Looking After Number One
Lots of people brush it off as silly, weird or irrelevant, but self care is actually really important for your physical and mental health! It could also affect the people around you, probably more than you realise.
We're all about keeping that feeling of being a child about to run into the sea!
It can be hard to justify a bit of "me time" these days, am I right? You're supposed to be rushing around the racetrack of life at the same speed as everyone else— and you sure as heck don't want to fall behind. Self care is about noticing this kind of frantic energy and the effect it has on you, and gently teaching yourself some new thought patterns.
We're aware that this is an alien concept for a lot of people. Everyone's aware of the national British stereotype: "stiff upper lip, old pal! Just keep going! Have another cuppa!" However, quite aside from the Brits' tea philosophy, the mind is amazingly versatile and can be used as a powerful tool for change. There are around 100 billion neurons in the human brain (cats have around 300 million).
Ever heard of Louise Hay? She's the mastermind behind the idea of positive affirmations, a handy little way of injecting a positive mental boost into your life. She said “I have come to this planet to learn to love myself more, and to share that love with all those around me”. The woman was am-HAY-zing, truly.
Louise has a lot to say about self love and the effect it has not just on you, but on those around you. Here are some affirmations to try out:
There are lots of ways you can practice affirmations. You could think them, write them down or speak them. You could even try saying them to yourself in the mirror ("ooh, who's this lovely sexy person?"). The point is to rewire you brain slowly with positive thoughts. This creates new neural pathways which are kind of like new guitar strings: the more you use them, the easier they are to play.
A lot of us tend to recognise issues in our personal lives and choose to ignore them. Some of us don't recognise our issues at all. Obviously it's hard to begin looking at resolving these issues if you don't know they're there, but we've listed a couple of common areas where things can go boobies-up if you're careful.
Sleep is really important. REALLY important! You just can't argue: it's been scientifically proven again and again. According to the NHS, getting enough sleep can:
Has that convinced you yet?! Click here for more on sleep and health.
Talking About How You're Feeling
It isn't soppy, it isn't over-emotional, it isn't stupid. Talking about your feelings important and could help your overall mental health, plus improving your relationships with people you trust.
You don't have to do the sit-down-and-have-a-serious-chat thing. You could write how you're feeling in a journal; pick up your instrument (or learn a new one) and howl your heart out; talk to your dog (cats, despite bad rep, can be sympathetic); splash some paint about; get some exercise; or sew, like we do (not if you're really frustrated-- can end in tears).
At the end of the day it doesn't matter how pent-up emotion comes out, it's just important that it does. Sometimes we're not aware of just how much something is eating away at our happiness until we suddenly start crying. Usually, unsurprisingly, it's because we've been too busy to stop, reflect and listen to ourselves if something's not right. Or even worse, we just don't want to. THIS ENDS NOW, PEOPLE!
'Orange Is the New Black' star Dascha Polanco on Self Love
Dascha Polanco from Orange is the New Black is an inspirational Instagrammer. She likes to write about self love, self acceptance and self esteem, often using the tags #selflovery and #ismellgood. Speaking to Girl Talk HQ (but everyone should hear this), Polanco talked about how "there’s a time where you have the decision to make yourself happy". She understands the importance of recognising a situation where you need to put yourself first. This is relevant to everybody, not just celebrities! In turn, Polanco says Angelina Jolie is someone she looks up to "as a philanthropist", and someone who owns her own life. Read the rest of the article here.
So you see, lovely reader...
Self care isn't a stupid. It's looking after yourself so you can be the best possible version of you.
Sincerely Madia & Matilda