“When you practice self-care, you allow your mind, body, and soul to reset.”
“Self-care” is a term that’s become quite popular over the last several years to describe the process of allowing oneself to detach from life’s stressors and embrace relaxing activities. In many cases, when I hear what other women do to practice self-care, it typically includes spa days, trips to the mall for retail therapy, spending time outside of the kitchen, and a slew of other events. The idea is to pamper oneself in a way that doesn’t necessarily happen on a regular basis. When you practice self-care, you allow your mind, body, and soul to reset.
I’ve been terrible at practicing this whole self-care thing either because I didn’t have the funds to treat myself or time just wasn’t on my side. Let’s be real: exercising self-care can be expensive. It doesn’t have to be, true. However, if I’m really going to allow myself to indulge, I’d need at least a $100 each time to do anything worthwhile. Especially in these days of coronavirus, I have no desire to shell out that kind of money on a massage, facial, or new outfit just for the sake of it.
Next, self-care requires my time. If I’m going to properly allow myself an escape from the everyday stressors of life, I need at least 4-5 hours to do it right. Who has that kind of time these days? Not me. Going 30 minutes without having to check my phone for a new email, text, or message on social media is challenging as is.
Because no one can run on a full tank 24/7, there must be other ways to practice self-care without breaking the bank. Right? Yes!
I view self-care in regards to the physical and the mental. About a month or so ago, a friend asked for my address under the guise of wanting to update the contact information she had for me. Because this was an odd request, I suspected she was planning on mailing me a card or something. This woman sent me an assorted pack of face masks with a note attached that I should take care of myself. At the time, I needed a reminder to relax and break away from work every once in a while because coronavirus had impacted my business significantly.
You’ll be happy to know that I did heed her words and treated myself to mini-facials. They have been amazing! My skin looks clearer and feels great. I’ve found that I enjoy at-home facials because I can do them on my own schedule and don’t need several hours at a time. I just lie down on my sofa or bed and let them time fade away. My mind isn’t cluttered with thoughts of work, relationships, or responsibilities. For those 30 minutes, it’s just me, myself, and I.
“I view self-care in regards to the physical and the mental.”
The other type of self-care that has really made an impact in my life involves paying more attention to my mental peace. Recently, I stopped working with a client due to a string of conflicts that had arisen. What stood out to me, as I drafted the service termination email, was my reasoning for this decision. I wrote something along the lines of no longer wishing to continue the relationship because it disturbed my mental peace. Wow! Talk about growth. I don’t think I would have cited that as a reason for walking away from a business partnership a few years ago.
Since my last romantic relationship, I’ve spent a healthy amount of time paying careful attention to my mental health. While I am usually quite happy and bubbly, I have had my bouts with moments of feeling like I’m less than. After further introspection, I saw that those times almost always happened because I allowed someone deeper access to me than they should have been trusted with or granted. That’s what happens in relationships, though. People sometimes push the limits of the boundaries we’ve put in place to see how far they can get.
“I saw that those times almost always happened because I allowed someone deeper access to me than they should have been trusted with or granted.”
You may have heard it said before, but I ask that you allow me to say it again: guard your mind. Not every toxic relationship presents itself as such in the beginning. However, when you begin to lose who you are because of someone, it might be best to reconsider the role that person plays in your life. I can honestly say that I have not given the individual I referenced earlier a second thought since sending that service termination email. I no longer clinch my jaw when their name pops up on my phone out of fear of what the text or call is about. If I’m spending so much negative mental energy on someone, I think it’s safe to say that I need to reorganize my priorities.
Fellow navigator, self-care is not just about pampering what’s on the outside. It’s also about ensuring that our minds and spirits are in a good place. As someone who is known (good or bad) for being busy and a workaholic (by some), I’ve come to recognize that I must ensure I have peace in all aspects of my life. No, I may not be able to afford a spa day once or twice a month. But I can spend a few hours with myself to look at my life and see where there’s room for positive, meaningful improvement. I can take stock of potentially toxic relationships, or ones that produce more stress than peace, to assess if there’s hope for positive growth or not.
Joyce Meyer wrote Battlefield of the Mind years ago, but I believe there’s a reason why she had an entire book devoted to this subject. The Bible talks about us guarding our hearts (Proverbs 4:23) and later says that God’s peace will guard our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:7). These two actions must be important, right? Fellow navigator, what do you do to practice self-care? How are you maintaining your mental peace? Tell me about it!