Self-Care, Not Selfish: Being Your Best Self Starts With Focusing on Self-Care

woman looking into sunset with arms spread

I think it’s safe to say that the word “selfish” has a taboo around it. Men and women are of the belief that we should be giving whenever possible. Now, I’m not saying that being selfless and giving are bad things at all, but I think that giving to yourself if just as important. Finding a balance between acts you do for others and for yourself is the key to creating a more harmonious life for yourself and those around you. Here’s a few tips on how to “give back” to yourself.

Say no

This is the most obvious self-care practice but the one that is easiest to disregard. As humans we feel a need to say “yes!” to everything that comes our way even if we know we don’t have time or just plain don’t want to do something. Revelation: you can say no. In fact, you should say no if it’s something you truly do not want to do. We spread ourselves so thin with obligations that we make for ourselves, that we don’t have time to do things that we want to do. It will feel really strange at first, but learning to say “no” will give you back something invaluable—time.

Eliminate energy drainers

Do you have some people/projects in your life that are just physically and mentally draining? (Children not included). How much time do you spend with people that are simply not improving your mental well-being? We are a combination of the five people we spend the most time with so pick those people wisely. Friends that are bringing you down with their negative energy/lifestyle are no truly friends. Spend your time with people that raise you mentally and you will find that you’re feeling more and more refreshed every day.

Limit social media

Nothing will suck the energy out of you like comparing your life to those on social media. Reminding ourselves that the things that people put on social media is the life they are choosing to portray and it might not be accurate. Comparing yourself to others can bring you down mentally. Limit the time that you spend on social media and focus on living in the present.

Give yourself a break

There is a reason we are harder on ourselves than we are others. We are our own worst critic. Instead of focusing on what is going wrong or a mistake that was made, make a point to say something positive about yourself. Start the day (or end the day) with a positive thought or silent pat on the back for something that you did that day. It doesn’t have to be something super impactful, it could be something as simple as “I got to work on time today”. As you get in the habit of pointing out the small victories every day will be a success. This is a really great way to start journaling. Simply write one thing you’re proud of yourself for every day. On bad days, this is a great place to look back and reflect on how far you’ve come.

Sweat it out

Self-care can be as simple as a lovely walk at the end of the day. Leave the headphones at home and just enjoy the tranquility of your own thoughts. (Not as scary as it sounds). Focus on appreciating the nuances of the day or your surroundings rather than replaying that day’s events. Yoga can be a great stress reliever as well.

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