Before we get to today’s post, I want to share a new feature I am adding. It will be something like a podcast. Like I said previously, I do not read many blogs, but I watch a ton of YouTube videos and listen to a few podcasts. So, for my people out there who do not have the time to read my posts, you can listen to them instead. I don’t know about you, but I drive multiple hours a day and I keep myself entertained with music, podcasts or YouTube. The link is coming soon and it will be at the top of each post. I will have a reminder when the feature is finalized.
I hope you all have stuck with your New Year’s resolutions thus far. I just got back from one of the most relaxing trips I’ve ever had! I spent four days in Fort Lauderdale with two of my closest friends, and it was great! We literally sat on the beach, took multiple naps a day, worked out and ate. It just doesn’t get better than that. I was going to blog about the trip, but I am honestly the worst at taking pictures, so I barely have any pictures to share. I will try my best to improve on this since I have a blog now and I really enjoy sharing pictures.
Today I want to share some self-care tips that I have started to incorporate into my life over the last few months. I am naturally a giving person. I truly love helping people; it brings me so much joy to help others and see them so happy as a result. This is one of the reasons I became a nurse (even though I have come to realize that nursing is sooo much more than that). I have discovered that one of my purposes in life is to give to others.
But in giving to others, I sometimes forget to pour back into my own cup. Last year, I did not give back to myself enough, which resulted in me feeling drained and losing my sense of self. In order to prevent that from happening again, I am on a journey to improve my ability for self-love and prioritize self-care.
To be completely honest, I struggle with this because growing up, I was taught not to be selfish, and self-care can be misinterpreted as being selfish. But I am re-learning that taking care of myself or doing what makes me happy is okay, and even necessary, for me to be able to give to the people around me. Basically, I cannot pour into others from an empty tank, and self-care is essentially filling up my tank.
Since I promised to be honest, I am still a work in progress on this journey, but I wanted to share some of my practices.
- Praying. Like I mentioned in my previous post, my goal is to start each day with God. I am a natural worrier and planner, which can sometimes lead to anxiety. In order for me to maintain my peace, I have learned that I need to keep God first in everything. I have to realize my life is not my own and I have the Ultimate Planner[AT1] in control of my life. With this being said, I can relax and not worry about everything because He has “plans to prosper [me] and not to harm [me], plans to give [me] hope and a future,” as it states in Jeremiah 29:11, so why worry? “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God,” Philippians 4:6 assures us.
- Journaling.Writing down my thoughts in a journal helps get them out of my head. I also journal my prayers to God.
- Therapy.I am not ashamed to say it: I go to therapy and I actually enjoy it. Just like I take care of my physical health, I find it imperative to take care of my mental health. What I have found is that therapy helps with my thoughts. My therapist explained that thoughts influence behavior and that is so true! Therapy makes me aware of my thoughts and equips me with the tools I need to deal with this stressful life I live.
- Practicing kindness and patience with myself.I am learning that I don’t always have to have it figured out or have it “together.” It is okay for things to not be perfect or if things don’t go exactly as I pictured…it’s called “life.” Things that help me are repeating positive affirmations or Bible verses daily. For example: “I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” “I am a daughter of the King,” “I am beautiful,” “I am loved.” You can repeat whatever you need to be reminded of.
- Saying no and letting go of FOMO.December was such a busy month and I LOVED it. However, I was exhausted at the end of the month and lost sight of my goals. I even became out of touch with how I was feeling. My Fort Lauderdale trip was much needed because it allowed me to decompress and re-energize so I could resume work. But personally, I cannot maintain a completely booked social and work calendar and I am learning to say no to invitations and let go of FOMO (fear of missing out). There will be other events I can make in the future. I am working on finding this balance. By saying no to invitations, I make time for myself, which leads me to the next practice.
- Dating myself.This is self-explanatory. I am learning to appreciate my own company, which is something new for me, to be honest, but surprisingly, it has been quite enjoyable. Some activities I take joy in include getting my nails done, a day at the spa, going to the movies or dinner, or doing absolutely nothing!! I am planning on taking my first solo trip this year. Pray for your girl!
- Exercise regularly, eat well and drink TONS of water.For those who know me, you know I do not enjoy working out. I really wish I did but I could think of so many other things I would rather be doing, like sitting on the couch or shopping. But exercise is the way I take care of my body. I have only one body and as I get older, I want to make sure I’m taking care of it. Working in healthcare, I see what happens when people don’t take care of themselves and I’d rather not spend the latter part of my life in and out of the doctor’s office due to the decision I am making today. Most importantly, I want to look good and sexy for the day when the good Lord blesses me with my very own husband!
- Unplugging from social media.I think this is one of the best things one can do for self-care. Social media is great, but it can also be detrimental to self-worth. We compare our seemingly mediocre lives to the highlights other people choose to share. In the past, I have gotten off of social media for months to a year, but this year, I am limiting social media by only spending 15 minutes a day on Instagram. My iPhone lets me set a timer. I will be honest that I sometimes ignore the timer, but I am trying my best to limit it to 15 minutes a day only.
- Getting adequate sleep and rest.Thank God this is not an area I struggle with!! Some practical tips include setting a bed time, shutting down all electronics such as TV and phones, and possibly trying melatonin (please speak to your own physician first).
Hope this is helpful to someone. How are you taking care of yourself and filling up your tank?
‘Til next time.