If you're anything like me, you love to be around people. Sure, you enjoy your quality time alone where to you can binge watch Insecure with your popcorn and prosecco (get into it), but ultimately you enjoy the company of others. Whether it's your boo, your friends or your family, you've always the rock of the group. You know, everyone's hero.
Whenever someone needs you, you're there for them. Financially. Emotionally. Mentally. Physically and Spiritually. Eventually, your friends/siblings enter into relationships. Your parents begin to travel more and you and bae...well let's just say forever doesn't last always. Now, with no one to care for, there's only one person left to take care of, you.
You start by pampering yourself. Spa dates. Manicures. Pedicures. A long, luxurious bubble bath. You clean up your closet. You buy new clothes (because new look, new you...right?). You take yourself on a date. Even in the lap of luxury, you still just don't like to be alone. So you start texting your friends and family again, but they're still busy. You start to date again but ehh...not so lucky. What is it about being alone, that pushes us to settle just to have folks around?
I'll tell you. It's because self-care sucks. After awhile, you run out of things to do and then you have to start the hard work: taking care of you. It's easy to ignore our financial, emotional, mental, physical and spiritual needs. Why? It's easier to help other overcome their obstacles than to be truly honest with ourselves about our own.
"Why doesn't so and so want to hang out with me?" "I was there for them when they needed me!"
I know for me, this is something I for sure struggled with. I was the superhero, but when the time came, who was really there to save me? Don't get me wrong; people are definitely in my corner, but life happens. People have their own things to deal with that requires more attention than my existential crisis. So naturally, that feeling of being alone turns into loneliness. I started to feel a type of way. "Why doesn't so and so want to hang out with me?" "I was there for them when they needed me!" "Ugh, it' me against the world." Look at me, ignoring my needs again because I'm too busy being worried about what I thought other people needed.
One day, I was listening to one of my favorite artist, H.E.R. and her song "Lost Souls" instantly became one of my favorite songs off of her new EP. I'm bopping down 75 North listening to my girl read folks for filth in this song, until 1 minute and 23 seconds into the song...
"Can't get no peace of mind, can't get no serenity But the public ain't the enemy it's the inner me"
BOY!!! She read me like a mistreated, middle-aged woman reads a Fifty Shades of Grey Novel. That piece of the song made me really sit down and do some soul searching and here's what I came up with: real self-care sucks because it forces you to be honest about who you actually are and then challenge yourself to be the person you really want to be.
Let's break it down a little further. Below are some helpful questions to guide your thoughts. There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. After all, different people respond to the same situations differently. There just here to facilitate the process towards progress! Financial Self-Care: Are you happy with your net income? Have you looked into multiple streams of income? How can you turn your passion into a profit? Are you budgeting your money? Have you established a savings account? Are you consistently contributing to your savings account? Does money contribute to your happiness? If yes, how so? Emotional Self-Care: What makes you happy? What makes your angry? What frustrates you? What makes you worry? What disappoints you? What/who has hurt you? What makes you smile? What makes you cry? How do you handle your emotions now? How do you like to handle your emotions? What steps can you take towards responding to your emotions and not reacting to them? Mental Self-Care: What stresses you out? What relaxes you? How do you decompress after work? Are you separating your work from your personal life? Are you thoughts positive? (not a question, but a helpful tip ***how you see the problem, is the problem). Physical Self-Care: When's the last time you had a physical at the doctor? Are you getting enough sleep at night? Are you getting enough fresh air? When is the last time you've been tested? Are you eating healthily? Are you getting some form of exercise ( cardio, Zumba, yoga, etc)? Spiritual Self-Care:When is the last time you prayed? When is the last time you prayed to God? When Is the last time you listened for God's response? Have you been to church? Have you found a church that fits best for you? Have you spent time reading the Word? (another helpful tip ***you can start reading plans on your phone with the Bible app!***) I just want to encourage those who find self-care to be difficult to keep going and keep growing. It's so easy to put others before ourselves because truthfully, putting ourselves first is hard to do. Lauryn Hill said "how you gone win, if you ain't right within?" Some others like to say "you can't pour from an empty cup". It's okay to want to take care of others, but it is your responsibility and yours alone, to take care of you.
"Caring for your body, mind, and spirit is your greatest and grandest responsibility. It's about listening to the needs of your soul and then honoring them." -Kristi Ling
In your journey of self- care, it's not about being selfish. It's a gesture of self love. It establishes boundaries for not only yourself, but for others to respect as well. Self-care is bae! Say it with me now!
I hope that you found something this article to help you deepen that self-love and become an expert at caring for the most important person: you. What are some self-care tips you find helpful? Drop a comment below!