Self-care is a commonly discussed topic lately, and while I find the general interest to be positive, sometimes, I think the practice is misunderstood. When we think of self-care, the images that come to mind are physical and external in nature. Think bubble baths, pedicure, and Netflix binges on the sofa. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with these things, I take part in them often; labeling them as true self-care is what misses the mark.
What I believe to be true self-care is anything that helps you, connect to you. And anything that allows to to think and act in an aligned way. In this regard, self-care is an internal practice, and it’s not always comfy and cozy.
I have practices of self-care that sometimes I just don’t want to do. There are ones that I sometimes do begrudgingly. And there are ones that I even need to schedule because up to my own devices, I might not to it. But, through all of that, I still do them, because I know, innately, that I will feel better, and I will feel more connected to myself. Those benefits are always worth it.
If you’re feeling a call to integrate a deeper practice of self-care, this week it is my intention to share with you four simple, but meaningful practices that can help you care for yourself, from the inside out. Take the practices you feel called to, and see how they can integrate into your lives and notice how you feel.
Think if yourself as a scientist of your life, and you are doing the research to your own brand of self-care.
- Meditation. One of my favorite practices of self-care and self-connection, I do not go a day without meditating. Even when the practice feels challenging or not worthy it, it is a non-negotiable in my life. I new meditation as the practice of being in your own company, and subsequently getting to know the real you. If meditation feels challenging for you, start small, there is no wrong way to sit with yourself.
- Journaling. Another one of my favorites, journaling is the fastest way for me to connect what’s happening in my mind to my emotions and my perception of my reality. The practice of allowing my thoughts to flow onto paper allows me to take inventory of my mind, and reconcile where I can make changes to better suit my desires in life.
- Positive affirmation repetition. I rely on this practice when I find my mind spiraling into negative places. I know how much the thoughts in my mind influence my mood and my viewpoint of life, so it’s crucial for me to have tools in my back pocket to help me counteract thoughts that do not serve me. I think that positive affirmations tend to get a bad rep, but I believe fully in their power. A negative thought and a positive thought cannot exist in your mind at the same time. Knowing this to be true, replace the thoughts that are plaguing you with ones that life you up and help you to feel better in the moment.
- Setting healthy boundaries. Probably one of the harder practices to incorporate, but powerful in benefit, boundary setting can help you to speak up for yourself and your needs. It’s common to feel like we have to please other people and even say yes to things we’d really like to say no to. Setting healthy boundaries can help you to recharge your batteries and release resentment, as you’ll start to feel more in control of your choices and your circumstances.
What practice are you feeling called to incorporate? Let me know in the comments below!
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at email@example.com