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The last few years in this country, quite frankly, have been an outright shxt show. Protecting your mental health especially as a Black person, POC, or other minority has become more crucial now than ever before. It wasn’t until last year I realized how much the craziness of this world was weighing down on my mental health. I began to feel anxious all the time, and it was then I realized I had to do something about this, or I was going to eventually crack.
Since going totally insane was not (and is not) an option, I made a vow to myself that I would begin to practice self-care more often. Making self-care a part of my daily routine has drastically changed my life. Most people believe in order to practice self-indulgence they have to isolate a lot of time out of their schedule, however I’ve come to realize all you really need are just 20 minutes a day to cater to yourself. Believe me when I say those 20 minutes will make all the difference in your life. Below I’ve composed a list of my top 8 favorite ways to self-indulge.
1. Pray (all day, everyday).
Praying to me is just having an open dialogue with God. I try to converse with God as often as possible throughout the day, it helps me feel calm and centered.
2. Take bubble-baths at least 3x a week.
Prior to turning 25 I was a “take a quick shower before bed” kind of girl. I wasn’t opposed to bath soaks but I felt they took up more time that they actually do. Now wine-infused bubble baths mixed with a soothing playlist right before bed have become my religion. And if I don’t take them at least 3x per week, I can definitely feel the difference in my spirit.
2. Learn to love the word “no.”
Believe it or not, I have always been the type of person that has a difficult time saying no. I would take on way more than my body (or brain for that matter) would allow me to do. Now I’ve learned that it is okay to say the word no without any further explanations as to why.
3. Practice mediation at least 4x a week.
Practicing free-form yoga is a huge part of who I am. Yoga distresses me in unimaginable ways. There is no better feeling than being aligned with the universe. I put on my “meditation playlist” and zone all the way out.
4. Exercise for at least 20 minutes each day.
For about 2 years now, attempting to live a healthier lifestyle has become very important to me. Exercising relieves so much stress for me, and helps me to get rid of any aggression the world has caused.
Creative writing has always been one of my favorite things to do in my down-time (clearly). I always find time to doodle my thoughts and feelings down, whether it’s in my phone’s notes or in my actual journal.
6. Listen to my self-care playlist.
Music is literally life to me, and I can tell you for a fact that I could not exist without it. For my extremely rough days I have developed a playlist filled with calming tunes, it always puts me in a trance like state and helps me forget about the problems of the world. (P.S. the self-care playlist blog post coming soon!)
7. Have family time as often as possible.
I’ve always been a huge family person. They provide so much stability and calmness for me. Whenever I’ve had a rough day…or week I make plans to see them, I know hanging with them will instantly boost my mood.
8. Brunch / Dinner at least once a week with loved-ones.
I’m what you would call an ambivert, and as much as I adore alone time I love spending time with my loved-ones as well. I am also a lover of good food (drinks too!), so whenever I can combine the two it’s always a win-win.
Each one of these practices have become essential to my life, and my well-being. Truthfully, if these weren’t a part of my weekly routine I’m not sure where I would be emotionally. Even with all the turmoil that is taking place in the world, I’m happier now than I’ve ever been before. I’m thankful that I discovered the importance of self-care in my 20s, and I know it will always be an important part of who I am.
How do you practice self-care? I would love to read about it in the comments!
*If anyone knows the artist of this artwork please contact me.