As Oprah Winfrey once said “There is one irrefutable law of the universe: We are each responsible for our own lives.” While we are also used to the saying “Love thy neighbor as thyself” and this is also unquestionably true words to live by, we must take into account that we are in no way responsible for the overall happiness of other people.
For far too long, I believe that people (women especially), have been made to feel accountable and responsible for the decisions and mistakes made by those closest to us. Because of this, we’ve been groomed to believe that we must put ourselves on the back burner and think of our needs as pointless to ensure that those around us are kept happy. The result? When we do voice our feelings, we are then blamed for being too emotional, erratic and even unreasonable.
As part of my ‘Prioritize Self-Care 2018 Mission’, I made a vow to myself to simply just say what’s on my mind (sans filter.) In the past I’ve struggled with voicing my opinion and true thoughts only because I’ve never wanted to hurt or upset the other person. The outcome of this was that I was mistaken for being shy and ‘in a shell.’ Not true. While it’s important to definitely think before you speak, I’ve learned through this practice that when you say what you mean and mean what you say, you actually avoid future arguments. When you just say it as it is, the other person/s either get it or they don’t. There is no mistaking your silence for weakness or agreement.
Self-care in general is definitely a lot more than bubble baths and facials. Self-care can mean different things to different people and in a way that’s the beauty of it. We are all individual and unique so of course our specific needs are very different. Self-care is not always easy, fun or convenient. The ability to check-in with yourself on a deep and spiritual level can be scary at first and you will definitely encounter thoughts and things that you’ve been trying so hard to avoid.
We find it so easy to go to the doctor when there’s something wrong with our physical bodies, so it’s important that we pay just as much attention to our mental and spiritual layers as well. Prioritizing self-care does not make you vain or selfish and you don’t need to spend a lot of money to feel great. Simple self-care practices and adapting positive mindsets allow you to restore your body, mind and spirit. You can’t drink from an empty glass, obviously. Therefore, it only makes sense that you spend the necessary time to ensure that your glass is full before assisting others.
As I’m sure you can tell, this topic is very near and dear to my heart simply because I try my best to practice what I preach. We are all far from perfect but we are responsible for safeguarding our own happiness (inside & out) Through my constant reflections, I’ve broken the topic of self-care down to three simple categories: for your body, your mind and your spirit.
In my opinion, the beginning of the journey is always the hardest as this involves identifying your barriers and working with yourself to break through them. But that in itself is one of the most important parts! Work with yourself, not against yourself! Afterall, no one knows you better than you!
Below I’ve noted some inexpensive and very realistic changes that everyone (regardless of age and gender) can implement into their lives to ensure that each day is better than the last
For your body :
Clean up your diet:
Make gradual and meaningful changes. Identify what makes you feel good and bad and adapt accordingly!
For me, getting my 8 hours of sleep every night is no joke. You don’t need to be part of #teamnosleep to feel like you’re smashing your goals. Take care of yourself by ensuring that you are well-rested simply to avoid being grumpy and irritable the next day.
For your mind:
Challenge yourself to learn something new every day! Whether it’s a new word or a new country, fuel up your mind with some new knowledge.
Tie up loose ends:
This is an ongoing practice for me, I literally have a list on my phone of things that I’ve been meaning to do for ages. Gradually tick items off your to do list, I promise it’s a great feeling.
For your spirit :
Distance yourself from negative/toxic people:
Energy vampires can suck the joy and energy from your life and need to be kept at an arm’s length. You don’t have to be rude, but I’ve recently learned that some people just don’t have your best interest at heart. Disconnect.
Find something to be thankful for every day. Whether it’s your comfy bed or even your shoes, be thankful for the big and the small.
Kim Seelochan is a Dubai based Film Publicist for Warner Bros. Pictures obsessed with all things movies and fitness. She’s a Trinidad native who is still trying to master the art of adulting. Follow her online @kimseelochan.