How do you practice self-care?


Though I missed my September deadline, I started this piece about self-care a couple of weeks ago.  While writing this piece, I realized one important thing.  This shit is hard.

Honestly, I find it hard to find time to practice self-care.  However, I have figured out that for me self-care and peace of mind go together and are interchangeable.  Meaning that I must practice self-care to have peace of mind and I will not have peace of mind without self-care.   This realization has led me to finally realize that I actively need to take measures to incorporate more self-care techniques into my daily life.

This has been a trying year for me both personally and professionally.  So many things are going on in both aspects of my life that it has created a lot of stress for me.  When I’m stressed, I find that I will have restless nights and tightness in my chest.  This will eventually lead to missing work and separating myself from my family and friends to regain my peace of mind.

Therefore, I have made practicing self-care my number one priority.  While gaining back my peace of mind, I have started including certain activities throughout my day to practice self-care and to keep my stress levels under control.

  1. Meditation

First of all, this is a very new activity for me.  Recently, I was guided through my first real attempt at meditation.  Let me tell you… it was one of the best experiences I had.  It felt like a heavy load was lifted off me when I was finished.  I felt so at peace that I decided to schedule a block of time during the workday to meditate.   This allows me to step away from my desk, refocus my energy and relieve the stress and tension from my body. I use the Calm app for these guided sessions.  There are plenty of apps available that will help you through a guided meditation session.

  1. Exercise

We all know that exercise is a major reliever of stress and tension.  Once you’re done exercising, you usually have forgotten about what was stressing you.  Though consistency is my main issue with exercising, I can honestly say that exercising improves my mood.  I also notice a significant difference in my mood when I go more than a week without exercising.  Realizing just how important this is, I have added exercising back into my routine. The goal is to work out at least 15 to 45 minutes every day, preferably in the morning.  This allows me to start my day off calmer and feeling more accomplished.  It also helps me to clear my mind of any troubling thoughts.

  1. Disconnecting from Social Media

Every day I’m learning that protecting my peace is a very essential aspect of practicing self-care. Disconnecting from social media is another self-care technique I practice.  Usually, when I wake up in the morning, the first thing I would do is grab my phone and check out all my social media feeds.  I’m pretty sure a good portion of us do this. I found that doing this first thing in the morning can alter my mood, especially with all the negative comments and posts on our timelines.  This action can also be a huge waste of time if you’re not careful.

Recently, I was challenged to start my mornings differently.  The challenge was to start my day off by engaging in other activities such as reading, meditating or exercising. I must admit that changing my routine has made a difference in my mood and attitude.  Though I do still occasionally slip up, I am more aware of my actions.  Now I’m intentionally reading inspirational books or working on my meditation breathing techniques instead.  This allows me to start my day off more focused, energized and calm.

Currently, I am looking for more ways to incorporate more self-care techniques into my daily life.  If you have any suggestions, please feel free to comment below.

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