7 Self-Care Lessons You Might Have Forgotten
Or perhaps have never even heard.
1. You are allowed to change your mind.
A lot of people look at changing your mind as some kind a character flaw. But changing your mind is a necessity as you gain new information. Don’t just stick with things because you think you can’t — or aren’t supposed to — change your mind.
This is something that successful people do all of the time that keeps them successful. Don't be afraid to tweak things or change direction as you gain more wisdom.
2. It pays to speak positively to yourself.
Many people develop some sort of negative feedback loop as they enter adulthood. Sometimes, I think the negativity slips in just because we’re afraid to think too highly of ourselves.
It almost seems more “grown up” to be hard on oneself, and then childish to take pride in who we are. But negative self-talk doesn’t help anyone.
Practice repeating empowering mantras to yourself instead. You might feel silly about it at first, but this habit will help shift your mindset into a happier and more positive one.
3. A daily ritual can be grounding.
It doesn’t need to be complicated by any means, but having one small daily ritual can help add a bit of much-needed calm to any hectic day.
Try changing clothes after you get home from work. Take an evening walk after dinner. Some of the best rituals allow us to run on autopilot for a moment to give us space to decompress from the demands of the day.
4. You need to explore your feelings.
As a mom, I am very much aware of how powerful and overwhelming big feelings can be for little ones. My daughter recently turned five, but she isn’t the only one with feelings that can feel too big.
As adults, it’s important for us to recognize that our own feelings also matter. Being mature isn’t about shutting down our feelings, but healthily exploring them instead. It’s good to ask ourselves what we’re feeling and why, and it’s especially helpful to do so before our feelings get so big.
5. Being yourself is a valid goal.
No matter who you are, there will always be critics, haters, and trolls. High-level adulting and self-care doesn't mean those people never get to you. You're only human.
But you can’t allow other people to determine who you ought to be. Your job in this world is to be uniquely you. So give yourself some damn permission and freedom to actually be yourself. Quit worrying about what others are doing and instead focus on whatever is right for you to do.
6. You need a purpose that matters to you.
Psychologist and concentration camp survivor Viktor Frankl found a purpose in surviving the holocaust that went far beyond himself. His horrible experience became a learning opportunity, and he wrote often about an individual's need for purpose in their daily life.
Even if you’re clueless about your own life’s purpose, you can find a great deal of meaning in simply working toward a goal that matters to you. Committing ourselves to any positive goal that adds meaning to our lives is an effective way to see past our troubles, whatever they may be.
7. You can always do something for somebody else.
There is a lot to be said for making a difference and doing good for others even when there’s nothing in it for ourselves. We don't often think of such things as self-care, but I don't believe we can truly be well if we don't also serve others in need.
Whether you give resources of time or money is up to you, but choosing to be a good neighbor and helpful community member has a way of making us see the world in a whole new light. And you don’t have to run yourself ragged in the process.
You only need to start small — though you might be surprised by how much doing good for somebody else can change your life as well.
The world needs a sense of worth, and it will achieve it only by its people feeling that they are worthwhile.
A final word? Self-care cannot wait for you to get your shit together. You need to practice proper self-care so you can get — and keep — your shit together. But it’s perfectly alright to start out small.
The point is that you start out somewhere.