Self-care is the most honest revelation of your soul.
Itâ€™s a sure-fire sign of how much you love yourself and how serious you take your emotional and physical health.
The practice of self-care is a healthy dose of self-awareness paired with a lot of wisdom about your own well-being and that of others.
If that self-awareness is missing, we’ve got some work to do, as thisâ€™ll affect all areas of your life in a negative way.
But the cool thing is that becoming aware of what youâ€™re missing out on is the first step towards gaining the freedom to love yourself.
Letâ€™s get a glimpse of what is really going on inside of you. Ready?
1. Do you love yourself?
Your (lack of a) self-care routine is a true testimony of how much you love and value yourself. If you donâ€™t practice self-care, you donâ€™t believe youâ€™re worthy and deserving of loving and being loved.
This makes sure that you donâ€™t know yourself enough and therefor canâ€™t connect with your innermost thoughts and feelings, which leads to a deep void inside.
Self-care tip: Tell yourself that you love yourself every single day at least once. Tell yourself that youâ€™re proud of yourself, that you matter and that youâ€™re worthy. The more often you repeat these words the better and the more positive and self-affirming your thoughts will be.
2. How healthy is your mind?
Self-care plays a crucial part in being emotionally healthy. I should know since I suffered from an eating disordered for years, which coincided with a huge lack of taking care of myself. If you donâ€™t give yourself the attention you deserve you can not only become mentally ill, but you can and will build up a lot of anger and resentment, which is toxic for your soul.
Self-care tip: Build a daily habit of self-care practices by finding out what it is you truly enjoy. Do you like to read, journal, meditate or practice mindfulness? Do you enjoy puzzling, cleaning your home or taking a long, soothing bath? Experiment a bit and use the results to introduce a dose of self-care into your every day.
3. How do you treat your body?
If you reject self-care, youâ€™ll most likely neglect exercise and healthy eating. Being physically healthy is a big part of your overall health and can never be separated to how you feel about yourself and your life. If you neglect your body, you neglect your soul. If you neglect your soul, you neglect your body.
Self-care tip: Treat your bodyâ€™s senses to delicious, whole and, if possible, unprocessed, organic food. Youâ€™ll see how rejuvenated your body will feel and how clear your mind will be.
4. Are you courageous?
To be honest, it takes a lot of courage to take good care of yourself and to put yourself first every now and then. Unfortunately, we live in a society that doesn’t really accept self-care as something positive and rather labels it as selfish and arrogant. But if youâ€™re courageous enough to realize that youâ€™re important too and that your needs matter too, everyone will benefit.
Self-care tip: Practice saying no. Start small by declining a cup of coffee if you donâ€™t want to and then move on to bigger things. Be gentle with yourself and see how you feel. Do you feel empowered? Scared? Guilty? Try to accept and embrace those feelings as part of the journey to a more empowered and loved you.
Also, donâ€™t shy away from saying no to others or even alienating them. If they canâ€™t accept that you love yourself, theyâ€™re not worthy of being in your life.
5. What about your priorities?
If your life is void of self-care, your priorities are clearly out of whack. You put others before you all the time. You value their needs over yours, you value their time over yours and you value their life over your very own.
If you were serious about yourself, your health and your life, youâ€™d create a balance of work and play. Youâ€™d have time for self-care. Youâ€™d have time for more than earning money and taking care of others. Youâ€™d have time to breathe.
Self-care tip: Create a consistent exercise routine that invigorates you, keeps you healthy and energized. Think of something that you love, whether that is yoga, Zumba, weightlifting or kickboxing. Donâ€™t force yourself to go to a daily workout that you despise though as this goes contrary to what self-care is all about. Choose a workout that is fun and youâ€™ll never want to do without it again.
Learning to love yourself and take good care with yourself is a journey, a beautiful way of discovering who you truly are. Start today by choosing just one of the tips above. You wonâ€™t regret it. Thatâ€™s a promise.
On to you! Where have you noticed a lack of self-care in your life and how have you turned it around?
Anne-Sophie Reinhardt is an anorexia survivor, self-love advocate, body image expert and the owner of aMINDmedia. Sheâ€™s the author of The Ultimate Guide to a Healthy Body Image and empowers you to fall in love with yourself and your body. One loving step at a time.