Self Care Is Not Selfish
First of all, I want to begin by saying hi. I know, I know! This is different from what I typically do but change is good…sometimes. So anyways, hello to you. Yes, you. I want to make sure you know that today, I want to personally have a conversation with you.
So I’m a little weird and I know that. I bounce from one thing to another. But this time around, I think I have bounced into the right thing: self-care. Throughout October, I made it paramount that I wanted to focus on my self-care, self-love, self-forgiveness, and spiritual growth above everything else. That’s a mouth full and I’m still working on it. To be honest…I think I’ll be working on this for some time.
Let’s get back to our conversation. I want to talk about what really lead me to make it a priority to focus on my self-care: my health. At the beginning of this year, my perception of my life and the truth about what was going on with me were…for lack of better words…messed up! I had allowed so much to come into my life and wasn’t filtering in who or what was coming into my life. Well, recently I realized that because I was allowing just about anyone and anything to contaminate my life, my happiness, and my time, I wasn’t able to be Abigail. The Abigail I've always known.
Whenever I was able to make time for the activities that used to would typically enjoy, I found that I wouldn't feel as fulfilled. It almost felt as if I was living a life that was no longer mine. It felt as if I knew who I was but someone else had taken over completely. This drew me more and more into a depression. Until I heard my mom and God tell me about who they knew I could be and always have been. It really wasn’t until I was shaken up by those who knew me the best that I was able to see that I still can become the best version of myself.
After that crazy whirlwind (mind you this was the quick debrief), I made a promise to myself…that I will never, under any circumstance, sacrifice my self-care and self-love. Maybe that’s why the most positive and motivating people tend to be those who have experienced the most sadness and pain.
Now, I’m not saying you have to put yourself through all of that, but maybe that’s what makes you stronger. When you hit a point in your life that feels like nothing but darkness, once you get out you never want to go back. Yeah…I think I hit a tender point here for some people. For some of us…that’s all too real. So how does one really choose their self-love, self-care, self-forgiveness, and spiritual growth with compassion and filtration? Well here are some of the things I do:
Self Love & Self Care
Dare: Get a journal or notebook. Write everything that comes to mind when you think of what brings you happiness. It's can range from activities, people, places, and even things that just makes you feel better. Think of all the things that you feel deposits into your happiness bank. Now on a new page, write down all your daily schedule. Do it by 30-minute intervals. Get really detailed. Look at that list and anything that isn't pouring into your life (aside from responsible obligations such as work or school) eliminate those things with something that pours into you. In the beginning, you may not see a lot of slots that you can replace but over time, you'll be able to make more time for your self-love. You are a priority and you deserve time in your schedule that prioritizes you!
Now, this is one I'm still working on (well I'm working on everything in this post so oh well). Self-forgiveness is probably the most selfish and yet selfless thing you can ever do for you. Beforehand, debrief yourself with another post: Time to Call Myself Out!
I spoke about how I make meaningful mistakes (who doesn’t though) and how I'm learning to forgive myself. What I typically do when I mess up is I talk to myself. No seriously, I have an internal conversation with myself (I told you that I was weird, you knew what you were getting yourself into). I ask myself these questions:
Did I intentionally make this mistake?
Who is affected by this mistake?
Why did I make this mistake?
Does God forgive me for this mistake? (I’m not Jesus but this one tends to be a yes)
Did I communicate & sincerely apologize to those who were involved in this mistake?
Do I need to be forgiven by others?
After answering these questions, I tell myself two things:
I made a mistake and I love that!
I owe it to myself to forgive myself of this mistake.
I believe that owning up to your mistakes, embracing them like a broken child, and forgiving yourself because you’re human which undoubtedly means you’ll screw up here and there are the first steps you can take to getting better and growing from your mistakes.
I think this one may just be the most important one yet. So while I was going through all that at the beginning of the year, I didn’t realize it at the moment but my spiritual life wasn’t as alive as it had been. Guarantee that this all on me, I had neglected what was the most important things about me: my center, Jesus. I wasn’t making my spiritual growth a priority. So here are the things I’m currently doing to prioritize my spiritual growth:
Metaonia: to all my lovely Metaonia Fam, I know that every first of the month, you all get excited to see what has recently been added to the Metanoia section. But the truth is that the Metaonia section came about because I needed something that would keep me accountable to recording my growth. Every Metaonia segment is actually something I’m either currently going through or just recently went through.
Morning Devotional: There are so many different devotionals out there but three of my favorites are YouVersion’s Daily Verse/Reading Plans, She Reads Truth, and Jesus Calling. I have been using both for about 5 years of and on but I’ve come to notice that the more I dive into my devotionals in the morning the happier, joyful, peaceful, and centered I feel throughout the day. Devotional time is essential for your overall health and a great way to start, regather, and end your day.
Therapy and Counseling:I think I’ve mentioned this before but seeing a professional mental health specialist is vital for your health. I have been blessed by my therapist who assists me in gathering my thoughts and feelings weekly. I actually decided to work with her weekly instead of monthly because some weeks, and even days, are easier than others. She corrects me with compassion. My therapist encourages me to keep finding and defining my truth and who I am. Whether you’re more comfortable with once a week or once a month, seeing a professional should be a priority on our to-do list. I also recommend one of my favorite apps Sanity & Self (this does not substitute for a seeing a professional mental health specialist). There are professionals and coaches that guide you through different topics and self-care programs. I’ve recommended this to those in my inner circle and I recommend it for you.
Ultimately, the people that are important to you deserve the best of you. You deserve the best of you. Prioritizing your self-care is the healthy for you. I like these personal convos because I get to be personal with you and share more. Was there some advice I gave that you don’t agree with? Or some that you actually do side with me on? Are there some questions or suggestions you want to give me? Let me know; the only way we grow is by being honest, loving, and supportive of each other.
Until next time…