Loving yourself isn’t vanity. It’s sanity. This is wise advice. Taking time to suffuse your life with self-care helps you build a deeply loving relationship with yourself.
In the hustle and bustle of our fast-paced society, the concept of self-care often takes a back seat, leaving us vulnerable to various issues such as chronic stress, anxiety, and mental health problems. However, even for those who are aware of the importance of self-care routines, many often drop them abruptly, deeming them unsustainable or too time-consuming. Freeman Fung, an international author, speaker, life coach, and author of Travel to Transform, shares five simple and effective tips to help you make self-care a lasting habit that sticks!
1. Build up your self-esteem
Prioritizing other tasks over self-care unintentionally undermines the worth of your well-being. Yet, the core of any successful self-care routine lies in cultivating a healthy sense of self-worth. Strengthening your self-esteem and recognizing that you are an important person in this world solidifies the belief that you deserve self-care. As your self-esteem grows, so does the enjoyment of self-care activities. Exercise transforms from a dreaded task to a chance to blow off steam and de-stress, short meditations become moments of peace and clarity, and mindful eating evolves into a means of fueling energy. You can start building your confidence simply through affirmations, celebrating your wins, and embracing personal growth.
2. Allow yourself to say ‘no’
In our globally interconnected era, we’re constantly urged to pursue anything and everything. Whether that’s getting the highest-paid job, starting a business, having a viral TikTok account, or indulging ourselves in endless parties. The pervasive FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) mentality can make it challenging to set boundaries from things that are not aligned with our true desires. This can easily lead us to overload our calendars, stretching ourselves too far and creating unnecessary stress that leads to burnout. Permitting yourself to say ‘no’ to what you don’t want is a key step in creating a loving relationship with yourself and establishing the groundwork to practice self-care.
3. Limiting our screen time
In the digital age, screens have become integral to our daily lives. It’s easy to find ourselves spending the entire workday glued to screens, only to return home and unwind by staring at more screens. The substantial impact of excessive screen time on our brains and mental health is well-known, particularly with the influence of social media, which is designed to keep us scrolling. So, taking intentional breaks from screens offers us the opportunity to reconnect with ourselves and others, whether that’s through taking time outside or visiting friends. This conscious choice means we’re reclaiming back the time that we might otherwise lose to the digital limbo, increasing the likelihood of engaging in activities beneficial to our well-being.
4. Allot time for yourself – doing nothing is something
In a world that encourages perpetual productivity, carving out time for relaxation and embracing moments of mindfulness becomes critical. Allocating intervals of stillness with yourself provides you the opportunity to recharge, reflect, and prioritize your self-growth. While it may feel counterintuitive initially, slowing down to the speed of life allows you to “do less, to achieve more.” Embracing the power of non-doing facilitates a profound understanding of oneself, promotes mental clarity, and establishes a sustainable foundation for a longer-term self-care routine. So, whether your idea of doing nothing is putting your phone away, taking time to sit with yourself, or watching a movie, don’t let yourself feel guilty for doing any of your favorite personal activities.
5. Simplify your self-care
Self-care routines can be a fine line to walk. We don’t want to do too little, but we also don’t want to do too much. When we are trying too hard to incorporate numerous techniques of routines, this is when routines can become abandoned. An excessive self-care routine is often driven by the overwhelming influx of information from what we see around us, especially from social media ‘influencers. The attempt to include a multitude of practices, without genuine enjoyment, can turn self-care into a chore, defeating its primary purpose. It’s crucial to strike a balance to suit your individual needs, as everyone is different. Instead of overwhelming yourself, consider commencing with simple practices—such as taking a mindful walk between meetings or having a long hot bath at the end of the day—before gradually expanding your self-care routine to include additional elements.
As the old saying goes, “Loving yourself isn’t vanity. It’s sanity.” Taking time to involve self-care in your life helps you to construct a deeply loving relationship with yourself. And the best thing about self-care is that it looks different for everyone. Don’t force yourself to have a 10-step skincare routine if it doesn’t work for you, or go out socializing every night if you feel like staying in. YOU get to decide what’s best for you and what nourishes you.
If you’re looking for more transformational ways to construct a life that nourishes you, check out Freeman Fung’s book ‘Travel to Transform’. Originally from Hong Kong, he embarked on a journey to travel and experience life in more than 30 countries. Now he is on a mission to awaken more world citizens, raise our global consciousness, and make the world a better place through personal transformations. He is on Instagram
Lead photo courtesy Freepik