Updated: Nov 29, 2019
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about self-care practices. This blog post is part of a collection of things that I've shared related to the concept. As a write this, I consider why I have been so fueled to share this now more than ever before? It might be because of everything going on in the world, everything I see on social media, the news, etc. So many people seem to be unhappy. So many people seem sad, depressed, hopeless, angry, bitter, and frustrated. There is a legitimacy for being upset with whatever it is. It might be something in your community or something personally happening in your life.
We are entitled to these feelings of hurt and concern and to use them to help if that is what we want. Yet, how we choose to internalize these issues also matters. It matters that we do not allow the outside world to destroy our inside world. You might be asking, what do you mean? Let me explain.
"It matters that we do not allow the outside world to destroy our inside world."
Our state of mind is not so much as to what has happened to us but rather our perception of it and further more, our reaction to it. If I find myself constantly angry about things, it might be helpful to stop and ask, what's the value here? Why does this matter so much to me? In some cases, you might be surprised to find the event is not as significant as you first thought. In others, you might find it more significant. Either is useful, as this information gives you power, power to do something with it. If I find it is not as important, then I can decide to take the action to process my emotion, let it pass, and move on. If I have found that it really does matter to me at my core, I can decide to take action towards resolving/dealing with it in some way. In both situations, in every situation, the choice is mine of what to do with it.
A lot of difficult emotions often arise when it seems like our choice has been taken away from us or that we don't have one to begin with. However, it is important to remember, you ALWAYS HAVE A CHOICE. You are responsible for your thoughts and actions and using them to learn and grow. This does not mean it is always easy, not at all. It can be really hard sometimes because life can be hard and so can change.
What it does mean, is you become more attuned to yourself, to what your mind and body are saying and take care. Take care of yourself. How can you do this? You can do this by showing love and compassion to yourself with mindfulness. This means accepting yourself even when you're not your best, forgiving yourself and choosing to do different next time (it might take more than one try). It means going for that walk, calling that friend, journaling, meditating, or seeking medical help if you need it. There is no shame in doing whatever you need to take care of yourself. Self-care is extremely important but so easy to disregard or forget. In today's society, we are inundated with never-ending things and information. It can be so easy to forget to slow down. Grounding is a mindfulness technique and can be a useful tool in slowing down.
"There is no shame in doing whatever you need to take care of yourself."
Tips to slowing down with grounding:
Look around the room and find:
5 things you can see.
4 things you can feel.
3 things you can hear.
2 things you can smell.
1 thing you can taste.
After slowing down, then think of what else you might need to incorporate in your life that day such as any of the examples used before. Do something you enjoy, even if it's only for 5 minutes. The difference is you are doing it with the connection that this is a conscious action you are taking for yourself, a gift you are giving yourself. Then, work to incorporate this daily. You will likely find a big difference in stress and negativity. As I mentioned before, sometimes this can be difficult or more might be needed before getting to that point. Therapy can be a useful tool in achieving this.