I am a huge advocate for self care. I drill it into my friends’ heads, my family’s heads, your head, and my own. If you come to me with a problem, chances are I’m going to tell you to take better care of yourself. While it goes unsaid (or should) that face masks and bubble baths cannot replace anti depressants, I still believe that taking some time to focus on just yourself can do a world of difference.
While I do a whole lot of things that I label as self care, there are a few that that I’ve implemented recently that have done a lot of good. They aren’t painting my toenails or drinking wine by the fire, but they are mindset changes that have helped tremendously. These are those things.
Throwing diets out the window
This is something I recently started doing and talked about in this post. I decided to do this when I was on keto and started weighing myself daily, counting carbs obsessively, and binging frequently. I have issues surrounding food and my weight and unfortunately, I always have. I have been dieting on and off since I was about 11 and I truly believe it has done far more harm than good.
I decided a few months ago to stop diets all together. I would eat what I want, when I want, and I’d listen to my body instead of the obsessive thoughts in my head. This has helped me a lot. I haven’t weighed myself in months and I just don’t think about food as much as I used to. When I was dieting I would meal plan excessively. When I wasn’t eating or cooking, I was thinking and obsessing about food. While I have very clearly gained weight and I’m less than happy about that, it is something I’m willing to deal with to have a little bit of peace of mind.
Accept the things that I cannot change
One of my biggest issues is that things I can’t change or have no control over seem to be the things that frustrate or stress me out the most. Danny and I both struggle this so if something isn’t working the way it should in our house- chaos ensues. When this happens, I’ve been reminding myself that there’s nothing I can do about it and there’s honestly no point in getting upset. Yes, it’s important to feel your feelings, but it’s more important to feel them and then move on. This simple switch in my mindset has helped me so much with my stress levels. I don’t find myself dwelling on things for as long as I used to.
Take unscheduled breaks
As you may know, I’m a busy gal. I am a full-time online student, I still work occasionally, I run this blog, and I pretty much run my household (meaning cooking and cleaning, which is a choice. I enjoy traditional female roles and believe it is a totally personal choice). I schedule pretty much everything. From the hours I spend studying, the hours I spend working, and sometimes even my breaks. If this works for you, that’s great! Sometimes it works for me as well, but not all the time. Recently I realized that always taking breaks when they are scheduled doesn’t make me feel… satisfied? Does that make sense?
Hear me out.
If I’ve been working for 3 hours and I have a scheduled 20-minute break coming up, but I don’t feel like I need a break yet, it may feel like wasted time. On the other side of things, If I’ve been working for 3 hours and a scheduled break comes up, but when it’s over I still feel mentally exhausted, I then don’t work as well as I would because I’m still not ready to get back to work. Taking unscheduled breaks for as long as I need to helps me refill my cup and makes me more productive (and happy!) in the long run.
Develop a morning routine
When I say I’ve developed a morning routine, I do NOT mean I wake up at 6 am, meditate, read a chapter of a self help book, drink 5 liters of water, and go for a jog. That’s not me, that’s never been me, and as much as I’ve tried to make that me, I don’t think it will ever be me.
My morning routine is simple. I wake up when I wake up, I make a coffee, and I watch youtube videos for like an hour before planning my day. Slow mornings just work for me. I like to feel relaxed and calm when I start my day because chances are, the rest of the day is going to be chaotic.
Set up boundaries/learn to say no/don’t spread myself too thin
I have these as one thing because they all kind of fit perfectly into one little category. I get stressed out when I’m overwhelmed, but I’m a people pleaser and I have a hard time saying no. If someone calls me from work to cover a shift but I have a paper due, its hard for me to say no to them. Then next thing you know I’m at work doing an essay at 10:00 pm while my clients are asleep. Doing schoolwork when I’m at work-work is a big no-no for me. It crosses two lines that immediately result in me pretty much doing nothing.
As of recent, I have moved into a new place (I know I know, you’re sick of hearing about it). This has added a whole new layer of stress to the mix. Trying to still stay caught up with school and still take shifts while moving has been chaos. I decided to not take many shifts and took a break from school. Yes, I’m aware this is going to make the next few weeks a little more difficult, but I really believe it saved me during the move. If I had to balance everything, some things would slip behind anyway. At least this way, I was prepared to have to pick up the mess at the end.
What mindset changes have you made recently that have changed your outlook on things? How about tangible things you’ve done? I’d love to hear what you do for self care!
Take care of yourself