Supercharging your good self-care practices is not just about getting the occasional manicure, massage or facial. Although, I’m certainly not opposed to these sweet indulgences!
There are as many ways to practice good self- care as there are ripples in the ocean. Unfortunately, most women overlook what it takes to build the foundation of good self-care.
Taking care of yourself is not just the things you do for yourself, it’s also about taking good care of what you feel deep inside. You can start by clearing away the fog from the mirror so you can see and begin to appreciate who you really are.
Here are a few ways you can begin to supercharge good self-care practices:
- Trust your instincts – Distrust is an inner feeling of caution or lack of belief, which leads you to suspect someone of being dishonest or having a hidden agenda. For example, you may “distrust” a stranger who acts suspicious or you perceive as “odd” . Or, you may have little or no faith in the rhetoric spouted by politicians. Mistrust is not to be confused with distrust. Mistrust is to merely lack confidence in someone or even yourself. Listen attentively to what your instincts or gut feeling is saying. Don’t mistrust your instincts. It will guide your way.
- Get a handle on fear – Fear and doubt crept in for me when I was about 6-7 years old. I heard, “don’t do that”, “don’t go there”, “don’t think ‘that’ – “it’s dangerous”,” you could hurt yourself”, “it’s not good for you”. What messages to send to an impressionable child who would need all the confidence and assertiveness she could muster to overcome challenges and risk believing in herself! My early training taught me to fear the unknown, mistrust my decision-making and to be cautious about how dangerous it was “out there”. I’ve since learned that fear is an emotion like any other and that I get to decide how dangerous or uncomfortable I feel in any situation. If fear has you stuck – not taking risks – or afraid of outcomes, you must treat fear as an enemy and either ignore it or show it who’s really in charge of your life.
- Exhale – When we exhale, our chest expands with a sigh of relief that allows space to take in fresh air. I liken this to breathing in whispers of confidence, courage and a strong belief in ourselves. And in doing so, we exhale toxic fear, self-doubt and diminished self-worth.
Believe in yourself, trust yourself and discount any and all messages you have received that limit you and keep you from living the life you were meant to live.
Gladys Anderson helps nurses, teachers, social workers, therapists and other care-giving women to set limits so they have more time, more joy and more energy for self-care.