In the spirit of Redefiner’s 2020 Black Heritage Expo coming up on the 29th of February, our team is thinking about ways that we live our best lives. No one single event or step can drive the pursuit of our best, or just better, lives. But together, they guide us along a path of improvement.
The first thing that comes to my mind is self-care. Self-care is the art of taking positive steps to improve your mind, body, and soul. This sounds like a big commitment, but don’t let it scare you. It’s much simpler than you may think. It’s all about making little changes for a big impact.
When considering self-care, my brain automatically goes to mental health - a highly underrated topic. I’ve been working on my self-care habits for several years now and it has changed my life for the better.
Below are three ways to practice self-care in your everyday life.
I started meditating a few years ago. It’s a great way to clear your head and escape from your never-ending sea of thoughts, both positive and negative. #Meditation isn’t all sitting crisscross applesauce with your pointer and thumb touching face-up on your knees (aka, the #Lotus position) chanting funny noises. You can simply sit anywhere, in any way, close your eyes, and think happy thoughts. Or no thoughts at all.
A great way to start meditating is by going to YouTube and typing in “Beginner Guided Meditation.” With guided meditation, someone is talking you through your thoughts. They’re telling you what to picture and how to release your worries. Once you consistently do this for a few weeks, you’ll find it easier to sit by yourself and clear your head without aid. You can meditate anywhere for any duration - from five minutes to five hours. The choice is yours. Think of it as one small potential step to begin your self-care journey.
How many times a day do you look at your phone? Too many to count, probably. In a society that is constantly plugged in, unplugging for a couple of hours every day can have a massive impact on your mental health. Imagine the amount of time you’d have for other activities if you looked at your phone half as much.
Something else I like to do is avoid my phone until after I've finished my breakfast in the morning. I’m often surprised at how different my days go when checking what the rest of the world is doing isn’t my first move. Focusing a bit more on ourselves instead of others, especially in the digital world, is what self-care is all about. If you replace your phone time with an unplugged activity imagine how much more clear your mind can be - and #productive your days will become.
Take Yourself Out
One of my favorite things to do on a random weekday is take myself on a date. We often get too into other people’s lives and making others happy that we overlook ourselves. Going to see a movie or going out to dinner alone is extremely #empowering. Some see it as a lonely act or something to pity but in reality, it's inspiring, emotionally #fulfilling and a great way to get away from the rest of the world and treat yourself. I love bringing a book I’ve been meaning to read to a restaurant and having a date with me and the story. Not only are you doing something for yourself, but you get to escape into a fantasy world and dive into a different reality. Be #comfortable in your skin and treat yourself to some “me time.” You deserve it.
Caring for ourselves is too often overshadowed by caring for others, whether that be our children, friends, family, pets, or others in need. It’s natural to go about your days doing what you think you need to be doing. We get stuck in a routine, especially one that excludes “me.” Try one of these acts listed above. Or rotate through several. If you change up your routine a little bit you will truly be able to Live Your Best Life.