take care of myself, emotionally, there’s sometimes a block and I don’t allow myself to stop. I keep going through the motions and pushing through, until I hit a wall and I’m in bed with a fever and muscle aches. Why do I let it get to this point? And how can I make sure that it doesn’t get this bad? I thought we could explore some of these questions together, because I think it’s easy to forget to take of ourselves and spend all our energy, until we haven’t nothing left to give back to ourselves, and that’s a dangerous place to be in.
Why is it important?
If you’re feeling tired, stressed out, anxious, frazzled, how can you expect yourself to be patient and loving towards your loved ones? If you’re drained because you’re running around taking care of others and haven’t had time to do something for yourself, how do expect yourself to be kind with anyone? This wont even be sustainable in the long-run because you WILL run out of energy.
It’s easy to say that you have obligations towards others, because life happens and there are times where other people need your care and attention, and that’s normal and it’s okay! However, if you don’t have energy yourself, you will NOT be able to take care of someone else either.
Something that I struggle with is feeling guilty and selfish that I need to do something for myself. but when you think about it, if you invest a little bit of time to pamper yourself or do something special for yourself, then you will feel better and have more energy to do more for others. Fill your cup first before filling the cup of others, otherwise, your cup will be empty.
How do you take care of yourself?
The answer to this question really depends on you. There are a number of ways to take care of yourself– whether it’s pampering yourself with a mani/pedi or a bath, going out and doing something you enjoy like shopping or going for a walk…the options are really endless.
Taking care of yourself also means something deeper – consistently taking time (ideally on a daily basis) to replenish your energy through meditation, reflecting on things, working on your goals… these will have a bigger impact on your overall well-being. Even though doing little things here and there is important and will impact your general mood and energy, taking care of yourself also means tackling underlying ‘issues’ that might have been ignored. Facing an issue in life will take courage and energy but will be worth it once it’s dealt with. Taking time to reflect internally on what’s going on, what I’m feeling, what I’m grateful for but also what is stressing me out, these are the mental exercises that will have an even greater impact on your overall well-being.
Here’s a list of things you can do now to take care of yourself, and I would encourage you to start your own list so that when you can use it as a reminder to do something for YOU when you start to feel overwhelmed.
– Make yourself a yummy meal or snack and watch an episode of your favourite show
– Sweat it out! Go for a walk, a run, take a yoga class…the endorphins will make you feel better
– Call a friend up or even better, see a friend for a coffee or dinner date
– Do something artistic – work on your Bullet Journal, draw, paint, doodle, colour…be creative!
– Have a girl’s night…by yourself! Pampering, yummy snacks and a fun movie are in order
– Curl up on the couch and read a book
– Try a new recipe that you’ve been wanting to try – put on some music and take the time to cook and enjoy the process
– Most importantly (and this is the part that I challenge with)…. make the conscious effort to shut off your brain and give yourself the permission to relax. Remind yourself that you are taking care of yourself and don’t feel guilty about it because you deserve it!
P.S. Want to hear the irony of this blogpost? I wrote this over a month ago but didn’t have any pictures to publish with it, so I didn’t. As I was going through my material, I found this post again and guess what… I needed to read this for myself because for the past week, I’ve been struggling with making time for myself and I needed this reminder to stop and do something for me! Thanks for the reminder Seppy!
What are some things that you do to take care of yourself? Why do you think it’s important (or not)? Make sure to share your thoughts with everyone. I love hearing about your experiences so that we can learn from each other!