Self-care was something that I did not value or practice. In my eyes, self-care was an excuse people used to explain being selfish. You have to understand, I grew up a big sister and cousin so I constantly heard "stop being selfish and share."
After hearing a message so many times it sticks with you and becomes the way that you measure everything else. When I got to college I did not waste time investing in myself because that was selfish to my family and friends. I needed to be there for them and being there for them usually meant not being there for myself.
If your experiences taught you the same lesson: ‘Take Care of Others First.’ Allow me to be the first to disrupt your belief.
“Take care of yourself first and you will be a better help to others.” --- Tyshiana Johnson
If you give out all of your resources without replenishing them you will burn out. As someone who constantly would help others even when it would hurt my bank account, peace, and happiness I can tell you that self-care is a necessity.
What is Self-Care?
A blog post by Raphailia Michael, MA says that self-care is an intentional act that takes care of your emotional, physical, and mental well being.
It’s more than going to the nail salon, shopping, or taking a vacation. You should be aware of your well-being state by constantly evaluating each of those areas. Take it a step further, your daily routine should have activities that cater to each of those areas.
For example, in the morning I pray, later in the day I will workout and sometime during my day I will journal or talk to someone.
How to Start Self-Care For Beginner
Think of the three categories mentioned earlier: emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Brainstorm a few activities that can satisfy each piece of your well-being.
As a guide, I listed some things for each category to give you some inspiration.
Confide in someone you trust
Express yourself through art such as painting, music or dance
Ask for help
Exercise by doing things such as yoga, boxing, running, step aerobics, weight lifting, walking, jumping rope, skating or bowling
Now start, be sure to do what you want to do. You don’t need to ask anyone for permission because this is about you! The one rule when practicing self-care is that your activity cannot harm anyone else including you, then that is simple toxicity.
This means no gossiping, reckless spending, or anything that can result in being broke, sad, and confused.
Life can get overwhelming and COVID-19 is proving that the levels of stress can get wild. Take care of your well-being by practicing self-care and then you will be able to help others. Trust me doing anything for others while you are not ok would be vain. Everyone wins when we all are at our best.
Remember that practicing self-care is not an overnight thing. You are going to fumble the bag a little. Just start over when that happens.