Stop romanticizing pain and one-sided love!
Have you ever noticed how you messed things up when you only wanted other people to be happy, so you disregarded your feelings and happiness?
You’re not alone. I’ve witnessed a lot of people with the same sentiment. Oh, people love drama! In connection to that,
Why do you think people suddenly get infuriated?
Why do you see someone suddenly bursting into tears?
Why are depression and suicidal cases escalating?
Why are hatred, bullying, and bashing seem to be ubiquitous?
The answer is simple.
It's because many people like you allow themselves to be part of the rat race, or blindly follow an unhealthy work culture, or love to be victimized.
Seriously, when was the last time you genuinely take care of yourself?
If your answer is yesterday or lately, pat yourself on the back because you're doing great! And please keep it up! If your answer is "I cannot remember anymore", that could probably explain why you easily panicked, quickly get anxious or irritated, often get depressed, strongly get DEmotivated, stressed out, burned out, or on-and-off sick. Yes! This article is for you!
Regardless of age and status, you delve into myriad activities, and you mingle with all sorts of people (online or offline). As you traverse, you experience an amalgam of trepidation and motivation, which may either lead you to success or debacle. While there is a legion of things that you cannot control, you can manage your thoughts, actions, and reactions. Hence, it is vital to realize your pivotal role in your health and success that reflects self-care.
It is time to be accountable for your reactions and actions. Yes! It is possible to love yourself completely without feeling guilty. You deserve it, honey!
Holistic Self is Self-care.
Self-care is a two-way process of cleansing your thoughts that can debilitate you and replenishing the deeds that can nurture you. Self-care may encompass six interconnected elements such as self-perception, self-pause, self-talk, self-maintenance, self-improvement, and self-giving.
This article is the best time for you to reflect and look at yourself - just yourself (once and for all).
First and foremost, self-perception is crucial in doing self-care. Simple as it may sound, but it is a vicious battle that may involve giving yourself high regard versus disparaging your self-worth. This is a constant battle inside you because your mind never stops thinking, rethinking, and (worst, if unmanaged, it may lead to) overthinking.
Self-perception is your ego speaking to you, that's why most of the time, it can be dramatic, deceiving, and full of pride which may immobilize you or makes you aggressive. This is the logic of freeze, fight, or flight by your amygdala. The way you perceive yourself is influenced by how you were brought up and/or how you want others to perceive you. Be careful, though! Because misguided or distorted self-perception may lead to self-deception.
Self-perception must disregard what the whimsical society wants. Self-perception is being aware of what makes you truly happy and content. Hence, to produce a healthy self-perception, the other self-care elements MUST be observed.
Second, self-pause is the elementary prescription that you often hear - "stop when you are emotional," which is akin to the cliché "take time to smell the roses". These words of wisdom can remind you to be contemplative, especially if there are uncontrollable forces inside or outside you. Self-pause is not rocket science. It is as simple as silencing the chaos and noise in your mind and the environment you are in. This is one way to cleanse your thoughts.
Self-pause is associated with MEDITATION (for others, PRAYER). If bathing is for your body, self-pause is for your mind and/or spirit.
Although, there are many (Youtube) videos on how to do this, there is no hard and fast rule. You may choose what best suits your personality. There are numerous chances that you can do this - anytime, anywhere:
1. in your bed, the moment you wake up and before you sleep;
2. in your car, when you are caught in traffic;
3. in your office, when you are tensed or frustrated;
and many more.
So when is the best time to do self-pause? The moment you say, "I am too busy". Take a few seconds (a minute or so) to pause - listen to yourself, listen to the noise, or silence in your heart - LISTEN INTENTLY. As you self-pause, do steady and slow breathing, you may even close your eyes if this will help you. In a nutshell, PAUSE. You owe it to yourself.
Self-talk is another self-explanatory element of self-care whereby one is expected to spend time talking to oneself. This is also termed as INTRAPERSONAL COMMUNICATION.
There are various ways on how you can do this. It can be written or verbal. If you love writing, take time to write down your innermost thoughts. If you have your own space (room or toilet), you may look at yourself in the mirror and speak it out. If you are in an area where people surround you, you can take a moment to be quiet and discreetly talk to yourself.
Your self-talk can contain any message in any forms:
An AFFIMATION (complimenting yourself for a job well done or affirming how beautiful you are inside and out),
Some words of FORGIVENESS (be kind and forgive yourself if you think you missed something or messed something up or you failed to do a task),
Some words of ENCOURAGEMENT (boost your self-confidence that you can do that certain task - may it be small or big), or
ANGST and DOUBTS (blurt it out - for all you know, you can be the best person who can listen from and give advice to yourself).
Yes, at this particular element, be the "best" best friend to yourself. If you can spend quality time with your best friend, listen to your best friend's stories, problems, triumphs, and give your best friend sound advice, do it to yourself too. Love yourself more than anyone else in this world.
Self-maintenance is commonly known as WORK-LIFE BALANCE. Many people are aware of this, but they let it remain just a plain postulation. FYI - To keep yourself holistic is the greatest obligation to yourself. To do so, your work (or studies) must still give you time to accomplish other productive and healthy activities in life. Your job (or studies) should not be treated as a central force that keeps you moving but instead, your tasks should be one of the many worthwhile activities you can do.
If you think your work is too demanding, find time to pamper yourself. If you're unhappy with your situation, do something that can liberate and make you happy. For example:
1. get enough rest and sleep,
2. do some exercise,
3. have a sincere interaction with friends, family, or even a stranger,
4. eat food that you love,
5. drink enough water,
6. genuinely smile or laugh,
7. dine out with friends or colleagues, or
8. watch movies.
Remember, if you regularly bring your car to the dealership to ensure its superior performance, you are more important and far more expensive than your luxurious vehicle. Therefore, maintain a healthy you.
Consider self-maintenance a great accomplishment, so don't forget to thank yourself for this.
The best investment is self-improvement. Invest in improving yourself, and all the good things will follow. Happiness will sprout as you increase your repertoire of skills. As David Epstein said in his talk, "the jack of all trades master of none is frequently better than a master of one."
Keep yourself interested, engaged, and ignited. You may also reinvent yourself and try learning or just doing something new every day (or every week or month - it depends on your pace), such as:
1. learning a new/big word that you can use in your daily conversation with someone (here you give yourself a chance to become a teacher and a learner to someone),
2. learning a new activity that can make you happy, say, baking, dancing, playing musical instruments, sports, or online games.
3. reading a good book of your interest,
4. starting a journal - writing is one of the hardest among the macro skills, but it can greatly help you easily visualize your thoughts,
5. creating a twist in your menu,
6. getting and remembering the name of your favorite barista or a new acquaintance,
7. joining a club or organization that can be your support system, or
8. accomplishing one complete task a day (professionally),
9. writing a blog like this,
10. creating your website or your YouTube channel.
Self- improvement is a great way to do self-care because you get to replenish yourself by keeping yourself updated and relevant. If you update your phone to be able to optimize your battery use and to lessen the chances of getting a bug or virus, all the more you need to optimize yourself for the obvious reasons. Take care of yourself and make it a habit.
The last element is self-giving which is to transmit positive energy to the world gloriously. Self-giving affirms that you are innately good - you can be the source of happiness even though you want to seek happiness too. Planting good seeds will result in bearing good fruit, which is famously known as "you reap what you sow" among the Catholics; "the cycle of cause and effect" in Buddhism; and "the law of attraction and manifestation," which the new age spirituality talks about.
Self-giving is sharing a part of yourself with others. It will be wonderful to transmit positive energy (good deeds, good words) as you affirm your purpose in life. You receive and give; you give and receive. Giving is extending a hand to someone that is a form of good exercise of mind, heart, and body. It can make you happy and more productive.
Be a harbinger of positive energy in this world by:
1. Giving a smile or laugh to a joke.
2. Offering your seat to someone who needs it more.
3. Giving your queue number to someone who has a more urgent matter than you.
4. Extending regards to a friend - let her/him know you remember her/him.
5. Surprising someone a free meal.
6. Giving someone a token of appreciation.
7. Giving someone a birthday gift.
8. Speaking with kindness to an impatient client or irate clerk.
9. Lending your ears to someone who wants to be heard.
If you think you are giving people favors by providing service to them, you also give yourself favors. As Adriana Herrera said "when we do something physical, the synapses are firing, and the blood is flowing to the brain" (p.100); this can make you happy and healthy. So keep giving, and sooner they will all blossom.
Self-care is not a modern breakthrough. This has been present in time immemorial. The fast-paced society has overwhelmingly preoccupied you that you forget yourself.
If there is anyone who deserves your love, it is you. If there is anyone who should take care of yourself, it is you.
You have the power to upend the status quo! Genuinely love yourself.
Suffice to say, self-care is requisite to maximize your full potential positively.
Tell us what self-care you do?
Spread the good news!
Epstein, D. (2020, April 2). How Falling Behind Can Get You Ahead. TEDxManchester [Video File]. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQ2_BwqcFsc
Gallo, C. (2011). Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success. https://www.accessengineeringlibrary.com/content/book/9780071748759/chapter/chapter7