|via Yoga Journal|
Caring for yourself is hard. For most women, it’s more natural to care for others before we care for ourselves.
Growing up, my mother would always say to me: “You’re the type of person that will take from your mouth to give to someone else.” This forever stuck with me; it’s just the way I always felt. I would volunteer to take the smaller piece, or give a loved one half of my cookie even though he has already eaten his, or go out of my way to put someone else’s needs and wants before mine.
It has always given me a great feeling to give of myself to others. But what happens when this is a too often an occurance and you need to seriously start looking inward?
This is exactly what I did. In order to be good to the people around you, you need to be your best self. For this, it takes a lot of hard work, and dedication. We often think of commitment to only be to another person, but we should be committed to ourselves first.
“You are the CEO of your body and you should be boss about that sh*t.“- Robin Arzon
Here are three things I began to do on my journey to self care:
1. SHAKE WHAT YO’ MAMA GAVE YOU
Get moving! It’s taken me the better part of my adult life to realize that I actually do like working out. The feeling of accomplishment, the rush of learning about something new and a sense of community are some of the attributes that have attracted me to start my yoga practice.
I don’t like the gym, in fact the mere thought of the treadmill makes me want to take a big ol’ nap; I find it incredibly boring. Forcing myself to go in the past and having countless memberships that ended up in fitness limbo was not giving me the results I wanted and I always found myself quitting the gym. I had finally thrown in the non-sweaty towel and decided, that working out was just not something I cared about. I’m happy just being skinny, right? Who really believes “Fit girls look better naked”? I’ve done good for myself thus far in my life… WRONG. I discovered that yoga is the answer to my fitness struggle and it does wonders for mental health and anxiety. I began my journey last year and the more and more I learn about a yogi lifestyle, the more I question the insanity of not having been a part of this world sooner. Find the workout that you will fall in love with and stick to it, make it a lifestyle not a chore.
2. NO IFs ANDs OR BUTTS ABOUT IT
We all have bad habits, one of mine is super cliche and unfortunate. I’ve been a smoker for a long time and not until the last year or so have I been serious about getting my act together. There have been times of high-anxiety where I still think I need to have a cigarette. (i.e. right now as I’m writing this I’m feeling a bit anxious and feeling I need one… Reminder: I do not need one!)
Kicking the habit is hard, and doing it without any help and trying to go cold turkey isn’t a pleasant walk in the park, but as I get older, and the fear of mortality visits more frequently, I realize that it’s a terrible idea to constantly be out of breath, feeling groggy and ironically it doesn’t even get rid of my anxiety, it feeds it. Go figure. BTW, my yoga practice has helped immensely in kicking those nasty butts to the curb.
3. WORDS TO LIVE BY
I’ve been a fan of reading since R.L. Stine’s Fear Street series; I simply couldn’t put a book down. In the last decade the opposite was true. Why had I stopped reading? I blame the lack of attention span technology and digital media has induced in our daily lives. In order to renew my interest in this forgotten art, I joined a book club. This gave reading a sense of urgency, it gave me motivation and held me accountable to the rest of the girls in the club, it gave me a deadline to finish the book and a reason to keep up and stay consistent. Check out my first book review here and join us for our next read, Elizabeth Street by Laurie Fabiano.
Tonight make it part of your bedtime routine, dedicate 30 minutes, or even 10 to a book you’ve been wanting to pick up. Emerge yourself in a world that isn’t your own for a bit and learn how you can turn off your digital life and turn the page.
How do you self care?