Self care and self respect

My default is to bully myself to BE more and DO more with less and less.

To take care of myself is a crucial component of respecting myself. Sadly, I didn’t know what I needed to take care of myself until I was asked that question, and to make a list.

When I first made my self care list I had to start with my basic needs: 7 or so hours of sleep, staying hydrated, fruits and vegetables.

To get beyond the basics I had to delve deep into my heart and locate memories of times I felt nurtured, by my own hands. Times I felt joyful, peaceful, loving.

And also the times I felt extremely uncomfortable or angry.

In those moments were hidden little gems about who I really am and what makes me tick, or ticked off.

By uncovering this information, I’ve armed myself with an arsenal of tools to build myself a better life from the inside out. My hope is that you’ll get some ideas from my list and create your own.

Here is my self care criteria:

Loud music, preferably with enough bass to rattle my eyeballs ( puts a big stupid grin on my face)
Cream in my coffee (otherwise I can be quite irritable)
Mint tea calms me down, especially after lots of coffee.
Aromatherapy (who knew?) lavender and honeysuckle sprayed on my pillow or in my bath…bliss
An hour in nature a day( just breathe)
No electronics an hour before bed( otherwise I have trouble sleeping)
Avoiding negative people (they make me feel icky)
Spending as little time as possible in home decor/improvement stores (I hate them)
Journalling (brain dumping)
Making regular Gratitude and proud of lists
Meditating regularly
The absence of clutter ( striving for this)
Reading books in the sun as often as possible
Napping ( I’d been missing out this whole time! Not power naps, indulgent, several hour naps.)
Painting my nails
Vision boards, goal setting, reviewing my dreams ( dreams are the seedlings of reality)
Experimenting with dressing according to my mood ( yay flowy skirts)
Saying no, saying no, saying NO ! when it does not feel right
Letting go of people who make me feel invisible, small or flawed
Letting go of caring what people think ( it’s none of my business)
Letting go of guilt
Gentle self talk
Accepting the things that annoy me and if possible, reducing their existence in my life
Accepting myself as I am
Positive affirmations
Asking for help
Giving back
Comfy bed
Clean sheets
Driving really fast on highways
Not procrastinating
Calling if I’m going to be late
Filling my gas tank when it’s 3/4 empty
Paying my bills on time
Playing sports
Alone time
Inspirational material
Emotionally honest people
texting myself supportive love whisperings
Giving myself permission to screw up, change my mind and not be perfect
Keeping almonds in my car so I don’t die of starvation while stuck in traffic
Owning One pair of cool sneakers and a hat that fits perfectly
Owning Plants
Lipgloss makes everything better
Brushing my teeth and washing my face before bed no matter how tired I am
Surrounding myself with beauty
Appreciating beauty
Listening to The beastie boys, especially their Paul’s boutique album
Being honest with myself
Doing the dishes right after I eat

Some of these are habits, some are hobbies, some are principles. This list is ever growing. As I learn through experience what does not work for me, I can identify what does.

The more things on this list I can do often, the happier I am with who I am.

Loving myself is respecting myself, and creating and frequently revisiting my self care list has been instrumental in creating self reliance, self respect and self love in my life.

I hope your self care list will help you do the same.

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