Practice Self-Care This Year By Taking Your Power Back
I've talked extensively about self-care and the importance of prioritizing one's physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing above all else.
For today's post, I encourage you to revisit this topic to prioritize your self-care in the new year.
We control our lives more than we think. Making intentional choices about our time and resources can give us the power we need to take our power back.
A powerful self-care routine starts and ends with you. Read on for five self-care habits to practice to own, claim, and cultivate your power.
Set and Maintain Healthy Boundaries
Healthy boundaries are boundaries specifically created to support your mental and emotional state.
To identify what you need from setting boundaries try answering the following questions:
What specific areas of my life needs boundaries?
Why do I need to set boundaries?
Should my boundaries be rigid or flexible?
Will setting boundaries allow me be more true to myself?
Personal boundaries can be challenging to navigate, but establishing and enforcing them is crucial to establishing self-care routine and necessary for your well-being. Try not to feel guilty or selfish about this.
Remember self-care at its core is saying no to people, circumstances, and actions that do not align with your priorities or wellbeing. This approach and way of thinking will transform your-self care routine into something powerful.
Own Your Mental Health
The unfortunate truth about battling mental health challenges is there will be times when you have reduced capacity over your mood or compulsions.
For me, there are days where my anxiety gets the best of me, and it is difficult to complete simple tasks like leading a call, completing a thought, or staying focused.
I can’t always control when my anxiety emerges, but I can control how I allow random thoughts or excessive worrying to impact my day and mental health. I understand my triggers and warnings, and I have a routine that helps me calm myself down and manage my anxiety to continue my day.
Owning your mental health may look different for you based on your unique needs.
For me, owning my mental health can look like a 5-minute meditation with my favorite lavender oil, listening to my mood-boosting playlist, or journaling my thoughts.
Own your mental health by learning how to best manage your mental health in a way that works for you. For help discovering ways to own your mental health, check out 6 Tips To Build a Strong Mental Health Routine.
Surrender Your Savior Complex
The 'savior complex' describes a need to “save” people by fixing their problems. If you have a savior complex, your sense of self might be tied to helping someone.
Take an inventory of your relationships - do you overextend yourself by doing any of the following?
Offer emotional support and assume all the emotional baggage
Display financial support that you aren’t in a position to provide or for someone that you have to save consistently
Consistently sacrifice personal needs or boundaries to be there for someone else
If you answered, "yes" to any of the above scenarios, you might be struggling with a savior complex.
If you are like me, helping others is probably ingrained in you after seeing other women you admire repeat these habits.
While this is important (and acceptable), helping or over-compensating becomes problematic when you feel responsible for everyone and feel the need to fix everything around you.
This complex is easy to disregard as part of your natural personality. I, personally, did not uncover I suffered from this until I found a therapist. For more information on the savior complex and ways to overcome it, check out E.B. Johnson’s Medium article on overcoming your savior complex.
Accept that you can not and should not be responsible for saving everyone or risk depleting your power.
Adopt The Pay Yourself First Schema
Pay Yourself First is a popular and effective exercise in personal finance that requires you to make a regular contribution to your savings before using your money for any additional expenses or investments. The consistent contribution goes towards building long-term wealth and prevents the urge to skip or use the funds for something other than yourself.
This golden rule of finance can be applied to your self-care routine. Identifying and setting a specified action to contribute to one's self-care routine can help reclaim your power.
Without a consistent routine, it is easy to succumb to stress due to unexpected circumstances; setting aside time for yourself to prioritize your self-care prevents you from running into a time or resource constraint.
Obey Your Body’s Cues
Your body's reaction is your first line of defense to distress. When you are hungry, your stomach growls; when you are sleepy, you yawn; when you are cold, you shiver, and so on. You experiencing levels of stress is no different. Self-care requires you to listen to your body!
This could be as simple as tackling more critical tasks in the morning when you have more energy or something requiring more will-power, like eliminating alcohol or caffeine because it disrupts your mental health.
Similar to a yawn or growl, we must understand our body cues when we require self-care or are under stress. If you are unsure where to start, check out ways to tell you have reached the point of burnout.
Be sure once you identify the cue, you respond by taking appropriate action. Some examples are below:
Getting at least 8 hours of sleep
Setting-up a rest day from work or the gym
Doing something for yourself every day
Reading or meditating to rest your mind
Self-care is about listening to your body and taking action to preserve or improve one's health. Your body talks to you every day - are you paying attention?
How are you planning to take your power back through self care this year? Let us know in the comments below!