2 kinds of self-care

How to treat yourself with the love and respect you deserve as a human being.

Photo by Bart LaRue on Unsplash

If you’re looking for things to do for self-care, online there are a plethora of listicles ranging from 10 to 134 ideas for you. But I say:

Who needs another to-do list?

Self-care is not rooted in performing tasks.

Self-care is behavior that follows the mindset of treating yourself with the love and respect you deserve as a human being.

There are 2 kinds of self-care and the listicles can be helpful but that’s not where to start.

Proper self-care starts by looking inside.

How can we properly care for someone we don’t know?

There’s an entire world going on inside of each and every one of us that many never pay attention to.

That world runs our lives and it’s a messy place because life is messy. Our minds and emotions are subjected to misinformation and injury — often.

We need to look inside, know who we are and intentionally become involved in what’s going on inside there.

The first kind of self-care is internal repair and healing

This is first because everyone needs internal repair and healing to some degree.

We accumulate and internalize negative views of ourselves.

These are damaging and need to be repaired or they’ll make us miserable and steal all our dreams.

I know from experience.

I had to listen to how I talked to myself. I had to pay attention to what I was thinking and find out why.

There’s a reason, a source of the negativity inside us. It has to be dragged out into the light and destroyed.

Slaying our reason begins our healing.

It’s important to embrace our imperfections. Nobody’s perfect.

Identifying the negative inner dialogue isn’t enough though. It needs to be replaced with positive truth.

It’s important to embrace our imperfections. Nobody’s perfect. Click To Tweet

Practice believing new thoughts that enforce your value.

Use your imagination to see them as true in your life.

Say them out loud over and over until they become a part of you.

Changing how we think about ourselves takes a lot of work but the payoff is amazing.

Photo by Xavier Sotomayor on Unsplash
Bad things happen and we suffer injury or loss.
Sometimes trauma. It happens more than most realize.
70% of adults in the U.S. have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lives. This equates to approximately 223.4 million people.

That’s a lot of people.

Emotional and mental wounds are as real as broken bones and deserve proper care to heal.

Disregarding or minimizing something you’ve gone through won’t rip it out of the timeline of your life. On the contrary, the wound will go underground hiding in the back of the mind and emotions where it will fester.

Eventually, it will come back to bite you like a rabid animal if you refuse to tend to it.

Embrace the feelings you’re dealing with instead of slapping on a patch of it’s not a big deal or just get over it.

Emotional and mental wounds are as real as broken bones and deserve proper care to heal. Click To Tweet

Get help if you need it. Sometimes we need to be carried.

There’s no shame in asking for help.

Talk with someone you can trust and unload the pain, confusion, shame, fear etc. I started seeing a professional counselor for the process of writing my book. I still see her.

Tending to inner wounds takes a lot of work and bravery.

Sometimes as you peel back layers of pain you find more underneath that’s been hidden for a long time. These inner wounds require validation and empathy to begin to heal.

Tending to inner wounds takes a lot of work and bravery. Click To Tweet

The second kind of self-care is maintenance

Maintenance self-care is continuing to treat yourself with the love and respect you deserve as a human being.

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

This is where the listicles can be helpful.

Things like go for a walk, smile at yourself in the mirror, take a hot bath, meet up with a friend, go to bed early, start a gratitude jar

We need to remember though — there is no perfect way to practice self-care because…

It’s not about the to-do list. It’s about how we treat ourselves.

There is no self-care routine you can perform on your outsides that will take care of an attitude of self-loathing, negative or shaming inner dialogue, untended traumas, or self-harming behaviors. There’s inner work that must be done.

There is no perfect way to practice self-care because it’s not about the to-do list. Click To Tweet

When we can live in maintenance mode we’re able to carry those who are in need of inner repair and healing and eat sweet fruit.

Sweet fruit

Doing the hard work of self-care is worth the effort because it will bear good fruit in our lives.

We taste its sweetness when we respond in a positive manner where we used to be negative.

Photo courtesy Pixabay cherry-714438_1920

Where I tasted sweet fruit.

While writing I lost track of time and was late to a weekly writer meet-up.

Every week we meet to share our work with each other and then share each other’s work with our networks to help one another.

Because I was late I hurriedly shared the wrong story with the group.

A friend asked me about what I shared and I burst into hilarious laughter.

My laughter escalated as I recognized I could laugh at myself.

It tasted so sweet!

Being able to laugh at your own mistakes is sweet fruit!!

Being able to laugh at your own mistakes is sweet fruit!! Click To Tweet

I used to react to my mistakes with horror and spew awful inner dialogue at myself — while crying. It was ugly.

I needed internal repair and healing. I did the hard work. Laughing at myself was the fruit of hard work and you can taste it too.

Proper self-care requires us to know who we are, accept ourselves and treat ourselves with honor.

What next:

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Danielle Bernock is a the author of Emerging With Wings: A True Story of Lies, Pain, And The LOVE that Heals. Subscribe to her blog here. Follow her on Facebook & Twitter @dbernock

Originally published at www.daniellebernock.com on August 15, 2017.

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