Ciao Amici, and happy Friday! The weekend is fastly approaching and I could not be more excited – can I get a Hallelujah! You must be wondering what’s happening this weekend and the answer is nothing… actually, better than nothing. This weekend, I’ll just be practicing some well-earned self-care. Oh, and watching Black Panther with friends!
Self-care is a topic very close to my heart. Throughout the years I have learned that self-care is extremely important and is that little something that helps to rejuvenate our bodies and minds in this crazy, fast, whirlwind that we call life. There are several ways to practice self-care, and chances are you already practice it without even realizing it. But sometimes, when things get particularly hectic, or we get so caught up in what’s going on in our lives that we often forget about ourselves. T-A-K-E C-A-R-E O-F Y-O-U-R-S-E-L-F!!
So here are 6 incredibly simple yet extremely efficient ways to practice self-care.
1. Accept your limitations
Accepting your limitations does not mean giving up. We should all strive to improve ourselves and hustle harder, but we should also realize what we can achieve, and what is merely an obsession. In the past, when I was still dancing every day, I had this idea of the perfect body I wanted to achieve. That ideal size was not only impossible to achieve given my body’s structure, but it was extremely unhealthy. Only once I realized that I was never going to reach that unrealistic body size I started accepting my body for what it is and what it CAN be.
Accepting your limitations means understanding where you stand right now as a person. It means knowing yourself and accepting this version of you or any version that is to come. This can be applied not simply to body image, but also work life, financial status, or even relationships.
Allow yourself time to be truly yourself. Only then will you be able to better yourself.
2. Allow yourself time to rest
Easy right? You’d be surprised at how many times I forget this. It always seems as I don’t have enough hours in the day to accomplish everything on my to-do list. But your body can’t always live by a schedule. Sometimes your mind, body, or the immune system needs a break. So try to schedule the time to rest and recharge. Whether is a nap, meditating, praying, or simply laying down; take time to just slow down. If you are sick, allow yourself time to rest and heal. Let go of the frustration and the “ain’t nobody got time for that!” attitude and just let it happen.
3. Treat yourself to something you love
Ok, maybe I practice this waaaay too much, but there’s nothing better than treating yourself to what you like. Buy that piece of clothing you had your heart set on. Eat that yummy dessert you love. Pamper yourself with a face mask or a relaxing bath (I buy my bath bombs from Lush). Buy yourself flowers. Or ask yourself out on a date! Go for a hike in your favorite park. Binge-watch your favorite show. Anything that pops into your mind, do it! No excuses. Just do it! (Cue Shia LaBeouf video…)
4. Stop comparing
This is definitely the hardest one for me. I feel as our society raised us to be so hypercritical and competitive that it often makes me sick. Literally. Not a day goes by where I don’t compare myself to others (people I know, or complete strangers), and I truly have to pay attention to where my mind goes. But I have noticed that since I’ve started paying attention to my thoughts and guiding them toward something more constructive, I’ve felt a lot better about myself. So like me, I hope you will consider shifting your way of thinking, getting rid of all those negative influences in your life (whether so-called “friends”, or strangers you follow on social media), and start by counting your blessings…. which actually takes us right into our next point.
5. Be grateful
We often focus on what we don’t have instead of realizing how much good we already have in our life. Small or big, your life is full of blessings. It’s time to acknowledge them!
My dear friend Kristen, founder of Co-Creating Life recently started a 30-day gratitude challenge, in which you write 3 things a day you are most grateful for. This reminded me a lot of what I would do in college right before going to bed.
I remember I would spend the last moments of my day, right before falling asleep, listing 5 things that I was grateful for. Small things or big things. Often, I would fall asleep right in the middle of giving thanks and would have the best sleep. There’s something so powerful about thanksgiving and acknowledging how blessed we are.
With time, my rituals have changed and now I practice thanksgiving in the morning on my daily commute to work. My husband and I often ride together to work, so we pray together and share with each other anything we are grateful for. It is so interesting to see what the other person is grateful for. It helps you realize even more how many blessings God brings to your life and the many ways He provides for us.
So whether you feel more comfortable praying, journaling, or sharing your thanksgiving with others, I highly recommend spending some time thinking about small or big things you are grateful for. It can only improve your day!
6. Use that belly laugh!
I wrote a little bit about this in my post 5 Ways To Survive Long Days At The Office which you can read here, and I cannot stress enough how important this is. Did you know that laughter not only reduces stress but also boosts the immune system? Allow yourself to laugh out loud. Laugh at the crazy things that happen to you on a daily basis. Stop being self-conscious about your laugh and let it all out. Embrace your snorting, squicking, cackling laugh. And if you ever need a reason to laugh, just message me… I have plenty of embarrassing stories about mispronouncing things in English.
Hopefully, this post will help you take care of your self and let your light shine. I would love to hear from you of ways you like to practice self-care. There’s never enough ways, so please leave a comment below.
And remember, if you don’t take care of yourself, who will?