Self-Care: 7 powerful ways to care for yourself despite the negativity
Do you regret a few choices you made in life? Or are upset about a particular aspect of your love life or career? Well, today I’m NOT going to talk about how to eat healthy or why you must exercise everyday in the garb of ‘SELF-CARE’. Neither is it a typical ‘Escape-from-the-boredom’ sermon.
Nearly all of us are bustling in & out of a mundane life. Many cogwheels of which are at the verge of rusting with the monotony. You probably get no help at home/office & do not receive any appreciation either. Perhaps you’re trying to break free from the job you never loved & want to start a business of your own. And worse more, you lack the funds for it. You may even be dying to go on a vacation for an change of environment, but your partner isn’t giving in because (s)he isn’t getting leave for that. Amidst all of this, you try to look & feel resilient to show all your problems the middle finger.
As a typical no-nonsense way of tackling our problems, let’s figure out what they usually are.
- You repent choosing a career that feels like living in a coffin every single day.
- Perhaps, you think you’re just not as good-looking as a friend, colleague or relative who appears to have been born for modelling.
- You think you’re too ordinary to achieve something big like the ones you always read or hear about on the social media. Generally, “(S)he could. There’s something in her/him. But what do I have?”
- You’re probably not rich like that moneyed friend whose foreign tour pictures on Instagram & Facebook have been annoying you for the same reason.
- You didn’t find love yet.
- You haven’t been able to move on from a break up or the loss of a loved one
- Having a child seems to be a challenge.
- If you’re a mom who quit her job to look after her child due to lack of a strong support system, people have been slurring the deprecated offensive term ‘housewife’ at you in order to rake your soul over the guilt of ‘damaging your career’ forever. And if you’re a working mom, the insults turn totally vice-versa. Ah, I know. You’ll understand anyway.
- People make fun of you for reasons you still haven’t figured out yet.
The list may be endless. And I really respect the nature & intensity of your problem, whatever it is. So, if I’ve missed yours in the list above, assume it’s still there in the list.Well, if a problem is all set to screw your peace & life up, let me tell you that the SOLUTION begins with SELF-CARE.
Now, before you judge me for blurting “self-care” as the answer to the chaos of negativity in your life, I want to make the term clear. Self-Care, technically, stems from self-love only.
It’s hard to actually start pampering, helping or even appreciating yourself if you don’t love yourself first.
Self-Care: But why wouldn’t you love yourself?
I always see myself with a makeshift ‘friend/partner’ during a problem/crisis.
This helps me better in hosting a conversation with that ‘friend’ about:
- A self pep-talk to reaffirm why I’m still GOOD at solving this.
- How I could solve this.
- Ways I can de-stress myself out of that unpleasant situation.
- Why I deserve so much love
- Why a random FUN TIME shouldn’t take me on a guilt trip, just because I’m a MOM.
I’m certainly not going to say stuff that sounds like a philosophical monologue. But what I’ve obviously noticed is that our feelings of anxiety, depression or grief are all a result of bottling our emotions up.
Our mind is very malleable. We easily let go all the positive thoughts about ourselves & crib about our failures, compare ourselves with others or worse, blame the so called ‘bad luck’. We never try training the mind to impulsively distract itself from the negativity in question.
And most of the time, the bad guy here is – COMPARISON. You just don’t seem to stop comparing yourself from your peers & mentally construct a ‘league’ which you fear you’ll never become a part of. And, out of peer pressure, a rat race begins. Only to end your love for your:
- Family, &
Well, that’s a stereotypical modern day story.
Ways to practise Self-Care?
Take a Break
When work/house work gets your spine broken (at times, literally) you need to take a break.
A break is a self-care indulgence that you, after all, rightfully deserve!
Take some days off without prior planning. Surprise your family/partner with an unplanned vacation sans worries of reviews, deadlines or appraisals. This time, at least! And I tell you, the joy that results is just unmatchable!
Or if you’ve been hating your job, pause for a moment. Discuss with a friend or your spouse about what you could do to make things better for you. Quit the job to create something of your own? Or may be, just switch?
Because, as long as you’re frustrated, you can never get productive even in a favorable environment.
“There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by myself.”
Master the art of Satisfaction
In my view, satisfaction is the stepping stone to happiness. For instance, you’ve got a friend who keeps flaunting his/her affluent life all over the social media & more grossly, tags you in the pictures often.
Well, I’ve personally bumped into people who grill their kids into posing for the photographs during their tour only to burst them into tears of irritation. The same goes for their partners ,which downright ruins the fun of touring together where each one enjoys only the ‘selfie’ or ‘Follow-Me’ part of the trip!
So where’s the joy of holding hands together discussing the never-before place?
It’s time you realize how differently peaceful your life is than the ones’ you envy. You may not have the ready money to afford such trips right now, but until then you should be happy about how much your family loves you even if you’re a bit broke, or have friends that always show up in support.
Shut the naggers & gabbers
Come on! It’s also time to make your nitpickers realize the proverb, “Once bitten, twice shy.”
It’s totally fine to shut your nasty critics down by saying something subtly blunt as, “I know I’m really great at dealing with such things.”
That’s enough to intimidate them for life from judging or jeering at you in future. And so will you discover your confidence & unleash self-love.
I remember different people who always had to react to my acne when I had it & also couldn’t quite put up when I had outgrown the phase. Somebody recently asked on meeting me, “You had terrible acne. (With a statutory “Ew” face, of course!) Didn’t you? What treatment did you take to get rid of it?”
Well, every time, I only had this one kind thing to say. “Acne is just a phase.”
Just, let it Go
- Let go of the grudges & expectations from relationships.
- Destroy the belief that you can control or change others’ habits, even your girl/boyfriend’s or spouse’s.
- Shatter self-limitations.
- Let go of the embarrassment. If there’s something that still haunts you for having done something really wrong or embarrassing, make a joke out of it. Things will settle thereafter on their own.
Learn to say “NO”
Don’t ever fall for obligations. Even if it’s somebody who’s really helped you before so that he/she could draw some favor from you, it’s OKAY to refuse to reciprocate if you feel it’s at the cost of your time, space, peace or ethics.
You might have just hurt somebody, or somebody’s ego rather. But it’s okay as long as it means no burnout for you.
Have a Daily Journal
I know that sounds old school, but I actually have a personal journal where I write my plans for the next day & tick the ones that I could accomplish for the day that just passed. I’m overly thankful to Shailaja for helping me revive this habit that I had forgotten about after high school.
And man, I tell you the sense of empowerment this simple yet meticulous habit yields to my confidence.
This is a cool pep-talk you could give yourself everyday!
Spend some “ME” Time
Remember that you’re always worth some time for yourself.
Be it a hangout with a buddy, a phone call, a walk/jog alone in the park or a spa.
Finally, for every single challenge you face, ask yourself, “Is it even worth a burnout?”
So, stop living up to expectations of others. This life is yours & if anyone is responsible to make it better or worse, it’s just YOU.
And nothing teaches you this aspect better than self-care.
I’d love to know in the comments how you employ self-care into your routine & day to day life.