We want to help others. It is part of human nature. While this is a good quality, Ost often, this leads to a lifetime of putting self-care on the back burner. Then, one day you stop and ask yourself “am I okay?”. You begin to reflect on such things as when was the last time you had a long shower or a home cooked meal or relaxed in a comfy chair reading your favorite book?
By forgetting to check in with yourself both mentally and physically, eventually both become vulnerable to failure. You wouldn’t let your friend go on like this without saying something to her. Perhaps it is time to treat yourself like a friend.
Though certainly not a complete list, here are six tips that will get you on the path to becoming your own best friend:
- Practice self-care basics daily – When daily life becomes busy and schedules to keep are needed, self-care can quickly become a chore. Showers must be done late at night, eating dinner consists of microwaved frozen meals while doing the laundry. By the time you are ready for bed, a quick brush of your teeth is all you can muster. Making a small change in your schedule this can reap great rewards for your health.
Start by allowing yourself an extra thirty minutes. Use the first twenty minutes in the morning for a longer shower and personal care. Then use the last ten minutes in the evening allowing yourself to enjoy a quick facial or proper shave. Not only does this help you to feel better as you go about your day, but it can also give you a sense of self-pride in your appearance. Feeling better about your appearance can lead to an improved self-image.
- Put yourself in time out – As children, we were sent to time out when we behaved poorly. At that time, we saw that as punishment. Do you remember the last time you had a time out? During the time out basically have a break to reset your emotions. A recent study conducted by quantumworkplace.com concluded, “38 percent of respondents reported having meal breaks that are less than 30 minutes. 35 percent said they eat their meals at their desks or workstations every day. 22 percent said they take zero work breaks, excluding restroom and meal breaks.” Over time, this leads to a higher risk of burnout.
What can you do? At work, try having your lunch outdoors for fresh air and some much needed Vitamin D. Use this time to go for a quick walk for exercise and to clear your mind. When home, set up a space where you can keep things that bring calmness. This could include a favorite chair with your favorite blankets, books you want to read and most importantly, a quiet space away from technology if possible. It is important you give yourself the time to reset your mood and level your emotions.
- Say goodbye to the perfect image – Bigger homes, fancier cars, and dream vacations seems to dominate the media and web when seeking the perfect lifestyle. We spend our lives comparing ourselves to other peer’s riches. From the neighbor boy who got the newest cell phone to the friend who owns a boat and a home. We tend to constantly strive to obtain those things to achieve the best. Not only is this unhealthy for your self-esteem but can mentally cause depression if the need is not met.
Instead of focusing on what you do not have and cannot control, capitalize on what you do have and can control. Clairfy your focus. Why would like a boat? For fishing? Skiing? , A place to relax? Then control that reason. Perhaps a canoe would fill your needs and be more economical. Not only does this quelch your jealousy but gives you self-pride in your new hobby.
- Re-think your nutrition – Pay attention to your daily diet. Do you find you visit the local drive-thru more often than you realized? Does breakfast consist of a cup of coffee and a few bites of cold cereal? Over time, this can lead to obesity and heart issues. Without proper nutrition, the body can not provide the energy needed each day to function properly.
If morning schedules are filled with more tasks, prepare your food in the evening. Start packing your lunches to cut down costs and focus on quality and not quantity. Consider cold vegetables for snacking and sandwiches filled with protein. Even a peanut butter and jelly sandwich contains more protein than a fast-food hamburger and provides healthier nutrients and natural energy. Too add onto your morning coffee, grab a yogurt or granola bar on your way out the door. And don’t forget to consider adding a few extra moments to your schedule like was mentioned earlier.
- Praise yourself often – While we often praise others for their actions or behaviors, we forget to compliment ourselves. Maybe you finished a special project early at work, and you barely acknowledged the goal. Or, perhaps you finally cleaned out the junk drawer and marked it off as another chore. When we do not admire our goals, this, in turn creates boredom from our brain sensors. The mind needs flattery to assure its proper and healthy function.
You probably have a “To Do” list. Consider creating a “Got It Done” list. Next time you complete a few chores around the house, record it and celebrate the good job. “I am pleased I finished this project; I am proud of myself.” Keep practicing this praise after each chore. Before you know it, the chores will be finished, and you will feel good about your accomplishments.
- Some days will test you – Though your mood might be calm, dealing with others is a different story. Every person you come across has completely different emotions, sometimes leading to anger or silence for reason you may never know. Over the course of the day, the more friction that you experience, the more likely your own emotions will adapt to the latter behavior. Consciously keep yourself calm and empathetic to other people’s actions, by reminding yourself that you will not accept those negative vibes. You do not have to absorb their emotions.
When your mind and body are healthy, it is less susceptible to pessimism an negativity. The next time someone begins showing uncorrectable tones, adjust your tone and posture to show openness and calmness. This reflects to the other peer that you are not a barrier to their beliefs. Walk away knowing you remained calm and factual. Move on with your day.
There is one person whom you with day and night. You. Isn’t it time you became best friends with you?
By learning about our own behavior, we can adapt easier to changes that our minds and bodies need to keep thriving. As Lucille Ball famously once quoted, “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
Change your PERSPECTIVE, explore the POSSIBILITIES opening new PATHWAYS onto which you can choose to PROCEED.