Boy, oh, boy! 2020 has rattled, shaken, jolted, shocked, and curved all of us. What a ride! And, here we are. A few days before the end of this year. Less than a week before 2021 starts. Are you ready? I bet you automatically said, “YES!” without hesitation, huh? This has been such a crazy year, that I bet you did not even have to think about the answer. But, does it look like 2021 is going to be much different than 2020? I mean, does it look like this pandemic is almost over and we will soon be returning back to our normally scheduled routines and lives? Um, not at all! I am not sure if you pay attention to the numbers and statistics, or if you have read any of my previous blog posts, which I hope you have, but the numbers are spiking and we will be here for a while to come, unfortunately. I think things will be this way for two to three years to come. I believe that because it was handled so poorly in the beginning, that it is out of control now, people doubt the severity and are reckless about protecting themselves and others, and many more people will succumb to this before it is all said and done.
So, what can we do? As it seems, there is no end in sight, so what do we do to make this the new normal? I know a lot of people have been counting days, waiting for this pandemic to end. Many people are hopeful that it will end soon, and so they have not even fully allowed themselves to entertain the idea of this lasting several more months let alone several more years! And what about those that have accepted this as the new normal? The ones that insist on wearing their masks correctly, practicing social distancing, washing their hands, and being safe. Those people that encourage others that aren’t wearing their masks, or aren’t wearing them correctly, to do so. The domino effect is unavoidable to an extent. We can do our best to be safe and clean and not contract of transmit COVID-19, but those that aren’t, are extending the harsh consequences for us all. But, we may as well accept that this is it. So, we have to maintain our sanity and peace. We have to find ways to have fun and take care of ourselves. Self-care is far too rare, far to unpracticed of a thing. And I am determined to change that.
I believe the problem is that people take self-care at a surface level, and pamper their outer self and perhaps a portion of their mental self. I believe there are four key dimensions to self-care, as there are four key dimensions to each of us. Our mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional dimensions make us who we are, to our core. And we must care for each dimension regularly, to be well, wholly and holistically.
If you haven’t been to my Instagram page, I invite you to click here. Take a look through my feed so you can see first hand what it is I mean. There are a ton of different ways to incorporate self-care into our every day routines. It is more than one day of pampering your skin. It is more than one weekend stay or vacation. It is more than a shopping spree. It is more than a spa day. It is more than a trip to the nail and/or hair salon. Self-care is all of those things, and MORE! And, the most important thing I need people to know is that it looks different for everyone. What works for me, may not work for you, and vice versa. I think there are a few myths behind self-care. One of them is that it should be reserved for one day of the week. I debunked that myth. We are living with ourselves and interacting with others daily, so we definitely need to practice self-care daily, too. We live in an ever and fast changing society and world, full of the unexpected, so we definitely need to practice self-care daily. again, in order to be whole and healthy in all four of our dimensions we need to practice self-care every day. My kids and I do it in many different ways. I am sure that some of you are doing it and just may not be aware. I am also sure that many more of you are not practicing self-care daily, so I am here to help!
I am determined to get everyone to realize that self-care is a priority and a necessity. According to the Oxford Languages Dictionary, self-care is defined as the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health. It is also defined as the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress. Read that again. It is a practice, which means it is something that you have to be habitual in. It means it has to be a customary and expected thing. It also means that as a way of preserving and improving our health, it absolutely should be a daily and necessary thing. Who doesn’t want to be their best self? Who doesn’t want to be their healthiest self?
In order to preserve our mental health, we must set and enforce healthy boundaries for ourselves, and especially for other people. We must deal with our unresolved trauma and childhood issues by seeking therapy. We must manage our emotions. In order to preserve our physical health we must eat healthy, drink plenty of water each day, take vitamins or supplements, or both, see our doctors and get check ups regularly, and get physical exercise daily, too.
To preserve our spiritual health we must tap into our creator’s spirit, our ancestors’ spirits, our own spirit. We must nurture our spirit and connect with spirits passed, with meditation and prayers, scriptures and proverbs. Whatever your religious or spiritual preference is, nurture that and feed it daily. Commune daily. And in order to preserve our emotional health, we must heal and treat old emotional wounds, which is sometimes lifelong. We must foster healthy interpersonal relationships and stay connected with a circle of people with laughter, love, encouragement, advice, correction, inspiration, accountability, and humility. These things are a base for self-care for all four of our dimensions. And each dimension needs to be catered to daily.
What do you think? Do you practice self-care every day? Once a week? Do you know what your self-care should look like. I have found that a lot of people are practicing self-care based on what their mother did or what their friends are doing. I have found that people are doing self-care based on what they see on television or the internet, not taking time to see if it is even working. I invite all of you to tap into each dimension of yourself and figure out where you are, how you feel about the world, and how you feel about other people. Take inventory, truthfully and unapologetically. And then, take inventory of what you’re doing to care for yourself every day, on each dimension’s level, to feel and be your best self. I invite you to then come back and let me know in the comments if you truly know what your self-care is, if you are practicing it, and if you are determined to make it a part of each day. 💜