We talk about self-care and mental health like they are curable diseases sometimes. We tell ourselves that taking a self-care weekend or a week or two away will recharge us enough to go back to reality. These trips or activities usually do what we want. But instead of making changes or trying to deep dive into whats causes us to need recharging, we use this bandaid until it needs replacing.
I know it is easy to do this and honestly prevents a lot of immediate stress, anxiety and even breakdowns. But, the truth is all we are doing is prolonging the inevitable. An overwhelming burst of everything we’ve been pushing down or a “serious” breakdown, as some call it. When this eventually happens, a weekend spa trip or vacation to the Caribbean won’t cure it.
Now, this is not to scare or predict the future because maybe you have everything under control and will never experience something of the magnitude above. But, for those who want to be sure, this post is for you. It’s a few tips to bring self-care into day to day life.
Be Compassionate With Yourself
One of the best pieces of advice for bringing self-care into daily life/ routine is to show compassion. It’s easy to show others compassion it’s a part of being human, sometimes we do it without even thinking about it.
However, when it comes to turning that inward, we struggle. Since we don’t believe we need it. Trust me when I say it’s essential, simple in fact.
- Stop beating yourself up when something doesn’t go as planned: I know from experience the minute something changes or starts to go sideways, we immediately blame ourselves. Instead of playing the blame game, look for ways to turn things around. There’s always a way even when it doesn’t seem so in the moment.
- Take time to unplug: turn off all the gadgets for a bit, spend time with yourself. Take a mental account of how you’re feeling, what triggered it and ways to work through it. Sometimes taking a few deep breathes helps or changing the days focus.
- Do what you love: No matter what you “have” to do, make time for activities that ignite your passion. Doing this brings positive energy in addition to stress relief.
- Realize you aren’t the centre of the universe: We put a lot of energy worrying about what others might be thinking of us or how the world perceives our actions. But, when we realize people have much greater things to worry/ think about than our actions. The weight disappears.
All of these notions do not need to happen every day. Yet doing one or two of them each day goes a long way. I find them a lot more effective than simply having positive self-talks or writing out daily mantras. They are like another reinforcing layer.
Do What Feels Right
Another essential in the daily self-care toolbox is building trust with yourself. This doesn’t mean trusting gut feelings on their merits but also leaping without second-guessing.
We like to say that we lead with our instincts or what feels right. Yet, in reality, we second guess every move. In some cases, second-guessing is ok, but when it comes to daily tasks and starting something new. We need to leap instead of standing on the edge swaying in the wind.
That said, it is much easier to say than done. Therefore here are some tips to aid you in the endeavour.
- It’s ok to fail: sometimes our gut feeling is wrong or causes us to fail. It’s better to have tried than be crippled by constant thoughts. Not to mention builds the doer mentality that propels us forward.
- Get Back up: after failing or being wrong, we start to build trust issues that cause us to retreat from changes. Remind yourself that a part of life is pushing forward and believing in oneself. Otherwise, what’s the point of living?
- Exploring isn’t time-wasting: there is a notion that those who go out and explore or take more time to fit into society waste a lot of time. Nothing is further from the truth exploring, aids in figuring out who we are as individuals, which is essential to living a happy life.
You can chart your path without doing any of these, but remember to work oneself is more important than anything else social media or society tells us. It is the difference between exploding/ overload.