On #selfcare: 10 ways to love yourself when times get tough

Author’s Note: An open letter to myself about self-care practices, also applicable to anyone who needs it. (5-minute read)

10-self-care-tips-for-tough-times

 

Hello lovely,

As I sit here on this bench feeling the sun and wind, grounded… connecting, I can’t help but feel at peace. It’s a good feeling, comforting. Especially after having quite a rough time over the last few months— unending chaos, confusion, stress, relationships being challenged, no break through it all. I feel blessed and assured of my purpose today – energised and ready to continue my life’s work. As I put pen to paper, I am nourishing myself while channeling healing information through my writing to create community for those who need it. After learning such harsh lessons first-hand and still being in class right now, it is a good place to be in, and an honour to share what I’ve learnt. A note to remember 10 ways to practice self-care (5 at a time) during this crazy Retrograde/Solar Eclipse meets WTF is happening in this world season and beyond.

  1. Let go of your desire to control all things, know and understand all things and be all things to all people. It is impossible… you will only deplete yourself.
  2. Remove any expectations you have from your mind and heart – of people, things and circumstances. Detach yourself from suppositions and outcomes. Everyone is on their own journey, stay on yours.
  3. Take care of your mental health. Get the rest you need EVERY DAY. Be honest with yourself and others. Whatever is causing you stress or pain considerably and consistently, drop it completely or step away from it if you cannot find the will to do so right now. Whatever you do, don’t indulge it. Revisiting the things that bother you all the time is self-torture and anxious behaviour. Centre yourself instead by asking yourself the questions (below) to check in with yourself when you feel overwhelmed or down.
  4. Listen to your body so you know exactly how to take better care of yourself. If you need sleep, do it. If you crave salads when you’re used to having burgers or ramen, that’s okay. Prioritise your own life. Eat on time. Sing and dance while preparing your meals and infuse your food with good vibes. Eat good food that makes you smile and feel satisfied. Put the energy, love and effort you do into cooking, serving and styling meals for others into the food you make for yourself. Use this as a metaphor for the way you live your life.
  5. Drink enough water. Exercise. Meditate. Pray. Journal. Take a walk… do whatever you need to do to nourish your mind, body and spirit. Stop making excuses. Don’t overthink it. It’s worth it.

10-self-care-tips-for-tough-times

  1. Unplug from time to time. Lay low. Recharge. Stop the mindless scrolling. Turn off the TV. Put the phone down and give your eyes a rest. Turn off the Wi-Fi and go outside. Talk to people in real life. This is especially useful and essential when you’re going through a lot of things.
  2. Stop making excuses for people. Go with your gut more. Pay attention to actions and body language more than words. Forget the histories you’ve written together or the potential you hope to share and be honest with yourself about the energy people are bringing to you at the time you’re with them. That makes it a lot easier to know where you stand.
  3. Allow yourself to feel your feelings, not judge them, stifle them or hide them. Experience your feelings. Grieve, cry, be angry if you need to. Feelings are a part of who we are and they exist to show us things about ourselves, our relationships and our circumstances. Learn to listen to yours so you can understand yourself even better. If it gets too much, there’s always a journal, counsellor or friend – find healthier outlets.
  4. Go outside at least once a day, barefoot, on raw earth. Breathe deeply a few times. Turn your face to the sky. Soak up the sun. Think good thoughts. Go back inside and have a nice cup of tea or meal and pay attention only to that. Stop eating in front of the TV, computer or phone. Savour your meal… just you and your thoughts, or drink some water, play some music. Think about nothing. Believe me, it works.
  5. And finally, do something nice for yourself EVERY DAY at least once. The best self-care is free. Read a book or listen to a podcast. Tired? Just a few pages or minutes of learning helps you improve, or you can do it simply to relax your mind. Massage your muscles with coconut oil or essential oils. Smudge your body and space and invite positive energy in. Do some YouTube yoga. Light a candle and some incense and turn the lights off as you shower. Play an album you like. It’s not difficult at all, just start thinking of yourself, listen to your body and you will always know just what you need.

Thanks for reading! I hope you will find this as helpful and therapeutic as it was for me to write. Always remember there is no shame in self-care or needing a mental boost, because there’s no health without mental health. See you next Monday!

Love, light and blessings… all ways,

—Tami

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