When was the last time you went out with your friends? Went to the cinema to watch a newly released film? Or even did nothing on a Sunday, for once? These are questions that we should be asking ourselves all the time.
Whether you have one or five jobs, it's important to take care of yourself. I am a self-proclaimed workaholic where I work full- time, side gigs, blog, online classes after work. Recently, I have been all about work and not allowing my mind and body rest. It took three visits to the doctor in one month to realize that I have not been doing my part to make sure that I am physically and mentally okay. Since walking out of my last appointment, I have been making time for yoga, meditation, meal prep, sleeping in, and catching up with friends.
Not sure how to practice self-care? Here are three ways:
1. Find a place where you feel safe
Setting boundaries s important because we want the mind to go into a safe space when we get there. For instance, taking hikes or going to the gym is where you go to focus on yourself, but if that is not helping anymore, it is time to explore new options. If you feel that your routine is no longer working as you thought, it's because you are no longer being challenged. The reason could be that you might have grown mentally because of a new job, friends, breakup, new partner, or city.
Yoga has been my “safe space” and it took me 25 years to find it, mostly because I never thought yoga would be for me. I have been to a few yoga studios, but not all of them felt safe for me except for one that is a 20-minute drive from my apartment. Every time I step into that yoga studio, I feel the tension release from my shoulders and my back. Some might say that they feel safe at the library, swimming pool, dance studio, art studio, plant nursery, etc. Not all safe spaces have to engage in physical activity, but your body would appreciate the love, too.
2. Give credit where it’s due
We are our biggest critics. We need to stop doing that. We deserve better for ourselves, and it starts now. It’s hard to see how far we have become as individuals with the perception of what success should look like according to social media. Everyone’s journey is different, so just keep doing you and remind yourself that you are a bad ass.
Spoil yourself once in a while, take a vacation, go to a Michelin Star restaurant, get a new hairstyle, go for a spa day, and enjoy every second of it. If you have a hard time rewarding yourself, it might help if you recite all the things you accomplished that week out loud to yourself. If you’re still feeling stuck, download the Sanity & Self app for resources on demand.
3. Learn something new
Let’s say you work in finance, and you work with numbers and spreadsheets all day. Your productivty starts slowing down because you start watching cat videos. Then you start laughing, smiling, and your day is all good again. Have you ever wondered why is it that we find it satisfying when you are not doing your work and doing anything else instead? It’s because you’re having fun learning what you saw.
Let’s put that to the test when you need self-care. Take a break by learning something new like how to do arts and crafts, rock climbing, bellydance, kickbox, cook, bake, surf, swim, etc. It’s best to learn something that you never thought you would try, because that would just make it fun and you can meet all sorts of new people (and hopefully new clients).