Self-care consists of intentionally doing something that improves your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. This is different for everyone. Personally, I like running and making art. Running is a way to get myself moving and to get myself outside – since I work in my studio or from home so often, getting outside needs to be planned. Making art helps reduce my anxiety and connects me to myself in a way I can’t completely explain. But I do know that when I neglect making art my depression gets worse, which then makes it difficult to make art and I get stuck in a bad cycle. I also have a difficult time sticking to a fitness routine. I start off running or walking every day then a month goes by and I have forgotten all about it. So, in order to get healthier – both physically and mentally – I’ve decided to begin a radical self-care challenge.
I plan to research and implement as many self-care ideas that I can reasonably incorporate into my daily life.
Something I have already started is to send out positive message postcards to family and friends. I benefit from making the art and hopefully others benefit by receiving a positive message in the mail.
What do you do for self-care?
Sometime in 2014 I decided my word of the year would be Authentic. I wanted to be honest about who I am and share my opinion without apologies and just be happy with myself. I figured, in order to do that I needed to be truly authentic. Any yet, I struggle with telling the truth. The truth about what I think and how I feel. I don’t lie, but I’m not always my most authentic self. I’m afraid to put myself out there and be judged. I want approval and acceptance – like most of us – and I often feel that I’m not living up to my potential (especially after seeing so many people doing amazing things and building huge businesses both online and off). And because I’m not as successful as everyone else I see online, I feel as if I’m not working hard enough or just not expert enough at what I do.
Then I get real feedback from those that matter most – my family, friends, and clients – the people that I actually serve each day and interact with regularly. They remind me that what I do is important – that it matters. When I pay attention to the present moment it is easier for me to see what I’m contributing and easier for me to see its worth. And it is worthy. What I do in my small little bubble of existence is important – it’s valid.
With endless information so easily accessible online and celebrity selfies everywhere – it’s hard not to compare ourselves to everyone else – whose picture has more ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ – who has more ‘friends’… When what really matters is how we see ourselves. If we value ourselves and our own unique contribution to the world, then we will know that we are always enough. Sometimes we just need a reminder.