Living in Nigeria can be really hectic. We are so engrossed in the whole rush that we forget to take out time to actually breathe.
We skip food(I’m so guilty of this), we skip working out, we skip taking care of ourselves generally.
When we hear self-care, or taking time out for ourselves, we automatically think about booking a spa date, going on vacation or taking extensive time off work, all of which are either really expensive or almost impossible.
Self-care is just basic habits of our functioning.
As much as we have this whole idea that working very hard leads to results, we end up wearing ourselves out, we lose focus and worst of all, it starts to show on our skin. The horror!
Before I started working, I made a promise to myself to actually take care of myself and not just put my 100% into making money(even if that’s the goal). I’ve always had the phobia of spending all my youth chasing money and looking back with regret that I didn’t take time out to leave or take care of myself like I would have loved to.
Below are ways in which I try to insert self-care into my everyday life:
Being a naturally skinny person, working out and staying consistent has always been an issue for me until recently. I found a class that was really fun and intense as well, so I decided to try it out. The classes have been really good, I go for four exercise classes a week just to stay consistent. I knew going to the gym wasn’t for me and these classes are really fun so I don’t think I’m stopping anytime soon.
The classes have also given me something else to look forward to apart from my everyday work, the results have also been very obvious and good, the increased heart rate during the exercise provides a variety of short- and long-term health and fitness benefits.
It is really important to add exercise to your daily routine. Try teaming up with a friend, or like a group of people like I do. Another option that I love for a quick morning work out is the SWORKIT app. I use this app for yoga and full body stretches in the mornings.
What’s the point of looking good outside when your mental health is messed up? Mental health has to be the most important form of self-care. Two weeks ago, I was so stressed. I had just finished making new pieces for my brand, I had a photo shoot, I styled the photoshoot and did all that. I also edited the photos because I liked doing that but this time it was about forty photos which were way more than I was used to. I worked so much that weekend, that my sister had to take my laptop away so I could have few hours of sleep.
It was time to upload the photos on the website and time for customers to shop and I started having one of the worst anxiety I’ve had in a long time. I had such a good month in January that I started having anxiety about people not liking the things I worked so hard to put up before I even put them up on the website. I literally cried at every little thing for days and was walking around feeling bad about my elf for literally no reason, except the ones I imagined in my head. Maybe this wasn’t made for me, maybe I should start thinking of other options.
I had to step back and clear my head to really think about what was wrong. At this point, it was no longer about the new pieces. People were already getting them. It had generated into something else. I was stressed and tired from not getting enough rest and that triggered my anxiety a whole lot. I decided to take a break and not work at all that weekend. I planned out a weekend for myself that didn’t involve work or blogging but just peace, love and spending time with my family.
The next week, I was clearheaded and was ready to work. I could focus more and I got more things done.
The whole point of this long story is just to say that there is no crime in taking time out for yourself to clear your head. Emotional hygiene is very important. Take time out to clean your head and get back to work.
Getting enough sleep:
I started something recently that has helped me improve my sleeping habit a lot. I started turning off my laptop and putting away my phone at a certain period of time so I can get more sleep. There used to be days where I stay on my laptop till 4 am. I end up getting three hours of sleep and that messes up your whole day. These days I just turn off my laptop from 10:30 pm/11pm, put away my phone and sleep. I always wake up the next day feeling refreshed and ready to go.
Anybody that knows me personally will know that I am not a really confrontational person, and that gets me into a lot of mess that I don’t like to be in. People tend to take advantage of that, so I get owed a lot and I get used a lot. I usually will just wait for you to use your head. I’ve come to understand that sometimes, some people honestly do not know what they are doing wrong to you unless you tell them. Earlier this year, I decided to be more vocal about my feelings and to just let it be known. It has honestly freed me in a lot of ways. I can now let things go easily. I tend to forgive and understand people more.
Speaking for a former professional yes man. I say this and I do not say it lightly.YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SAY YES TO EVERYTHING! I use to be a people pleaser, it was so hard for me to say no to people, no matter how inconvenient the situation was.
I’ve learned to say no to things that are not convenient for me, or things that can’t fit into my schedule. I’ve turned down jobs, collaborations and even invites to showcase at amazing events because it didn’t work for me at the moment or if I felt like I wasn’t compensated enough. I believe in the saying “if something is destined for you, never in a million years will it be for somebody else”.
It can be hard to say no to people at first or to let go of opportunities that don’t favor you but it gets better with practice.
Drinking enough water:
I decided to quit soda even if I relapse sometimes and focus solely on getting a lot of water into my system and exercising help with that. I’ve decided to stay away from soda and help in taking care of myself and my health. Good health is underrated and you might think you are young and strong but you never know what is brewing within you.
I always like to keep a positive outlook on life and everything in general. As I get older, I’m learning more ways to be positive, to love and accept love in return. I’ve also learned that it’s never that serious. Free your mind and let yourself feel happy.
What I will like to work on:
Asking for help more
Eating more accurately
taking more vitamins’Taking a mindful break from my phone
Being gentle with myself
How do you guys self-care, let me know in the comments