More times than not, we as human beings often feel the need to put huge amounts of pressure on ourselves. Unfortunately, in a world that is so go, go, go, it can be hard to slow down.
Self-care culture has become slightly over-glamourized in this generation. I don’t know about you, but when I hear the term “self-care” I immediately picture what I see on social media. Maybe it’s a multi-step skincare routine. You might picture lighting a candle and spending excess time watching movies or binging tv shows. The truth is, that is what influencers and the media represents it as. Some might even say that the “self-care culture” is somewhat toxic. To an extent, that might be true. However, there is so much more to it than we often realize. What exactly is self-care? The WHO definition is:
‘Self-Care is what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health and to prevent and deal with illness. It is a broad concept encompassing hygiene (general and personal), nutrition (type and quality of food eaten), lifestyle (sporting activities, leisure, etc), environmental factors (living conditions, social habits, etc.) socio-economic factors (income level, cultural beliefs, etc.) and self-medication.’
We can still practice self-care while still allowing growth and peace in our lives.
Taking Time for Yourself
Perhaps one of the things you neglect the most on your life journey is yourself. By putting all our energy into a number of things, it can be easy to forget that you are the only person who is going to be side by side with you throughout all your moments in life.
Taking time for yourself doesn’t necessarily need to mean hours, if you can that’s great, but it could be a commitment as small as even 5 minutes. Try taking a minimum of 5 minutes for yourself every day this week. Whether you go for a walk, read, go to the gym, prepare a nutritious meal, clean, meditate, or watch your favorite show, anything you do that brings you joy is an encouraging time for yourself.
Conquering the Chaos
These past couple of years, we as a whole have experienced chaos as never before. We had to navigate the pandemic and figure out our new way of life. It has not been an easy run. So many things were and still are out of our control. That can be a very intimidating thing. A mentality that was a game changer for me that I want to share with you all is, “no what ifs, just oh wells”.
It doesn’t do any good to dwell on our mistakes, our errors, or our regrets. Simply say oh well, instead of rearranging all the possibilities. You’ll find a significantly smaller amount of stress and anxiety. We can conquer the chaos of the world. By doing this we step towards success, we learn to accept our shortcomings and use them for our own personal growth.
The truth is, no one knows what is coming tomorrow, next month, next year, and so on. That is a part of life that is never changing. You don’t want to constantly be stressing about what is next or what has already happened. It is so much easier said than done, but by focusing too much on the past or future, not only are you going to spend most of your life worrying, but you might end up forgetting about the present.
Embrace the Silence
It is interesting, it seems like the world has started to almost have a fear of silence. It seems like we can’t go anywhere without our air pods in and we can’t do anything without having music or background noise going. I do this, walking to classes it is almost routine at this point to turn on music and drown out the rest of the world. Of course, music, podcasts, etc. are fantastic, but if we neglect the silence too much, we don’t realize what we are missing.
Silence is actually so much louder than we think. It sounds a little weird, I know. But, when you just exhale and allow yourself to exist without excess noise, you’ll hear it. Comfortable silence lets us think through things and find some creativity or motivation. Sitting or walking or driving without extra noise is a fantastic way to practice mindfulness. This can be another way of handling chaos. As scary as it is, try putting the headphones down for a little bit and see what you end up hearing.
There is always something going on around us. It is OKAY to be selfish to an extent. We need to focus on ourselves in order to grow. I promise you, by burning yourself out, you are not going to be where you want. You need balance in life, sometimes stepping back is the best thing that you can do to embrace the chaos and find peace.