What is self-care? Why should we practice that? I believe self-care is the way that we restore our energy, balance our stress levels, care for our bodies and minds, and help ourselves maintain health and vibrancy. I also believe that a benefit of practicing self-care is that we improve our self-esteem, which is how we perceive ourselves. When we feel good about who we are, we have a greater ability to focus our energies on building our passions, pursuing meaningful careers and relationships, and creating our best lives. I wanted to share 5 practices that I use in my weekly routine to help build self-esteem, balance my energies, and cultivate passion!
- Affirmations. I practice positive affirmations each day, especially in the morning before work. Positive affirmations are powerful statements about our personal qualities that we consciously choose to manifest in our lives. I believe that this practice works on the spiritual level, which is the grounding of our identities in the world. Speaking or using affirmations not only tell ourselves who we want to be, but it affirms who we already are to the universe around us. When we practice these affirmations often, it shifts our self-concept from feeling ‘not good enough’ to feeling free, authentic, powerful. This is something that I plan to practice for the rest of my life. As an example, when I am feeling anxious and unsure of myself, I will affirm myself as confident, worthy, secure, and loved. I say these statements out loud, or simply contemplate them as I get ready in the morning. I sometimes sit in meditation, but not always. Here is an example of an affirmation I might use for myself:
“I am confident and self-assured. I know that I am worthy of creating the life that I dream about. I am good enough and strong enough. I love myself. I love my life.”
- “One New Item Each Week.” I have been trying to get more organized at home in order to help me with anxiety and stress levels. When we feel like our home is a chaotic mess, we feel out of control! And this actually can add to negative feelings about ourselves, and prevent us from truly relaxing at home. For the last year or so, I try to purchase one small item each weekend during my grocery shopping excursions to help me organize my things at home. For example, I bought a shower shelf to organize my shampoos and soaps, and it has allowed me to keep my shower neater, and cleaning is much faster, too. Now, I actually like spending time in my shower, and I am working on creating a relaxing spa-like atmosphere for my self-care pampering time!
- “If it don’t flow, let it go!” Practicing detachment from material objects is essential to our health and well-being. I have started practicing the art of letting go by keeping a large plastic bin in my closet. Whenever I notice an item that I have a negative emotional experience when wearing, for example a pair of shoes that hurt my feet, or a pair of jeans that I feel self-conscious about, I toss them in the bin! No stressing! When the bin is full, I bring it to a thrift shop during my errands excursions each week.
- Skin-Care Sunday! How we feel about our appearance really does matter. I have been trying to step up my skincare routine lately to help me feel more beautiful. On Sunday evenings, I like to reserve an hour or two to research about skin-health, and I choose some type of skin-care product to apply. Sometimes, I like to steam my skin by holding my face about two feet above a pot of hot water. This should not be painful or too hot, but it should open the pores and cause a light sweat. After that, I like to do a face mask to clear out my pores as I relax and listen to a meditation session.
- Journal your Journey. I have been dealing with some difficult emotional baggage lately from my childhood. It’s been difficult, and sometimes I get overwhelmed with an emotion or a memory comes up really strong. At this point, I know that my priority is my healing, so I will put aside whatever else I am doing and I get out my special healing journal. I write whatever is on my mind, with no filter. I allow the feelings to come up and express themselves in whatever words come out on the page, and I allow myself to cry and feel for as long as it takes. This has been a very beneficial process for me because I am learning to trust myself that I will not get stuck in the emotion and memories if I let it come out. I also am coming to understand that having these painful memories and negative experiences does not make me a bad person or a negative person. Rather, I have learned that repressing is what causes me to feel stuck, whereas expressing is what allows me to move through the healing. Generally, after I journal for an hour or two, I will feel a sense of peacefulness and I come back to my positive, light-hearted, creative self and I move on with my day!
What about you? What helps you heal and feel good in your life? How do you practice self-care? Leave me a comment! I’d love to hear from you!
Keep loving yourselves, friends. Keep moving towards your dreams.
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Hanna is a blogger, yogi, foodie, barista, and a student of life. She is pursuing her masters in counseling psychology. Hanna has finally accomplished her dream of becoming a certified ACE Health Coach and is now busy working on her plans to help people improve their healthy lifestyles.