I have asked this question a few times this year. From where I grew up, I was taught to take care of other people first before myself. Although I’ve started doing the things I love, there’s always room for improvement with regards to the self-care section.
The list below is a combination of my readings from various websites and my own experiences.
1.) Start prepping for bed when you feel sleepy, when your head is drooping, when you’re yawning, or any other signal from your body.
I’ve put this at the top of this list because sleeping sometimes is the last thing on our minds. Listening and being aware or mindful of your own body’s cues really helps you be in tune with your own health. This TED video has helped me realize what the body is actually doing while we’re sleeping. If reading, yoga, meditation, writing, or any other relaxing endeavor will help you prep for bed, then by no means do it.
2.) Wash and moisturize your face, floss and brush your teeth every morning and night.
Whether or not you’re putting on moisturizer and SPF lotion on your face and body during the day, it’s important to cleanse your face before bedtime. Because we are exposed to the elements all the time, oil and other stuff accumulate on your face and can cause pimples. I had experienced way too many times about not washing my face simply because I’m too tired, and it always ended up having one or two pimples popping out. Also your body is doing its cleaning activities while you were asleep and so in the morning it’s good to cleanse your face too.
3.) Say a prayer of thanks to God or the Universe and be grateful. Every day.
For many years, I always read this message from different authors to always “give thanks.” And I never understood why I needed to do it until I decided to make it a daily habit. Every time I say “Thank You” to the Universe, I feel my body and spirit expanding, wanting to receive more good feelings. And even in the stuff that I used to complain about, in the end I shift my focus and utter a silent prayer of thanks. Having the phrase “Thank You” as your daily or hourly mantra will really help in making you see the positive side of life. Find ways to make this a daily habit, and see the results for yourself. Even if you feel right now at this moment that you have nothing to be grateful for, just start with the fact you’re still alive. Acknowledging your body is a great place to start. The fact you still have your senses intact, whether they are all complete or one or two are missing. When you start with one thing, it will definitely lead to another. Try it and see the results for yourself.
4.) Have a morning and evening ritual.
Try having a mug of hot water with a slice of lemon on top as soon as you wake up. If you search for “benefits of lemon water” on Google, you will find many article citing reasons for doing this every day. If you are interested in yoga, meditation, writing, or saying your prayers at an altar, by all means carve your own ritual that you can do every day. Having a morning ritual helps you set your mind for the day ahead. It’s a good idea to declare to the Universe that “this day shall be a great day.” It’s also good to have an evening ritual before going to bed so you feel relaxed and your sleep quality is better.
5.) Eat breakfast.
I’m amazed at how many people don’t eat breakfast in the morning. I usually get hungry about 30 minutes after waking up. Because we are sleeping between 6-8 hours every night, and before that our body is trying to fully digest food for few hours after you had dinner, it’s imperative for the body to be fed after drinking water or hot lemon water. Google also presents lots of articles about the importance of having breakfast. It doesn’t need to be a huge one; you just need to feel full before moving on to your daily tasks.
6.) Do things that make you happy.
Whether it be reading books, listening to audiobooks, music, painting, sculpting, writing, sewing, dancing, yoga, meditation, Pilates, exercise or any other endeavor, make time for doing these things every day. Even if it’s just 30 minutes every day, it will add up to your overall happiness. If you need to go to classes to start a daily practice and you have set aside a budget for it, then do it. Otherwise, there are so many websites and YouTube videos that offer these classes for free or for a minimal investment. Invest in your own happiness so you will radiate happiness and confidence towards other people. You will also learn to respect yourself and other people.
7.) Practice self-compassion. Always.
I’ve always wondered how do I ever master the art of having a healthy sense of self-esteem because many people I see and meet seem to get it.
When I stumble upon this Psychology Today article, it suggested that practicing self-compassion is much better than self-esteem because it has all the benefits of the latter without the negative aspects of it. It also implied that self-compassion helps expand your awareness or consciousness and it makes you be more mindful of your thoughts about yourself and other people and make the necessary changes if you want to live a happy and full life.
In order to do this, find the qualities that you love about you and focus on them. This involves an honest self-assessment because there’s no place for ego in developing a sense of self-compassion. If we can help other people very well, then would it be better to apply the same thing to yourself?
8.) Wearing nice clothes and makeup wouldn’t hurt.
Most work environments make it imperative for women to wear makeup and business or corporate clothing. Use this as an opportunity to make yourself feel and look good when looking at yourself in the mirror. Wearing nice clothes for yourself, not necessarily for other people, so you are within your budget if you need to replace or replenish your work wardrobe.
9.) Good hygiene is a must.
Wear perfume that smells great for you and reasonably priced for your pocket. If you are concerned about having oily hair or anything in your body that’s smelly, of course take a shower or bath how many times a week you want.
10.) Last but not the least, see yourself as good enough, worthy of love, deserving of the good things in life.
When you truly love yourself, you will experience feelings of worthiness and deservedness. No matter what happened to you in the past, you do deserve to be happy and surround yourself with people who give you love and light. You just have to realize this every day to keep you from being overwhelmed or drowned in everyday responsibilities. Remember, what you think you also attract into your life. So choose to think positive and strive to create positivity into your life.
I would love to hear from you for any comments on this post. Until then, have a great day!
*Feature Image Calligraphy and Design by Carli Tan. Visit her Instagram page here.*