Forget about the bubble baths and chocolate (okay, don’t forget about them). Let’s dive in to what will really feed our soul.
When you hear the words “self-care” people often mention taking a nice relaxing bath, reading a book, some retail therapy perhaps. All those things can be great in your routine – or a way of treating yourself, but we need more than that. We need self-care that cares for us to the core. What we are really craving from this world. Our Licensed Therapist (counselor), Brandi is here to tell us what we are really needing.
Breaking Self-Care Down
Everything in our life is energy driven. In simplistic terms, energy is how things change and move; it’s around us and can be found in all forms. We know how it feels to walk into a room and feel negative or positive energy. We expend energy when we cook, drive to work, spend time with loved ones, and workout.
Think of those times when you’re feeling exhausted or depleted. What is taking energy from you? It might be someone you love, your job, a responsibility or a project you started in your home. We can’t control what is causing our energy depletion but we can control how we respond to it. Our job is to find ways to compromise with the “energy sucker”.
So, how do you do that?
For the tasks that add up around the house, or new projects:
- Set boundaries with yourself or others.
- Create a schedule to help track your time more effectively.
- Dedicate a weekend to completing the project in your home.
If a person(s) in your life is depleting your energy, determine the importance of the relationship. Ask yourself these questions:
- Can you sever the ties with them?
- Do you need to set up boundaries with them?
- Do you just need to spend a little less time with them (minimizing contact)?
- Or do you need to have a confronting conversation with them?
The food you eat can greatly determine your energy, or how your body is using that energy. Take inventory of your food:
- Do certain foods make you feel sluggish? > Eat less of these!
- What foods make you feel energized? > Eat more of these!
- Do you love fresh fruit but they go bad before you can prep them? > Buy pre-cut.
The way you view yourself can also deplete your energy. It might sound silly, but if you constantly have negative self-talk floating around your head, it drags your whole body down. What you can do:
- Challenge yourself to say only good things about yourself for 1 day. (the whole day)
- Don’t believe everything you think. Your thoughts are facts.
- Talk to yourself the way you would talk to someone you love when they are having a hard time. You deserve the same compassion.
- Look at your thoughts objectively – take a step back and think about it.
So now we know how we can look at the stressors (and react to them), which is a form of self-love, but what about doing what we love? Find out what makes your soul happy and do more of that. Work that into your daily/weekly/monthly routines. Take the time to see the awe and beauty of nature. Notice the birds chirping. Take a deep breath of our fresh air. Open your window and let the summer breeze into your home. Take time for the hobby you enjoy. Instead of watching TV for hours on end after you come home from work, consider going for a walk and listening to a podcast or sitting on the deck reading a good book you’ve been eyeing.
Above all, give yourself grace and credit because not every day will be the best day ever. Practicing the hard parts of self-care will not come easy. We can all drink a glass of wine; doing the work and digging deep will give you longer benefits than that glass of wine. But when you implement what your body needs, you can feel it working for you. Whatever you do to practice your self-care, make sure it feeds your soul and gives you that good energy you crave and deserve.