By Jessica Rocheleau, Contributing blogger
Have you ever pondered on the thought of what it would feel like to just feel better all-around, in all aspects of your life?
What would it feel like to…
...to just make everything and anything you do on a daily basis...feel better.
You’re probably thinking…"um yes, sign me up!" but how?
The answer is simple, yet for some reason we all tend to struggle with it. The answer has everything to do with you. The thought of putting yourself first before tending to others and daily tasks and responsibilities isn’t a new concept. The challenge remains in putting it into action and sticking to it.
You are the common denominator in all you do in life. Which means that at home, at work, at the gym, with family, with friends, and with your kids, if you aren’t feeling great on the inside, whether you think you have control over it or not, it is going to make an impact in all these areas.
Right now, I want you to stop and think.
Think about the last little task you accomplished. A task simply for yourself and remember how proud and satisfied it made you feel. In my opinion, not much beats this feeling. This feeling makes you want to carry the momentum and continue doing those little things that are actually the big things.
I know, I know... the little things are the big things, we always hear it. If you’re wondering why this saying keeps reappearing, it’s because it is true.
The concept of self-care seems simple. Self-care is being selfish, the good kind of selfish. Yes! There is a good kind and it is necessary. As a society, we need to shift the way we view the word “selfish” in the area of self-care. If putting yourself and your needs before everything else allows you to show up on a higher level for others and everything you do, it should be applauded.
“Find your rituals, develop your routine, create those practices that ground and center you. Stick to them, don’t apologize for them, treat them, even the small things, like they’re big things.”- Rob Bell
Rob Bell speaks of what it means to take good care of yourself (which is not rocket science) and how this can then turn into the best way you show up to serve others. The best way you give yourself to the world is by prioritizing your health and your well-being. You don’t give yourself all at once, you give yourself piece by piece. It is a process of learning and growing within yourself. Then, finding the balance and ability to fire up and feel motivated to do life.
What makes you glow from the inside out? Reading, working out, journaling, being in nature, yoga, eating healthy, being alone in your room, listening to music...there is no wrong answer here.
Putting yourself first has everything to do with becoming self-aware. The more you put yourself first and acknowledge the feelings and emotions that come along with it, the more your self-awareness grows and the more you get to know yourself. This is what thriving will feel like.
Let’s call it fueling the habit bonfire. It’s a process that requires patience. You build upon each effort and eventually it’s blazing!
“Contrary to the common misconception that loving yourself equates to being self-absorbed and lacking empathy or consideration for others, the true meaning of self-love is about caring, respecting and knowing yourself, taking responsibility for your life, and ultimately, your happiness.” --Miya Yamanouchi
Here are 5 ways you can spend time with YOU.
1. GOALS- Empower yourself
Yes, actually writing them down. There is something to be said about the art of writing in a notebook and taking the time to write down each word. Doing so makes everything more real. Write down anything that comes to mind. The little things, the big things, everything! Choose someone you trust to share these with, someone who will support you and maybe even join you in the process to accomplish these goals.
2. MOVEMENT- Get outside
Let’s not call it exercise. Doing something outside and getting a little sweat going, even just for 20 minutes, will work wonders for the mind, body, and soul. It’s just a matter of getting started. Find an accountability buddy.
3. DISCOVER- Is there something you have been curious about?
Put those devices to good use! Is there something that you have found intriguing lately but haven’t had the time to dive in and learn more. Researching something you are interested in is extremely satisfying, especially if it is something you have been curious about for some time.
4. MEDITATE- Nothing fancy
Take the word meditate very loosely here. Meditation looks differently for everyone. Let’s just call it thinking. Put on some calming music, choose a comfy spot, and just lay there. Let thoughts come and go. Acknowledging where your mind goes and what appears can allow you to learn a lot about yourself. As always, this is a non judgement zone.
5. FOOD- Make something good
We need food to survive for a reason. We need the good stuff. Make something so colorful and nutritious that you feel the urge to take a photo of it. It’s easy to forget just how impactful food is on mood, clarity, and overall daily performance both mentally and physically.
Doing these things can be more easily said than done. You must plan with intention. Don’t be afraid to set aside you time and sternly stick to it. Even if this means turning down plans with friends.
Remember that your ability to tend to your own mental health and to ask for assistance when needed can be a great asset – helping you to improve your daily life and deal with the hurdles that your external environment might throw your way.