7 Things to Do for YOU in 2018 + 1 Thing You May Be Forgetting.
Let's talk self-care for a second, shall we? I'm all for an unplugged night in, complete with face masks, bath bombs, and your favorite show on Netflix. I think that is an awesome, outward expression of self-care. But that's not what I want to talk about in this blog post.
Today I want to get deep and talk about the things that no one really addresses anymore. I want to talk about 7 things to do to take better care of your self (your heart, your mind, your soul, your happiness) this year -- because if you don't do it, no one else can.
01. SILENCE TOXIC VOICES
I remember when I first realized that I allow who I want to speak into my life. It was like the blinders were taken off of my eyes, and I promised you I've never looked back. A few years ago, there was someone in my life who was very emotionally abusive to me. I craved this person's attention, affection, and validation more than anyone else's. It didn't matter who in the world thought I was amazing, if this person told me I was scum, I believed it. I promise you I don't know what changed... I really believe God gave me the strength to say good-bye, and I did, and I found such a new level of respect for myself. I will never give someone power over my emotions like that ever again.
You have the power to silence those negative voices. It is your life, and why would you allow anyone to make you feel less than? Get practical. Block numbers, Instagram accounts, Facebook accounts. If your happiness and well-being is on the line, do what you have to do. Your future self will thank you for it.
02. TAKE SOCIAL MEDIA BREAKS
Let me just say this: you don't have to let the world know you're taking a social media break.
:) :) :) :) :) :) :)
Okay, sorry. I just hopped off of my soapbox. But listen -- I get it. Social media. is. addictive. We become obsessed with seeing how the other half lives (I follow at least 1,000 bloggers on IG and girrrrrrrrl, I can dream okay?!), as well as keeping up with our friends. But I truly feel that if you're not careful, it can become borderline unhealthy.
Unplug. Sign off. Go on a walk without your phone. Eat the salad without snapping a photo and posting it on your story (I am preaching to myself, ok?). Live your life and don't share every single bit of it on social media.
One of my favorite quotes by Anne Lamont:
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
03. STOP APOLOGIZING FOR EVERYTHING
When I say that this is for me, I mean it. If you know me, I am so quick to say sorry for everything then apologize for apologizing, then throw another sorry on top of that. I'm insane, I swear.
This year, I don't want to stop apologizing for the things I truly need to be sorry for. But I want to stop apologizing for
- the things that are out of my control
- the things that make me who I am
- not being able to please everyone
You don't need to apologize for feeling things deeply. You don't need to apologize for taking a second too long to decide where you want to eat. You don't need to apologize for not knowing what you want to order the second the barista grabs that Starbucks cup to write down your order (and most likely spell your name wrong). You are allowed to be human. You are allowed mistakes. You don't have to apologize for every little thing.
04. SAY NO
WOW. Okay yeah, so this is difficult if you're like me and actually detest those awkward conversations of, "Uh...no, actually I'm sorry, I can't take photos at your nephew's birthday party next Saturday... Why? Oh, I have something to do...wait, you know, I think I can make it. Yeah, I'm sure. No problem." Sound familiar? Like you start to say no, and then you just #canteven? Cuz same.
I. cannot. say. no. I just hate how awkward it is, and I don't want to let people down, and I don't know how to get out of things. This year, I genuinely am trying to say no to things. Like, not 3 weeks into it when it's too late to back out without looking like a flake. I'm trying to learn how to say no right away.
I wish there was a secret way to become good at saying no. But the best way to do it? Just say it. Practice saying no in little ways, then in big ways. Say no to friends, say no to colleagues, say no to strangers. Just practice it. Obviously, you should do it with grace, but be firm.
05. DO MORE THINGS ALONE
I'm on the self-discovery train this year. I don't know what it is, but I think that you learn so much about yourself when you spend time alone. The other day, I went on a three mile walk alone. I left my phone at home, and I was out there praying that I wouldn't become the next plot line on a Criminal Minds episode -- but I did it, and I loved it.
Eat lunch alone. Go grocery shopping alone. Spend a day at the coffee shop alone, working, reading, I don't care. If you already spend a lot of time alone, you're doing better than the rest of us!
I've always heard it said that you have to love spending time with yourself, because at the end of the day, that's really who you have to spend the rest of your life with. I used to hate that saying because it sounded sort of cynical to me, but now I really appreciate it. If you don't like yourself, life can be so much more difficult.
Find things you like to do; a hobby of some sort. Dig into that. Dig into your passions, tap into your dreams. Discover you. Oh, Lord... I sound like a fortune cookie.
06. ACTIVELY PURSUE A WORRY-FREE LIFE
I live in my head. Worry is second nature to me. However, this year I want to actively pursue a worry-free life. I realize that this will not come easy for me, or for you if you're anything like me. I think to overcome fear and worry, you have to be vigilant, you have to get to the root of the problem, and cut it off there. This year, let's do it. Let's overcome worry. Let's overcome the things that keep us awake at night. At the end of the day, the things we worry about never really happen anyway.
07. ALLOW YOURSELF TO FEEL
I understand that this point could be a tad vague, but at the same time I feel like we live in a society that is so quick to tell us to "get over it", or "someone else has it worse." We are never allowed to feel quite as much as we'd like. If we get let go from our job, we're not allowed to be upset, because someone else just lost their mom, or someone's home was flooded and they lost everything. I'm not quite sure when it became a thing for us to not be able to feel, simply because someone else is going through something as well.
Now, I don't believe in extended pity-parties. I don't believe in self-pity. I think it's selfish and I think it's restricting. But I also truly, truly believe you must allow yourself time to feel. Time to feel sad, time to mourn, time to be upset, and feel all of those emotions.
On the same token, I believe you need to allow yourself time to feel happiness, and joy, and to not feel guilty about feeling that way. If you shut off the places of your heart that bring you hurt and sorrow, you also shut off the places in your heart that allow you to feel joy and peace. You can't feel one and not the other. Embrace the seasons of sorrow, and loneliness, but embrace the seasons of joy and overflowing, too.
+1 - DRINK. MORE. WATER. & GET. MORE. SLEEP.
Yep, I said it. No, this isn't an inward self-care tip. Or is it...? Dehydration and exhaustion are not cute, girl. They're not becoming. You cannot function without sleep and water. Like your brain will actually not function properly. So, stop being careless (whoa, did I go there? can I say that?), and make some intentional steps to help your body function the way that it needs to.
Honestly, I'm tough-lovin' on myself right now. I forget to drink water so often. So believe me when I say this is for me, too. I just realized, like, I'm not thirteen years old anymore. I'm twenty-three, and why am I not taking care of myself? It's a little embarrassing to admit that I'm the reason I feel like crap most of the time. I'm the reason my skin breaks out and I have bags under my eyes and I get sick too often because I'm not sleeping enough or drinking enough water.
Drink more water. Get more sleep. Be intentional with your life.
I hope these helped you. You are awesome, girl. You deserve the best life imaginable, and you are honestly the only one who can help you live your best life.
Agree with these tips? Disagree? Let me know in the comments!