Self Care will brighten your life in unexpected ways.
Self Care is crucial for your happiness
The words “Self Care” always seemed selfish or just a little over the top to me. After all, aren’t we supposed to think of others, and if we do that, how are we going to have time for ourselves? What is self-care anyway?
The Situations Below Do Not Demonstrate Self-Care.
Before I share with you what I learned about self-love and care I wanted to share the things that self-love and care are not. It’s easy to get caught up in the situations below, especially if you are someone who is sensitive and loving towards others. A big part of loving ourselves is getting out of toxic relationships.
Self-love is not:
Allowing your significant other to make most of your decisions for you.
Never taking a risk and experiencing the great feeling of trying something new, especially when it’s because your time is always taken by someone else.
Continuing to spend time with people who harass, tease, or take advantage of you and your kind nature.
Staying in an abusive situation meaning verbal abuse, physical abuse, and when the abuser tries to control everything you do.
Staying in a relationship with someone who continually hurts you deeply emotionally.
When you refuse to recognize that the person you love is mentally ill to the point of not admitting they have a problem and when they deny the idea that they should get help and/or change. (addiction, criminal behavior, guilty of child abuse, unfaithfulness). You would be surprised how many Mothers will deny a spouse is capable of child abuse when its shown to them in some way (either by the child telling them or someone else disclosing the problem). Denial is a powerful thing but extremely unhealthy and hurtful to yourself and others. More information on addiction here.
When you make it a priority to please others at all costs and stop doing the things you like to do or paying attention to your family.
If any of the above sounds like you, here are some ways that show you how it’s never too late to change.
The Ways We Should Love Ourselves
Embrace and accept who you are right now
Self Love is about accepting ourselves as we are and then building upon that. Look around you and notice how no one has a perfect life. No one has it all. It may seem like it, but every time I think this about someone I eventually find out about a struggle that person has that I would not want for myself.
This fact remains, nobody is better than you, and you are no better than anyone else. The human heart deserves respect in everyone including you. Now that we know that, we need to treat ourselves with respect. If you are a person who treats others wonderfully but forgets to treat yourself right, you are missing out.
Forgive yourself and others
To love ourselves, we need to forgive ourselves for anything we did that may be weighing us down. It’s important to say you’re sorry when you hurt someone, even if you didn’t mean to hurt them.
Loving ourselves means knowing we are good people and treat others appropriately. If we do this, we won’t have to feel the guilt of messing up, which can weigh heavy on our minds.
Also, we need to forgive everyone that ever hurt us in any way. Sometimes looking at where that person came from, the life they have had previously (what challenges they’ve lived with) or what kind of day a person had helps us to let go of what they did.
I was able to forgive someone that hurt me terribly when I found out that when he was a child, he was locked in a shed for hours at a time. I began to realize that sometimes people’s experiences in life affect how they behave. We can’t fully understand why they do those things unless we’ve been in their shoes. Some people just aren’t at a place in their life yet, to be able to realize that they hurt us or be able to admit they were wrong.
So we need to let go because we would want that understanding from them for ourselves. Nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes, and it’s ok to move on from them. Moving on from the situations that have hurt us does not mean we are condoning what the person did. It doesn’t always mean we won’t have feelings of love for that person. It also doesn’t mean we never experience anger and hurt from them. But learning to let go can, in time, give us a new start and a more lightweight feeling of freedom in our life. Our other relationships will be better, and we will learn to thrive as a happier person.
Counteract them with something positive to think about whenever memories enter your mind. Sometimes it takes time to be able to do this so don’t be too hard on yourself. The more you do it, the easier it gets.
Start planning a way to reach your dreams
Self -love is making a plan for yourself and your life. Set some goals and have a plan of how you are going to get there. Make some of the goals simple but also go ahead and dream big!
When we have some things to work towards a little bit at a time, it ‘s more realistic, and it’s not overwhelming to keep going. If we have something we always wanted to do but see no way of fitting it into our life, then that is the dream to start working on. Taking time to make stable changes, and firm decisions will allow you to live your dreams.
If we move on from the past, our life can become exciting, fun, and rewarding. We all enjoy something in this world, so make some time to delve into these things.
Living with a purpose gives you something to get out of bed for every day. Getting help with what you need to change is a great idea. Ask friends for input, or better yet ask a therapist.
Guard your mind
If we love ourselves, we will want to take care of ourselves. The brain is the most important! If our mind is where it should be, self-care follows naturally. Some of us are overweight and ashamed of it. Don’t be. Since when do we have to be perfect! Perfection in every area of your life is unrealistic.
Improvement is realistic. Self-love is how we think of ourselves and how we encourage ourselves during the good and the rough times. Our self-talk needs to be positive like we would encourage anyone else. No scolding thoughts about yourself, like “that was a stupid thing to do,” or “when am I going to learn,” or even “I hate myself when I do that.” Just don’t go there.
Instead, tell yourself comforting things like, “I messed up, but I can learn something from this so I won’t do it again.” If you stopped exercising and know you need to start, tell yourself, “I will get this, one day at a time, I will get there.” Then move forward. Don’t give up doing the right stuff because you’re not perfect at it. Some wins are better than none. You will eventually get to where you want to be, and it will be more enjoyable getting there if you are not so critical of yourself.
Take care of your health
Remember your first pet and how you loved to play with it and feed it. Taking care of it was new and exciting. Unlike a pet, taking care of ourselves may seem boring and monotonous. One thing for sure, we have to do it to get the reward. Most importantly, when you do your goal, you feel better. When you feel better, you are happier.
There is an essential factor in taking care of our health that we often don’t remember. How you take care of yourself now will show up later. We can think we are getting away with skipping a few things, but then it seems all of a sudden we have high blood pressure, rotting teeth, higher weight, and terrible skin. Plus we feel crappy. Taking care of your health has enormous payoffs, but you have to do it with faith. You have to believe it will pay off even though you can’t see it immediately.
Set your limits
Do you tend to be drawn to people who aren’t good for you or don’t treat you well? Do you spend too much time with others instead of the people who mean the most to you? Maybe you go crazy with exercise and are in excellent physical shape but haven’t taken the time to sit and talk with your kids.
There is a perfect balance in life that we all wish we could find. The balance of our time and surroundings is the basis of good mental health and the health of our relationships.
All we have to do is make a commitment that sets boundaries for each part of our life that we tend to go overboard on. If exercising too much is an issue maybe an hour a day of exercise is enough. Set a goal for a specific part of the day that you dedicate to your kids or spouse.
For me, I probably won’t do something unless I set a goal and limits. Writing my goals and deadlines where I can see them and check them off as I do them gives me more success at meeting those goals.
When it comes to loving ourselves, doing the things that make us happy is important. It’s ok to make your life about you, just not all about you. Does that make sense?
We can’t control everything that happens in our life, good or bad, but we can control how we look at our life and ourselves. We can control our hopes for tomorrow. Hope is the one thing no one can take away from you!