Living in this day and age can be quite challenging: everything is so fast-paced that most of us have forgotten how to ignore the distractions and tune into ourselves. When you focus all of your energy on others or become more invested in your favorite TV show than your personal life, that’s a sign you need to look inwards, become your number one fan and start asking some tough questions.
Every day, there are thousands of reasons to sabotage yourself and create unnecessary drama instead of going after the life that you want. What if you took all of this energy and put it towards building something great in your life?
Here are five self-care tips for women who feel stuck:
1. Raise Your Awareness
We all have this voice in our heads; some people call it ‘the critic,’ others refer to it as ‘the ego.’ Whatever label you choose to put on it, the important thing to acknowledge here is that you’re NOT it. You are much bigger than that little story that you’ve created in your mind.
Raising your awareness will help you not only reconnect with your inner wisdom, but also feel like a part of something bigger: the whole human experience. Mindfulness is a great way to become aware of your surroundings without judging them. It helps you get out of your head and tune into your bodily sensations instead.
Another great way to raise your awareness is to meditate. There are wonderful apps out there like Headspace, Pacifica and many more that have guided meditations to help you get started. What meditation essentially does, is it helps you to become the silent observer of your thoughts while focusing your attention on your breath. Sitting in silence with your eyes closed is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself, that’s why I highly recommend you try it.
2. Be Kind to Yourself
We often treat others with respect, and it comes so naturally to be kind and generous to the people we love. It’s much harder to be kind to ourselves, though. The slightest mistake becomes a failure in our eyes; the harsh comment that our partner made can be perceived as a form of rejection. We’re constantly looking for clues that are going to prove our self-worth. Well, guess what? You don’t need any.
You are already enough, and you don’t have to do anything to deserve your love. You need to become kinder to yourself.
How? By honoring your truth, being your most authentic self, and doing things that you enjoy doing. For instance, when your friend asks you to do something you don’t feel comfortable doing, say ‘NO.’ Have healthy boundaries with others, respect your unique view of the world and do nice things for yourself daily.
A great way to be kind to yourself is to take the time to honor your feelings. It can be pretty scary for a person who’s experienced a traumatic event in the past, but self-soothing is an essential part of our self-care routine. Make sure to take the time to tune into yourself and ask these two questions: ‘How am I feeling? What do I need right now?’ They will help you to understand yourself better and acknowledge your feelings.
3. Take Care of Your Body
There’s a powerful link between your mind and your body: if you don’t take proper care of your physiological needs, your mental health will also suffer. And vice versa. Not taking care of your body can result in poor sleep quality, anxiety, and can even lead to depression.
A good place to start is to have a good bedtime routine: make sure to sleep at least 7-8 hours per night, go to bed at the same time every night and try not to drink caffeinated drinks or alcohol right before going to bed, as they are going to excite your nervous system.
Another good habit that you can implement into your daily routine is to exercise, do yoga, take on dance classes, or at least make sure to take long walks every single day. If you don’t move your body, you’ll feel exhausted and unmotivated to get things done during the day, so make sure to spend at least 10-15 minutes a day doing some form of physical activity. You’ll thank yourself later.
Last but not least, make sure to eat healthy food. This one is a no-brainer, but we often neglect the importance of healthy eating: think of it as the fuel to your engine. Your body needs healthy food to function at its highest capacity, so if you want to become the best version of yourself, you need to treat it like a temple. There’s an easy way to take on healthy eating: substitute your unhealthy meal with a healthier alternative, one meal at a time. Once you notice the difference it makes to your overall mood, you can replace another one, and so on.
4. Practice Gratitude
Is by far the best practice I’ve found when it comes to self-care. If you’re coming from a scarcity mindset (the belief that what you have is not enough), you most likely feel bad about yourself. But if you wake up every morning and focus all of your energy on noticing the abundance you already have in your life, your whole attitude will change.
Here’s a great way to practice gratitude every day: keep a gratitude journal near your bed. Every morning when you wake up write down three things that you’re grateful for and try to do the same every night. Don’t be hard on yourself if you forget, but make sure to spend at least a few minutes to reflect on your day.
Practicing gratitude is directly linked to self-awareness: when you focus your attention on the things that are already great in your life, you’re much more likely to feel good about yourself and make better choices throughout the day.
5. Accept Yourself as You Are
Sounds hard, right? It IS hard. But the only way to take proper care of yourself is to celebrate your beautiful quirks. Your tiny little imperfections are not as significant as you make them out to be and they are a part of you for a reason: without all of them, you wouldn’t be you.
You’re a beautiful, wonderful human being, doing the best that you can, so stop beating yourself up. Realize that there are billions of other people who have to live with the same struggles as you. It’s part of our human condition: we all experience similar negative thought patterns, and we all find things that we don’t like about ourselves.
Once you realize that it’s all a story that your mind likes to tell itself, you’ll feel a lot lighter, brighter, and a huge weight will lift off your shoulders. Remember: you’re not your mind, you’re not your body, you’re not your soul, you’re the unique combination of them all. And there’s no one quite like you.
So, go out there and be your best and most authentic self.