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Lesson 2: A Self-Care Routine Will Change Your Life!

Life can really suck at times. Things get hard. Disappointments abound. Change happens that you didn’t see coming. The list can go on.

We know these tough times don’t last, but while we are in it, we need healthy ways to endure. Popular culture will tell you to go get your nails done, and to take a bubble bath. These things are great, but this is not where self-care ends. You need to truly get to know yourself to know what you need to be your best self. For me self-care can fall into two categories, proactive and reactive. There are some things I set into routine to help prevent me from getting bent-out-of-shape. There are other things that I do when I feel myself getting overstimulated or running out of steam. I did not always have these practices in my life, but I realized I needed them when stress and anxiety started to get the best of me. Implementing self-care into my everyday life has improved my overall well-being and I am grateful!

For me self-care looks like:

  1. Budgeting and having a savings account. I know that some people live paycheck to paycheck involuntarily, but if you have the means to live under your net income and to calculate savings into your budget, do it. Overspending may look and feel good now, but in the long run it brings on anxiety.

  2. Setting boundaries and keeping them. For example, I do not answer my phone just because someone is calling anymore. If I am busy, I will call them back. This used to be very hard for me, but it also produced anger because I would be on the phone when I didn’t want to be/I was supposed to be doing something else. I am also learning how to keep boundaries that I set for myself, because usually these are the first to go. If I say I am going to work out 5 times a week, I do it. I’ve realized that if I don’t follow through, I am going to feel bad about it, and it’s not worth it. Keeping promises and goals I have set for myself has been one of the biggest areas of growth for me this year and it has had impacts on literally every area of my life!

  3. Eating foods that are good for me. When I eat crappy, I feel crappy. This wasn’t always the case, but the years are catching up on me. Lol

  4. Journaling daily. A lot runs through my mind. I remember a few years ago I would start to get super anxious and not know why, then I would say “Let me go write” and low and behold it would be like 2 weeks since the last time I journaled. Now I journal EVERY single day. There’s no other option. Journaling grounds me and helps me to process. It also connects me to God.

  5. Moving my body in some way. I used to go on these workout spells. I would work out for 3 weeks consistently then fall off for 3 months (lol I know, terrible) but I would know I hadn’t worked out in a while because the same spot in my lower back would start hurting. I was weak. So now I know that in order for my body to feel good I have to move it! My body wants to be strong. This goes back to honoring the boundaries/goals I set for myself.

  6. Talking to the people I love (when I want to, of course!). FaceTime or a phone call to my family or close friends can really brighten my day.

  7. Sleeping! Y’all! I need sleep. Like it’s so necessary. Don’t think you are going to run around with 20 7-year-olds off of 4 hours of sleep. Nope, not going to happen.

  8. Reading. Books transport me to a whole new world! I love getting to know new characters and learning from their experiences.

  9. Washing and Twisting my hair. This is such an intimate time with myself. I play my music and just jam out.

  10. Eating Chick-fil-A and Ice Cream. These two aren’t necessarily healthy so I don’t overindulge, but after a hard day, a spicy chicken sandwich and Jeni’s Brown Butter Almond Brittle make me feel at peace.

  11. Praying and Studying the Word. When you spend time with God, I usually don’t leave the same! As I learn more about God, I learn more about myself and the world around me.

  12. Meditating. Mindfulness is so important for me to stay in the moment! I use the Calm App because they had a discount for teachers. It has been a lifesaver. Breathing is such a subconscious action, but when you bring awareness to it, you can do wonders for your entire being. I try to implement this practice daily, but I definitely use it to help settle me when needed.

  13. Getting outside to see the sunset. This practice helps me to remember the sovereignty of God and the fact that I am already taken care of.

  14. Limiting screen time. I can waste so much time literally doing nothing on my phone. Then I realize that I have not accomplished much of anything that I wanted to do during the day. This sends me into a frenzy. When I set limits on the amount of time I am on my phone I actually enjoy the time that I am on it, and I also complete my to-do list. It's a win-win.

  15. Starting my day surrendering to God. Each morning I start my day by practicing gratitude then I pray "Lord I surrender my life, heart, and day over to you." This practice has helped me to keep priorities in order and to realize that when things don't go my way during the day, there is still purpose in the day. Whatever happens was meant to be. That gives me so much peace.

So finds what makes you tick. Find what eases your soul. Find what allows you to settle down and keep going. If you don’t know right now, start taking notes of when you feel your best. Do more of that. Start noticing what makes you anxious. Do less of that. You have the answers. Share your favorite self-care practices in the comments.

Love y’all!


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