2017 seems to be the year for self love and self care. I’ve recently noticed a trend via social media about focusing on oneself, and creating a better and happier life mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It makes sense, and is definitely important for our well-being. Most especially, self-care is necessary during the height of social media impact, when it’s easier to focus on everyone else’s lives as opposed to our own.
I strongly agree in the importance self care, as someone who is entering adulthood and constantly thinking about how the time for me to actually take care of myself is approaching. I’ve been wondering, how do I really take care of myself? How can I create a happy, peaceful, successful life for me?
I’ve compiled a short list that I’ll be referencing throughout the year, to ensure my personal health, mind, body and soul, and hope you find it useful as well.
Self-Care for your Mind: Choose to feed your mind with things other than social media. There’s nothing wrong with involving yourself online — my profession requires social media quite often, and so does having a blog I want others to read and enjoy. However, I am challenging both you and myself to refrain from Facebook, Instagram, Facebook, SnapChat for 1-2 days a week, and put that time towards something for yourself. Time scrolling through Twitter could be used to read books that spark your interest, or used to watch educational documentaries from which you could learn something. My current favorite is Ava Duvernay’s 13th, which is on Netflix. And if you’ve already seen it, I guarantee you missed something the first time and won’t regret watching a second.
Below are lists of my current reads and books I will be reading throughout the year.
The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae
Nobody by Marc Lamont Hill
On my list:
America’s Original Sin by Jim Wallis
The Perfect Find by Tia Williams
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Young Man, Rumble by Ryan Spears
Feel free to share any interesting reads on your list as well!
*Side note: Choices in the music we listen to can also heavily effect our thinking. As someone who is a single, hopeless romantic; slow r&b is nice, but it probably shouldn’t be my first pick. Trap music can be fun to work out and drive down I-95 to, but the repetitive lyrics about money, hoes, and more hoes, can only take me but so far. Positivity, people!
Self-Care for your Body: This might seem obvious, but healthy eating and daily activity are absolutely imperative to proper self-care. I received many questions about how I lost weight this past fall, and the answer is simple: I watched what I ate. I did not eliminate carbs, meat, or sugar completely, but I was careful about how much of each I consumed daily. Eat smaller portions, regulate the amount of times you eat out during the week, and do not eat past 8:00 pm!!! If you must eat late, keep fruits, raw veggies, and healthy snacks such as pretzels or sweet potato chips, handy. Pinterest will be your best friend!
Meditation and activity for at least 30 minutes is so important. Set aside an hour in the morning, mid-day, or evening before bed to cater to your physical health. No excuses. If you don’t have a gym in your home (most people do not), head down to a local gym or YMCA and sign-up for membership. I guarantee $15-$30 a month now beats thousands of dollars in medical bills later. Click here for the cheapest gym memberships.
Also, organic coconut oil (which can be found in Walmart, drug stores, and beauty supply stores), is magic for your hair, body, nails, and even teeth. After a shower, lather your entire body in coconut oil and watch your life change before your eyes.
Self-Care for your Soul: Figure out what makes you genuinely happy, and brings you inner peace. Do that often.
Save some money for a trip to a state or a country you’ve dreamed of visiting, hop on the train to travel to a city you’ve never seen, browse a local thrift store for some cheap yet trendy finds, or visit a local Paint ‘n’ Sip venue with some friends on a Friday night.
Speaking of friends; clean house monthly, and don’t always wait until the end of the year to do so. Sometimes with 2,000 followers and over 200 likes on Instagram, it’s easy to forget who’s really your friend, or who really loves the individual behind the beat face, slayed hair, the new car, promotion, flat tummy teas and waist trainers (lol). Everyone does not have your best interest at heart, everyone is not rooting for your success, and not everyone wants to see you happy. Recognize who in your life is truly there for you; those who are your true soul mates, and stick with them.
Also, as a Christian, I’ve become hooked on the Bible app. The app provides an endless amount of Bible plans that make reading the Word so much easier to understand, and less tedious. There are plans that range from 5 days to 50 days for whatever you are currently experiencing, whatever you’re going through, and whatever you want to know. When I light some candles, turn on some soft music, and focus in on my plans, my peace is untouchable.
There are also apps which cater to other religions as well. I believe spirituality is definitely a contributing factor to proper self care. If no religion is your religion, find that special “thing” that gives you balance and brings you peace. Whether you like to draw, paint, write, do yoga, pilates, play tennis, swim, or binge watch Grey’s Anatomy, do it!
Your mind, body and soul are all you have.
Take special care of them in 2017.