What is self-care and how I’ve started practicing it

Hello, Sunshine! How are you? I hope everything is going well for you at the moment.

I want to welcome you to AG’s Self-Care Guide section officially. In this corner of the blog, we will discuss the importance of self-care and how you can practice it.

I decided to make this part of Amazing Grace because, for years, I’ve been ignoring the most important person in my life: me. I’ve realized I need to be at peace with myself. I don’t think I’ve done it consciously but rather allowed myself to be swept away by routine and people. 

Join me on this journey if you also feel like you’ve neglected the attention you give to yourself.

First, why don’t we start talking about this…

what is self-care

What is self-care?

One thing I have noticed is self-care is often thought of as a selfish action. Let’s start by being clear about one thing: it is not.

Allow me to share what I learned in a recently discovered course from Gracy Obuchowicz, a self-care coach. 

She makes it a point to differentiate between two concepts commonly misunderstood or confused: self-improvement and self-care. She says self-improvement is trying to “fix” something, running away from something inside ourselves, but not reaching the root of the problem. On the other hand, she thinks self-care as about tending to our deepest needs. It is when we hit rock bottom that our self-care becomes more powerful.

Self-care is asking ourselves how we can help us heal. It is making our life better by establishing healthy habits that provide us with a nurturing experience. 

If I could tell you one thing to remember about this is self-care shouldn’t feel like a burden. If it does, you’re probably doing it wrong. But be careful, because it doesn’t mean it’ll be easy.

I feel this article from the Thought Catalog sums up what self-care is all about: “it’s not about salt baths and chocolate cakes, it is choosing to build a life you don’t need to escape from regularly.”

Why is self-care so important?

I believe the most important thing about self-care is it encourages us to be good and kind to ourselves in the long run, not just for a short period of time. I also believe we need to be at peace with ourselves to be with others. Feeling good with who we are ends up transmitting the feelings to all those around us.

How can you practice self-care?

As you have probably realized, self-care should be a priority. I’m going to share with you some ways in which you can do it if you are starting your journey:

  1. Physical self-care: it goes from healthy eating habits to exercise and sleep.
  2. Inner self-care: going back to Gracy Obuchowicz as a reference, she includes thoughts, emotions, and feelings. 
  3. Social self-care: an essential part of self-care, believe it or not, is nurturing friendships, family relationships, and our community.

Through my journey, I’ll work on establishing different habits in those three areas to nourish my experience as much as possible.

Now that we’ve discussed in a general way a bit about what self-care is and why it is important, I’ll share with you the baby steps I’ve already taken.

Self-care is not selfish

My morning routine

I felt mornings were where I needed to start my self-care habits because I tended to feel unproductive. This feeling resulted in me being in a bad mood most of the day because I thought I was accomplishing nothing.

So using to my advantage the fact I’ve been taking medicines for the past month, I decided to wake up at 7 am when I need to take my first round of pills. As hard as it has been, I’ve made it a point not to crawl back in bed once I’m up.

Hydrate

After I’ve managed to stay on my feet longer than ten seconds, I drink a full glass of water. It is important to do so because we dehydrate while sleeping. Drinking a glass of water straight out of bed helps start kicking our body into action for the day ahead.

Bathroom routine

With that out of the way, the next thing I do is my bathroom routine. I wash my face to help awaken me further, brush my teeth, and clean my feet from the night lotions I apply in them. By the time I’m done with this, I feel a bit more energized.

Meditation

After the bathroom routine, I take 10 minutes to light a scented candle and meditate. I’ve been doing it for four weeks only, so I still consider myself a beginner. In later posts, I’ll tell you how I’ve been feeling with meditation. For now I can say it has been hard. Yet I notice I get better each day. Guided meditations are a blessing for me. 

Reading

Once I’m done with my ten minutes of me-time through meditation, I feel relaxed and ready to move my day forward. But I don’t rush up and start running around just yet. Instead, I take some time to read at least one chapter of whichever book I have currently on my nightstand. This habit has been a breath of fresh air for me. Before setting a specific time to read, I would move my book around the house the entire day, but barely open it to read a page. Now I feel like I’m getting somewhere with the titles in my bookshelf, even if it’s with baby steps.

And I’m ready!

This is just the first part of my morning routine and I’m not going to say that after it I rush through my day because I’ve never been a person who moves at a fast pace. I like to take my sweet time to do things. But I do feel better. I feel more energized and productive. I’ve also noticed my mood has improved. If you ask anyone who lives with me, they’ll tell you that it can only be a good thing.

If you don’t have a morning routine, I highly recommend you to set the time to make one and commit to it. It’ll make a big difference in how you live your life day by day, and you’ll start noticing the difference within a short time of sticking to it. 

And Sunshine, don’t be shy and share your routines with me! Remember, we can all be amazing together, so let’s commit to this together through our morning routines.

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