- Dr. Nadia Mawji, ND
5 Ways to Express Self-Care
We hear about self-care all the time. What does this look like? It doesn’t always mean a bath, a massage, a sweet treat, time with friends or time alone. But, it definitely can! To me, self-care means tending to what you need INTERNALLY.
Here are my 5 tips for self-care:
1. Set boundaries. The boundaries we don’t make are the lines that cause disappointment, when crossed. Be familiar with what you will allow, and what you will not. And then, practice those boundaries regularly, so that you and the others around you, are aware that those are YOUR boundaries. Lastly, do not make exceptions to the rule in order to accommodate others. YOU have set YOUR boundaries for a reason.
2. Speak up when you feel a certain way about something. Sometimes, we tend to hold our thoughts back in conversations or situations, again, to accommodate the needs or desires of others. It is a great quality to think carefully before you speak, but to not speak at all, when something isn’t to your liking, is a whole other story. Holding things in, leads to unhealthy stress. SPEAK UP, BE CONFIDENT and DISCUSS the conflict. Resolutions are more realizable with conversation.
3. Accept your thoughts. Pushing them away does is not caring; it’s ignoring and avoiding. These can only cause harm in the long run. You wouldn’t do that to your friends or family, so don’t do that to yourself! If you need support, a counsellor or registered psychologist can help!
4. Notice how you feel physically when you are in a stressful situation. Overthinking or even the opposite is common during times of stress. Try and pinpoint how you feel during a stressful moment – do you have to use the bathroom? Use it! Do you feel cold? Put on a sweater. Do you feel hungry? Eat something. Tending to how we feel physically, can often help to lessen the blow of emotions internally. Ask yourself, "WHAT DO I NEED RIGHT NOW?"
5. Avoid using the word “BUT” when appreciating something about yourself. Instead of saying, “I’m proud of my work, but I’m so bad at such and such”, try saying, “I am proud of my work” and leave it at that. Instead of saying “my eyes are beautiful, but if they were bigger it would be better”, tell yourself “my eyes are beautiful”. THAT'S IT! You have probably heard that you start to believe what you repeatedly say. So, if you wouldn’t feel comfortable with others talking like that about themselves or you, why would you be okay with saying it??
Self-care can mean a variety of things to each individual. Try and tap in to what it is that you feel you need, versus what magazines, social media and others tell you about what self-care is.
Happy Valentine’s Day! <3