Do you practice self-care? Do feel happy, hopeful, or maybe anxious, stressed, or tired? It is so so important to be present and aware of your feelings at all times. Your mood and your energy are a direct link to your experiences. If you are operating at a low level and expecting great results… oh, I’ve got news for you, girl!
Knowing where you are in your mindset is the best way to know where you are in your self care routine.
I always know that I am overdue for some self care when I am aggravated, anxious, stressed, nagging, or easily annoyed. Too often we look for happiness in our lovers, friends, children, and in our day to day lives, when we NEED to provide it for ourselves. The American Psychological Association describes self-care as an “ethical imperative”. Self-care is non negotiable, my dear. Just like on an airplane when you must put on your mask before helping others. You must love yourself in order to have the capacity to love another.
NOW, Let’s get into my top 5 ways to practice self-care
- Meditate – I meditate every day! When I don’t, I feel the difference. I do it in the morning before doing ANYTHING else. It sets the tone for my day and puts me in a space of love, light and openness to whatever the day may bring. If you do not meditate, I highly recommend it. There are tons of apps to get started like headspace or insight timer. Start out with 5 minutes and build your way up. It has literally changed my life and I know it will for you. I recorded a free meditation and you can access it on the homepage of my website ashleyvives.com. Check it out and if you like it, would you mind letting me know on here or on social media. Just say, hey Ash… I loved your meditation. It is always so great to hear from you.
- Exercise – Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts overall mood. I notice a difference in my mindset and focus when I exercise. I wholeheartedly believe in its benefits. Find an exercise that you like and do it. There are so many different kinds that any excuse of “I don’t like exercising” just won’t cut it with me. If you hate running, don’t do it. Dance instead. Find what works for you and create a routine. Block out time in your schedule and write it in. Pay in advance if you can, this will make you really want to go. If someone asks you to go for cocktails at 6pm on Tuesday, but your schedule says workout… stay strong to your routine. Now, let’s be real… I’m not saying bail on your friends or cocktails. Just get that workout in and push em back a little. Balance, my dear.
- Journal/ Write – I absolutely LOVE writing in a journal. I have been doing it since I could remember. I was that teenager that would write a letter to my boyfriend who pissed me off, read it back, realize it was cray cray and throw it away. But, girl… it saved me from saying some insane shit. I think writing is such a great therapy. It makes you reach into the back of your brain and see things from different angles, it is where dreams become plans, it is where ideas have become empires. I recommend it to all of my clients and I do it myself each and every day.
- Take yourself out on a date – Now, this my friend, is important. How do you feel when you eat alone in a restaurant? WOULD you eat alone in a restaurant? Actually, more important, COULD you eat alone in a restaurant? I’m talking no cell phone, no bar seat… just you and an empty chair across from you. Your answer to that question could tell you the degree of self love that you have towards yourself. I’m not saying it is the only measure for knowing if you love yourself. But, it is a good test in seeing if you could enjoy your own company, be present within the world happening around you, and not feel intimidated by the thoughts and cares of others. Take yourself out. Do something YOU want to do. Love up on yourself… you are the only person who knows EXACTLY the love you need.
- Go out with people you enjoy – So, remember that friend who asked you to go out for cocktails during your workout time. Yah, that was a self care thing too! Go out! Have fun. I must warn you, this tip only works with people you enjoy. Studies show that you are a product of the top 5 people you surround yourself with. So, it is so important to CHOOSE your people wisely. Are they kind, smart, fun, loving. Do they push you to be better? Do they have your back? If not, it is important to understand why you are saying yes to their invitations. Is it because your bored? Use that time to practice your self care in another way – a yoga class, journaling, upleveling to new friends. Is it because you don’t think you deserve better? Become someone who does. Practice kindness, study the things the person you WANT to be would know, become better. You deserve the absolute best… strive for it, work for it, be it, get it.
You ever have a day when you feel like the world is against you? Where every little thing aggravates you? Maybe you have scheduled in a good cry because you know it’s coming? A day where you just want to hop back into bed and redo it?
Well, my love, in those days, ask yourself.. what have I done today for myself? We excuse ourselves and say we are “running on fumes” or “running out of steam”. We fill that void with coffee and sugar and even a stale piece of bread we found in the employees lounge. Instead of running on fumes, why don’t you fuel yourself? Self-care is easy and can sometimes take only 5 minutes. Why sit on empty for 5 hours when you could change it in 5 minutes?
Now, take this time to think about 5 – 10 things YOU can do to practice self care. Write them down, do 3 things a day. Show up at your best and great things will come to you.