Unconditional self-care practices
Look no further, here are 5 unconventional self-care practices to start today. Have you noticed the influx of selfies with charcoal masks and wine nights? Women are sharing #selfcaresunday and #selfcaregoals. The self-care industry is worth 10 billion dollars today. Through apps and books, self-help is available for most anyone who has the internet. But this is not a new concept or belief system. Self-actualization dates back to the 1950’s and 60’s when, Abraham Maslow, “proclaimed the supremacy of the self-actualizing person, who realizes the fullness of his or her nature – without doing harm to others of course – and lives as happily as one can on earth.” Sounds dreamy, right? That’s the goal we are all trying to achieve. Currently coined, “Live your best life,” we strive to gain balance in all areas of life. There is more to self-care than facials and wine nights. Here are five unconventional self-care practices to start today.
1. Unfollow people online who make you feel bad about yourself
Results from some studies have suggested that social media use might increase the risk of mental health problems and might compromise well-being more generally. – Oxford Academic
Social media is a luxury and a choice. You do not have to see anyone’s feed or life that you don’t want to see. Do their pictures make you feel too fat, or like your relationship sucks, or your kids are not that perfect? Unfollow them. Are you sucked into a spiral of watching someone’s next move to compare your life to theirs? Unfollow. If he or she makes snarky comments or passive-aggressive memes, unfollow. You are the boss of the content you consume. Science says it’s a good idea to stop looking at stuff that makes you feel like crap.
2. Just listen
86% of smartphone users will check their device while speaking with their friends and family according to a study by www.bankmycell.com. When your partner or kids are talking to you, be present in the conversation. According to BankMyCell.com, “The average time spent on smartphones is 171 minutes a day (2hrs 51mins)”. To get started making shifts to more full family life, let’s make mealtimes and bedtime a screen-free routine. Use this active listening activity from Greater Good Magazine to propel your conversations with the people you love.
3. Forgive them
“Studies are finding connections between forgiveness and physical, mental, and spiritual health and evidence that it plays a key role in the health of families, communities, and nations. Though this research is still young, it has already produced some exciting findings.” – Greater Good Science Center
Another one of the five unconventional self-care practices to start today is forgiveness. Often we get pushback as coaches from this request. If unforgiveness is still in someone’s heart, it’s hard to convince them to release it and allow for full body repair. Please understand, anytime I have stepped into a leadership position in a faith-based organization, I have to work through forgiveness. Our hearts can’t be fully prepared to serve other men and women, while we harbor unforgiveness. I once had to call a man that was verbally abusive for years and caused deep pain and tell him that I forgave him. It was for me- not for him. That was a freeing moment for me while so much weight was lifted from my shoulders.
4. Take me to church
According to this study, 43% of Christian Americans have not been to church in the past 6 months. This suggestion doesn’t seem so “unconventional” until you read that stat. The church is an easy place to start practicing self-care and involve the whole family. These days, churches and other places of worship are being very intentional about faith-based education delivering age-appropriate and real-life lessons. That means your kiddos won’t be bored in adult service, but instead engaged and learning in kid’s service. It might be an act of God to get your crew dressed and out the door on time, but once you are there, your heart will swell. It’s the cheapest therapy that I have found yet. Once you find a good church, you are so lucky!
5. Stop trying to be everything to everyone
Ending on this one as it is critical to our health as women in the American culture. Perfectionism is rampant and it puts intense and unattainable expectations on Moms. It starts before the kids are born by asking, “You’re breastfeeding right? It’s the only way.” Then we have to get them to walk and talk at certain times. Next, the focus is on the school we choose- public, private or charter? “You are homeroom mom, right? And your snacks are organic and allergy-friendly, right?” And on and on. Newsflash, it’s absurd to think we will be everything to everyone and we don’t have to. Practice saying “no” to invitations and requests. It gets easier the more you do it, I promise. And while we are standing up for ourselves…you have got to let the forced and unhealthy relationships free. If you are still struggling to please a family member or a close friend and nothing is good enough, it might be time to free that space up in your mind and heart for more wellness and joy.
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