Why re-invent the wheel? While contemplating today’s post I thought it would be a great idea to do a play on a self-love through self-care toolkit. The idea is to provide my readers who struggle in this area with some ideas that they can use to help with their self-love journey. I provide a list of self-care ideas every Sunday and I went through some old blogs and came up with a list of five that I thought would help cater to our self-love needs. These ideas can be practiced for five consecutive days, you can try doing them all in one day, or you can choose what you need from the list based on how you’re feeling today. Of course these options are not the only tools you can use to help with self-love but I think they’re a good start and I wanted to use methods that are easy to access and free.
START A GRATITUDE JOURNAL (emotional self-care): Start the morning on a high note by writing in a gratitude journal as soon as you wake up. Set some intentions for the day and write down a short mantra that you can memorize and repeat throughout your work day. Psychology Today states that gratitude journaling improves our self-esteem and mental strength. It also improves our psychological health and opens doors for new relationships. Journaling also caters to our emotional self-care needs. I mentioned in a previous post that journals are easily our best friends. You can share without the fear of judgement. Read more on gratitude journaling from Psychology Today here. Below are some potential prompts to get you started.
- Write about a happy memory.
- What’s something you’re looking forward to?
- What’s an accomplishment you’re proud of?
- Write about someone you’re grateful for.
- Write about three things you’re grateful for.
- What do you like about your job?
- What makes you grateful for your family?
- What skills do you have that you’re grateful for?
- What accomplishment(s) are you grateful for?
- What’s something you’re grateful for outside?
MEDITATE (emotional self-care): There are so many benefits to meditating. When I was consistent with my practice I noticed changes in how I felt on the inside and my general outlook on life was really positive. Meditating in the morning will help clear your head and help gauge your mindset for the workday. You may walk into the office with a brand new attitude if you start your morning with a mindfulness practice. If you’re new to meditation and you need help, here is a short 3 minute guided practice by my sorority sister Erica Phillips. Erica is a Mental Health Therapist & Motivational Coach. She loves to help people unlock their magic and live an uncaged life. You can check out her site to learn more about her services here.
CONSIDER THERAPY (emotional self-care): Every Saturday I use to post a question in my Facebook group (selfcareatforty) for us to answer. A while back I asked “Why is mental health so taboo? How do you feel about therapy?” I decided to ask the question because someone I follow on Instagram posted that she was asked by a follower why she’s still going to therapy after 8yrs. Her response was “I liken therapy to going to the gym or working out with a trainer. You don’t stop once you hit your fitness goals. You continue to maintain them. Develop greater techniques, etc.” I couldn’t agree with her response more. I see a therapist twice monthly; it’s my mental health tune up. If you’re unsure about therapy do some research today. There are a plethora of information available around the topic and resources for those who aren’t able to afford therapy right now. Therapy plays a major role in taking care of our emotional self-care—the self-care habit that addresses our well-being and our overall emotional health. Check out Therapy for Black Girls and Mental Health America for information. By the way, I am not affiliated with either organizations, I’m just sharing information.
SET SOME HEALTHY BOUNDARIES (emotional self-care): A lack of boundaries is a violation for you and the other person. Not having boundaries in my opinion creates an “anything goes” playing field. People need to know that we have a line and the line protects you and them. Same goes for us, if someone creates boundaries to protect themselves, we shouldn’t feel offended or upset by it. A few weeks ago one of the daily challenges was saying “No,” no is a boundary not a rejection. If you don’t have any or enough boundaries work on setting some healthy ones. Boundaries are also a tool we can use to help protect our emotional self-care. In case you’re wondering what I mean by healthy boundaries, here are some examples: Saying no, choosing not to answer phone calls after a certain hour, changing your mind. etc. Here’s a resource I found for you on another blog.
PRACTICE SELF-COMPASSION (emotional self-care): this may not apply to everyone but someone might need it. Often times we are entirely too hard on ourselves. We go down the “I should’ve, I could’ve, I wish, Why did I, I can’t believe” rabbit hole. I’m no stranger to this mindset, but it’s mentally EXHAUSTING and if you can relate to this, then I’m sure you will agree. Lately I’ve been checking myself when I feel this way and instead of beating myself up, I try to accept what is, especially if I have no control. It’s difficult at times but practicing self-compassion shifts the energy away from mental exhaustion to being kind and patient with yourself.
You will likely have to engage in each of these activities often before you start to notice any changes especially if you don’t already practice them consistently. Also, I have to say that even if you feel like you’re all set in the self-care department, you can still use these tools. No one has it all figured out and besides, sometimes our self-care muscle can benefit from a little self-care tune up.
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