This is my first Self Care Saturday post. Yay!
For the past three months, I’ve been doing what I can to take care of myself since my panic attack back in July. Since then, I’ve learned that all the missed opportunities to take care of myself, all the moments that I spoke ill of myself and to myself, all the moments I didn’t allow myself to mourn properly all added up to a complete meltdown. It was decades of built up pressure.
So, no more of that crap! NO. MORE.
Since this is the first post I thought I would post things that should never be skipped. Things that should be basic and non-negotiable. If they are not, no need to kick your own butt about it. Just try your best the next day or the next weekend.
*~*Note: Some of these habits that I will write about now and in the future may seem way too simple to most. So simple that it is possible that these should have been a part of my home training growing up. Some were a part of my home training but my self-care deteriorated along with my esteem. Some habits were learned in my late teens and/or I am discovering now. So, since this is a harsh judgment a.k.a snark-free zone and we weren’t all raised the same or share the same life experiences, I would hope that you all keep the comments kind, constructive, and nourishing. If that is way too difficult, keep the comments nonexistent. Mkay? Mkay.*~*
7 Basic Non-Negotiable Self-Care Tips.
I know this is called Self-Care Saturday, but I wanted to go over what can be done daily to preserve yourself. If done daily your self-care Saturday won’t seem so overwhelming or daunting to tackle.
1. Bathing at Least Once a Day. A task so simple for most may be difficult for someone who has lost themselves. A part of getting back to yourself is keeping your body clean. This is important to avoid not only smelling but avoid yeast/ fungal infections on the creases and folds of the body. It’s also important to keep the skin clean and wash away body oil build up that causes acne. It’s also refreshing to the skin and to the body to feel the warm water and the massaging your entire body with a bar of soap, a loofah, washcloth or just your hands and some soap.
So, whether it’s in the shower, the bathtub, or a birdbath at the sink. Wash your body.
2. Brushing Your Teeth Twice a Day. Brushing your teeth keeps your teeth clean, white or off-white, reduces gum disease, cavities, and other oral health problems. Also, if your teeth aren’t healthy, you may have difficulty eating and drinking. Which in turn depletes your energy and stamina.
3. Eating at Least Three Meals. Skipping meals, unless you’re fasting, is bad on the body. It throws off your endocrine system. Your endocrine system is “…the collection of glands that produce hormones that regulate metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, and mood, among other things.” – Live Science
Neglecting your hunger will exacerbate mental and physical illnesses because it will inhibit any healing that is to take place during any moments of self-care. So, when you are trying to workout or go for a walk, you may burn out quicker than you would if you had a healthy meal or snack beforehand. It will also disturb sleep. If you are a menstruating woman, it will make your periods and ovulation irregular.
So, attempt to eat more wholesome foods. Food that has ingredients you can read or are very simple to make at home. Even when you don’t feel like eating, at least drink a smoothie or eat a protein and fiber-rich snack.
*Note: Beware of what you eat. Avoid your allergens. If you are unsure of what you may be allergic to, pay attention to how you feel mentally and physically for a from about 15 minutes to as much as a few days after eating fast food, nuts, dairy, eggs, candy, cakes, and pies. Certain foods may become toxic to your brain and may not show symptoms in the body. Or you may be accustomed to these symptoms and not realize that they are not good for you.
4. Drinking Water/ Healthy Liquids at Least 3 Times a Day. Water or water-rich fruits and vegetables will prevent symptoms of dehydration. These symptoms can exacerbate mental illness, sadness, confusion, and feelings of hopelessness. For me, I get a lot of headaches when I don’t get enough water in my body. Most of which seem to be tension headaches.
Attempt to drink 8 oz of water or tea every other hour to start and you would have drunk 56 oz in 12 hours. Or if you drink 8 oz every hour you would have drunk 96 oz in 12 hours.
5. Sleep/ Naps. I don’t know about you, but when I lose sleep I.Am.Not.Okay. If I am woken up suddenly, my heart races, my stomach gets upset, and I’ll have a full-blown attitude that may last until I go back to bed. Lack of sleep can make us more emotional, confused, and short tempered. It can also raise blood pressure and increase your chances of heart disease.
If your nights of sleep are short, seek out a nap lasting either a max of 20 minutes or 90 minutes. Naps that last twenty minutes are good for a boost of energy and is the lightest part of your sleep before a REM sleep cycle begins. Naps that last 90 minutes allows you to complete a full sleep cycle which will leave you feeling refreshed. Anything in between will leave you feeling groggy because you enter a sleep cycle but are unable to complete it.
I use this site here to help me determine how many sleep cycles I can get in whatever time I have to sleep.
6. Laughing and Smiling. I’m just going to put this plainly. Go to YouTube and find some funny fails, funny cats, or watch videos by Kev On Stage or AphricanApe06. I promise you will feel just a little bit better.
You can also call one of your funniest friends, play with your children and just get downright silly with them. Go see a comedy film or play at the theater.
There are no lies when it is said that laughter is the best medicine. It releases endorphins, reduces stress, eases anxiety and tension.
7. Prayer & Meditation. To recognize that you are a spiritual being with spiritual needs is a step toward healing and taking care of yourself. I say this because our spirit, mind, and body are all connected. When one is off, the others can be affected and will begin a cycle of pain and doubt.
The prayer and meditation I speak of is to go to a quiet space and talk to God and meditate on what His word has to say. Without even opening your mouth, you can communicate with Him. Sometimes, the words don’t come to us or we become silent in our speech. But He can hear us anyway when we talk to Him in our mind. And we can hear Him and read His instructions and love letters to us.
Repeat to yourself the truths He mentions about how much He cares for us when we feel anxious (1 Peter 5:57). It will help soothe our wounds and repel harmful chatter in our minds. It will also condition us to hear Him more loudly and frequently.
Did I forget any self-care basics? Which ones stood out to you?
I hope to post self-care tips, ideas, moments, etc at least twice a month. There will be more Self-Care 100, 200, and 300 level “courses”. So, follow my blog to stay tuned.
Thanks for reading!