My Self-Care Journey: Lessons I’ve Learned
The Selfie-Love Challenge will be wrapping up in a few days. It really has been quite the journey, hasn’t it? This will be my last blog post in the series and Samantha from My Bipolar Mind will close the challenge out on February 28th.
Today I wanted to share with you lessons I have learned in the past year about what self-care means to me and how I’m learning to love myself. My hope is that, whether you participated in the selfie love challenge or not, you will walk away after reading this post with a better understanding of self-care and self-love and why it’s important. I hope this inspires you to go on your own self-love journey and practice self-care in your everyday routine.
You Can’t Force It
Last year I decided that I would do a year-long self-care challenge. I had a self-care activity planned for every day of the year. Everything from decluttering to deep breathing, to buying myself flowers was on that list. I tried to stick it out for a little while, but I quickly realized why this challenge wasn’t going to work. Planning exactly what I was going to do that far ahead of time was putting myself in a box. It simply wasn’t going to work. Self-care should feel natural not strict. 30-day challenges are great, but I wouldn’t go any further than that.
Treat Yourself Like You Would Someone Else
Self-love has been extremely hard for me to practice; however, I am getting better at it. I remember the first time I realized exactly what self-love was and the harsh reality that I didn’t love myself. I was in counseling and my counselor helped me realize that I wasn’t being very nice to myself and giving myself enough credit. It is so hard for me to even come up with a simple list of things I love about myself.
I realize that if the women in my life told me that they feel the same way I do about their self-love I would do everything in my power to help them realize that they are awesome and should love who they are. So why can’t I be my own cheerleader? Why is it so hard to accept that about me?
This challenge has inspired me going forward to start writing a daily list of things I loved about myself each day. Hopefully, with time, self-love will come more natural to me. If you decide to do the same, I’d love to know how the experience helps you.
Look at The Good and Not the Bad (if you can’t find the good just ask)
It’s important that we focus on the positives in life. I love the quote “Look for something positive in each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder.” Sometimes we go through seasons that are just tough. There is no getting around how draining and bleak it is. That makes it hard to see the good in anything. Here is what has helped me when I can’t think of anything to write. I ask others what they like about me/how they would describe me. It may seem awkward to ask at first but when you get your answers back it’s like an instant mood booster. Write them down so that when the bad times come again you’ll be able to refer to these positive words or phrases about yourself.
Remember Who Created You – You Are God’s Masterpiece
Finally, I want to leave you with a bible verse that proves just how wonderful you and I are.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10
When we engage in negative self-talk and don’t take care of our body or mind we are not being very kind to God’s masterpiece. I’ve finally gotten to a point where I have accepted where God has me in life right now. I have tried to fight it, cried over everything that I am not, and wished I had different traits and features. Finally, I realized that feeling this way wasn’t helping to change anything or helping me feel any better. I am simply a masterpiece in progress and so are you. I hope that inspires you to cut yourself some slack for everything you’re not and love yourself for everything you already are.
With only a few days left in the challenge, there are only a few more chances to enter the giveaway.
One lucky person will be winning a Therabox. This box is filled with self-care activities hand-picked by therapists. Find out more and view past boxes on their website.