Putting ourselves first is not always the easiest thing. I feel like we can all relate to this, I know I absolutely can. Prioritising yourself is so much easier said than done most of the time and can be very disheartening when we realise that we are not treating our minds and bodies with the care we desperately deserve.
We all carry so much stress around with us daily, which comes from various things like, work, school, relationships, the thought of the future, expectations from others, etc. The chaos of our lives causes us to think we cannot afford the time for self-care. However, we have more time than we think we do. It could be as simple as doing a yoga flow for 5 minutes in the morning.
Naturally, we start our lives by loving ourselves, as I have learned through multiple developmental psychology classes. As babies, we are ~literally~ obsessed with ourselves and think the world revolves around us. We are selfish little things as children. This love for ourselves can, in more cases than not, begin to get clouded over by stress, anxiety, negative thoughts, trauma, past experiences, comparisons, and honestly, just life.
I also want to let you know, whether you are just having a bad day, a bad week, or have experienced negative thoughts and feelings most of your life, you are not alone. About 80% of the world suffers from this and no matter how much you may suffer, we all deserve to make time for ourselves. If we just apply ourselves and build our knowledge on this topic, we can better handle these feelings and bring out our most positive and confident selves.
We really need to confront these roadblocks and excuses we make for ourselves. Psychologically, we see self-care posts, ads, and “inspiration” everywhere, but somehow, we never get past the stage of thinking about them, or we may sometimes do an exercise or two, but we don’t apply ourselves. .
Self-care and healthy living is a lifestyle, however, not applying ourselves or continuing to perform practices makes it a chore instead of a natural joy. There are plenty of us that are scared by novel experiences, and the fear becomes a roadblock to our success. Another thing that happens when beginning relaxation and self-care practices, is we become overwhelmed by reactions from a relaxation practice, such as the tingling that rushes our bodies. Honestly, it is super frightening and weird at first, but once you realize the tingling will go away, and the fear will disappear, you can focus on the productiveness of the practice.
My point is that one single element of a relaxation/self-care practice that overwhelms us can turn us away. However, we need to remember this is new for our bodies and minds and of course, a change will cause us to feel overwhelmed, it’s human nature. It is super valuable to work through these difficulties on your own, or with a friend if needed for more support and comfortability.
Most of us use the same excuses and reasons to avoid self-care practices. The excuses we are using are probably the same excuses we have been using for years.
“I am too busy, I have too much to get done today”
“I will just do it tomorrow”
“It isn’t actually going to do anything”
Do these sound familiar?
All of these excuses come from false premises. I know I do this ALL the time. We need to start putting our mental and physical health at the top of our priority list. The key to being productive in this process and having a healthy lifestyle is to create a balance in our lives.
A lot of you, like me, are energetic people that are obsessed with getting “work” done and being as productive as possible. We occasionally need to pump the brakes. Having to prove success to ourselves and rushing is natural, however, it only creates stress. A lot of us also struggle with motivation.
Let me get something straight, we do not always need to be motivated to do something before we do it. Motivation is not always present and that is totally normal. Pushing through a lull in motivation brings momentum into our lives which will carry us to success, completion, and the continuity of a healthy lifestyle. We need to start telling ourselves, “Of course I do not want to do this, but so what? Get off your lazy booty and do it anyway!”.
We are responsible for our own decisions and how we want to live our lives. It is so difficult to pick-up new habits when, to start, the rewards for our efforts are very small. With every decision we make, the thought process of deciding whether we want to continue on our chosen path or detour from it is crucial and makes us more intentional. It makes us responsible for our decisions and actions. In addition, thinking like this makes it less likely that we will feel bad about ourselves for falling off our original plan and path since it is a conscious choice.
We need to steer away from thinking that because we are busy or tired, we cannot do an exercise or self-care practice for ourselves. We need to acknowledge our excuses and tell ourselves that we could do the exercise, but we are tired, so I am deciding not to do it. The point to all of this is we take responsibility for our decisions and choose one thing over another, rather than continue to passively act as a victim of circumstances, such as “being tired”. We are in charge of our own life balance.
Finally, do not give up, we’ve got this! We all have the ability to relax, handle stress properly, and heal ourselves through even the most minor self-care. Once again, change does not always come easy. We may occasionally feel trapped and stuck in our old stressful habits, but we can do it. We just need to be patient, persistent and committed to our health and wellness, as well as our goals.
Guest Blogger Profile:
Hi, my name is Cassidy and I am from Santa Barbara, California. I am a 21-year-old psychology student, an adventurer, & a wellness enthusiast.
Growing up in California as a competitive surfer is what sparked my interest in health and wellness. Being part of a sport that is built on mental and physical strength is what caused me to learn at a young age how important our bodies, minds, and overall health truly is.
My main goal in life is to educate, spread positivity & motivation, as well as emphasise the importance of our bodies and minds. I dream of a world where everyone's brightest and truest selves thrive and are seen.