Updated: Mar 25, 2019
Self-love and self-care is a big part of Feminine February for me and a big part of my daily routine in general. Since struggling with my mental health issues for quite some time, I have realized through the years that there are simply ways to make myself feel better, and I imagine they will help you as well.
Do you want to empower yourself to feel GOOD!? I know for me, I didn’t think I was capable of doing it for myself. I thought I had to go to doctors constantly and take tons of medication in order to feel better and in order for my mental health to resolve. I was WRONG!
As I’ve become more in touch with my body, me spiritual practice, and in my physical fitness (as I always was good at that), I have realized that all of the issues I have dealt with come down to a couple things; nutrition, physical fitness, and spirituality. So here are ways in which I take control of my life and make myself feel better. Being able to make myself feel better really boosts my self-esteem because it gives me back control over my life. Not in a frantic, desperate way; in a sure, level-headed way where I know I have what it takes to improve my quality of life; no matter what craziness is swirling in my head.
Meditation is one of my most tried and true self-care methods. I meditate every day, sometimes twice a day, for at least 15 minutes at a time. Meditating ensures that I can come back to center. Sometimes if I’m too anxious, jittery, or energized to lie down and meditate right away, I’ll use my next favorite skill to help me calm down a little bit.
Mindfulness is something that can take stress away in an instant. Something I LOVE to do during the warmer months is hike barefoot. Even if you aren’t barefoot focusing on your feet is an excellent way to stop a train of negative thoughts, to bring you back to center when you’re feeling emotionally stuck, and to bring you down from an anxious flare up. I have utilized mindfulness for quite some time now after being introduced to DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) a form of cognitive therapy that helps you to become aware of your emotions, make sense of where they’re coming from, and realize whether or not they’re rational and valid in the present moment.
Eating nutrient rich, fresh, and preferably local foods is something I do to ease many of the symptoms I’ve had. I know that when I eat certain things, I feel a certain way. I can say with certainty that I have healed at least 40% of my symptoms by changing the way I eat. I try to limit or avoid alcohol, caffeine, sugar, simple carbs, gluten, and red meat – because I know when I eat these things I tend to feel groggy, inflamed, and irritable. I also take supplements for things like Niacin – which can aid with memory loss and mental confusion. As someone who deals with particularly intense emotions, it’s nice to have a clear head. You can also get niacin from turkey, chicken breast, liver, peanuts, and brown rice.
Acts of Service
I am currently a mentor for an 11 year old girl. I am able to provide her with a positive, nurturing, compassionate atmosphere that is unbiased and outside of her home. Being able to offer this to her, her mother, and the rest of her family is truly a beautiful thing. Acts of service allow you to embrace your kindness and to take the focus off of yourself for awhile. It seems contradictory, as self-love is inherently about the self. Loving others also helps you love yourself, because you recognize your ability to unconditionally love others and treat them with kindness and consideration; that can then help you to turn it back around onto yourself.
I have a lot of hobbies but I didn't used to! I had to really get out there and try a whole bunch of things; finger painting, piano, ice skating, skiing, dancing, photography, cooking, drawing, writing poetry... Through trying a bunch of stuff out I have found a lot of things I love to do that bring me pure joy. For one, ice skating! Although I don’t do it as often as I’d like to, when I get on the ice it is one of the best feelings in the world. I feel free, the crisp air is so enlivening, and it’s something that allows me to embrace my feminine elegance and grace.
Cooking is also one of my favorite things to do! I love to cook interesting meals, and even when I don’t get to make something awesome, cooking and being able to use that as a mindfulness activity is awesome.
I looooove to knit! Yep! I know that's something a lot of old women do, but it's something that is so calming and therapeutic. I made that scarf! Knitting is a really great mindfulness activity because it’s it’s intricate, slow moving, and forces you to pay attention.
Exercise is SUPER important for me, and for everyone. I haven’t been able to work out as much as I did, and it’s really affecting me!
So here are some of my favorite self-care activities! Taking a bath is also one, but I couldn’t really put in a picture of that!
What are your favorite self-love practices?