This post by McKel Hill was originally published on nutritionstripped.com. The following version has been condensed.
Self-care. We all talk about it, but are we actually about it? Meaning, are we actually doing this thing called “self care”, taking care of oneself? Here are my 5 strategic tools for you to build your self-care kit.
Quite literally put, unplug from everything! Granted not all of you, myself included, can completely unplug because part of my career is answering emails, speaking with people, and engaging on social media, BUT give yourself boundaries for this unplug time. For example, I post on social media strategically, meaning I’m not wasting time constantly looking at my phone for updates, etc.; I’ll post something with purpose, set it, and forget about it until I want to engage later. I routinely try to answer all comments from a couple days at a time all at once, this keeps me sane, keeps me focused, and answering intentionally! I also have a rule that I don’t engage in social media after about 7pm-7am in the morning and NEVER look at my social media first thing in the morning- I read meditations, prayers, and good vibe posts first and foremost.
YOUR TURN: set up your boundaries with what you’re putting in your mind and spirit from social media and unplug. Is it unplugging at 6pm? at 7pm until 8am? Set times and commit.
Know your tribe
Get rid of the junk, the fluff, the ego-boosting or ego-triggering people/situations/places in your lives and let that shit go! Be intentional about who/what you let in your mind and subconscious. Saturate your psyche with things that make you smile, laugh, feel happiness, feel light, and do more of those things! Be choosey, be respectful of your authenticity and your true self, shower it with resources, people, and things that ignite inspiration in you- not from an ego-driven place but from love. For me, turning to family, friends, and branching out into the community (yes it can be vulnerable), helps find your tribe. Added bonus, YOU’re my tribe!
YOUR TURN: mentally (or journal) go through your life thinking about who/what things don’t serve you and have no greater purpose than their own ego-boosting. Follow ones that make you feel joy, happiness, inspiration, and love. Think about what things truly make your heart happy.
Journal or take some time meditating on things that make you feel happy, joy, peace, and love; ignite those images of what it feels like to be happier, more peaceful, more passionate, and ultimately more YOU. Also think about what simple acts you can take each day to make you feel healthier and happier. Is it putting work away 10 minutes earlier? Is it taking a walk at lunch time? Going to the park at least 1x a week? Meeting up with a friend for coffee/tea to just sit and chat about life? What are ways you’ll ignite self care away from the digital world?
YOUR TURN: use your favorite journal, create a pinterest vision board (which are my favorite ways to visually see my goals/visions), have a meaningful conversation with a friend about your dreams and what changes you want to make in life.
Live and Love
Spend more time with loved ones and live it up! Even if it’s just meeting a good friend for coffee/tea to chat about real life and what’s going on, putting your phones away while doing so and not checking your phone while chatting or gossiping about what XYZ is doing, etc. But truly checking in, being present with them. Listening to every word they have to say with passion and just “being”– this is so crucial and something I’ve brought into my life that has had the biggest “ROI” (return on investment), ever. This is my favorite act of self-care because it shows immediate results.
YOUR TURN: make a date this week with a friend, your love, or family member and plan to sit and talk. Put away everything and give each other your full attention, bringing your heart to each word. Need inspiration on how to self-love, watch this 7 minute video.
Be. Just be!
Being present is something I talk about so often here on the blog, something I tell and remind myself every minute of the day, and practice with my clients. If years of reading meditation, self-development, and mindfulness books have taught me anything (in actuality they’ve taught meeverything); then it’s the present moment is all we have. Meditation is the one thing I can rely on to immediately make me feel centered, grounded, and in tune with my emotions– not running away from them even if it’s sadness or happiness but completely befriending them to the point of dissolve and acceptance. Strip away all the nonsense and just be. It’s powerful, encouraging, and I’ll never have a day without it.