If you were with us on the blog last time, then you know that our last topic was about feeling lost. Hopefully you were able to get a bit more grounded and discover the answer to the question “who am I?”, decipher which expectations of yours are self-imposed and which were imposed by others, and learned to set boundaries. Now, you are going to learn how to level up your self-care- specifically how to take care of yourself, how to take care of your mental health, your emotional health, and physical health.
So let’s dig in.
How to Take Care of Yourself
For this, I want you to write down how you are currently treating yourself. This may seem a bit abstract and hard to track, but it isn’t. How do you talk to yourself when you “mess up”? How about when something doesn’t go your way? How do you talk to yourself when you didn’t get picked, when you make a mistake, or when someone you know seems to be doing better than you? What about when you see someone that resembles the traits that you wish you had? How do you talk to yourself? Are you beating yourself up or are you loving yourself? Are you rubbing your nose in the “bad” decision you made or are you accepting that maybe that wasn’t your finest hour, but it doesn’t define you as a person?
Take inventory- what’s NOT working for you right now? Check your habits. How do you know when things are bad? Do you stop washing your hair, stop bathing, get quiet, curse more, eat more junk, get a bit mean, passive-aggressive, or reclusive?
How to Take Care of Yourself Mentally
Okay, look at the list you formed from above. How many of those items directly affect your mental health? Put a ‘MH’ beside those. Now, on your paper, draw a big Venn diagram. If you have the honor of not knowing what a Venn diagram is, then draw a big circle. Once you draw that circle, draw another circle beside that one and make them overlap. In the circle on the left write ‘Things That Are Important’, and in the other, write ‘Things That I Can Control’. You are going to use this Venn diagram when things are weighing on you and disrupting your peace. You are going to look at this Venn diagram and determine if your dilemmas make it to either category. If they do- eureka! Next, we’ll determine which are things that are both important and things you can control.
Hopefully by doing that, you give yourself some peace of mind. Our brains can only handle so much at one time, doing this instructs it to focus on the things that not only matter to you- but the ones you can control.
How to Take Care of Yourself Emotionally
Here’s the fun part- taking care of your emotional needs. Do an inventory on what things you need to hear and feel when you think you are lacking. If you are feeling anxious about completing a project for work, what do you need to hear and feel in that moment in order for you to be okay? If you made a tough decision, but the right decision for you, what do you need to hear and feel in that moment in order to be okay? Would you need someone to tell you that you did the right thing, that no one is going to hate you or that you’re not a bad person? Looking after your emotional health in this way is also a direct way to look after your mental health as well!
How to Take Care of Yourself Physically
I know the obvious thought someone might have when they read “how to take care of yourself physically” is “okay so I need to eat better and start working out”. That statement is probably true- the COVID15 (COVID: the worldwide pandemic that has made most of us want to throw both 2020 and 2021 in the trash + 15: the number of pounds most of us have gained since the pandemic has begun = COVID15) didn’t become a widespread phenomenon by us all staying slim and fit- ha. But have you considered that taking care of yourself physically also involves things other than food and exercise? It involves all things that have to do with not just the body but the “physical realm”. That includes hygiene, sexual health, somatic responses, your home, workspace, neighborhood, and what you see on a daily basis.
Deep right? Dive in, see what you find. Improving your physical health is one of the most comprehensive ways to support your mental and emotional wellbeing.
As we’re wrapping up here, I fully realize some of you don’t want to do all of that thinking. Some people prefer ‘done for you’ types of solutions. So, if that’s you- here is the summary of this article: stop doing the things that are depleting you and start doing the things that make you feel more alive.
Easy peezy, right?
We all have a good sense of the things that we should stop doing and what we should start doing. But sometimes we need a little push to help us get there. After all, we are human. We’re fickle and have a ka-gillion reasons as to why we may not be doing what we need to do.
So I’m going to leave you with this: take care of yourself. You deserve the care too.
As always, set up a call if you want to talk it through.