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Love Your Chapter: Embrace Self-Care


Love Your Chapter: Embrace Self-Care

Heather J

Unfortunately, I catch flights AND I can't feelings. I have a hard time saying no to things I should and I often tend to bite off more than I can chew. Why? Because I can. 

But, I also realize that catching more flights than negative feelings contribute to my self-care, saying no to projects and saying yes to myself is a form of self-care. Although my wise decision making comes in waves at times I'm grateful for every opportunity I have to start over & reset.

My cup. What does my self-care cup look like? Is it full, is it empty? Is it plastic, is it glass? What's in my cup is what's in my cup. We all have a cup and at times we allow our cups to overflow due to the expectations of others or you may be like me and be to hard on yourself. I often write about my cup being chipped, half-empty, spilled, rattled & re-filled; I meditate and reflect on what self-care looks for me and how important it is for me to constantly replenish and to be mindful of whom I let drink from my cup and the things that cause my cup to overflow. 

Photo by GIPHY

Photo by GIPHY

Self-Care for me on this Friday morning is enjoyable as I sip Blueberry Hibiscus tea and reflect on the recent changes in my life. I take pride in the fact that I'm bold, courageous, I travel solo and I can't seem to sit still. When we ignore our self-care regimens, our self worth and internal feelings it can cause burn out, stress, anxiety, irritability, depression and even high blood pressure. I know because within a years' time I've experienced all those things, alone. I recently quit my job, relocated, spent long days in silence, cried, laughed and gave myself a few pats on the back; all over the span of 4 weeks.

Being highly extroverted and confident doesn't make up for the fact that I too have times where I need to reset and check in with myself.

I am in my mid-twenties and I've found that as the days pass it's important for me to live out my truth and be happy. I recently left a job that was no longer serving me in ways I found desirable. I was constantly saying yes to people and things that didn't make me happy or fulfill me in joyful ways. The job didn't align with my personal mission and values in life, which I find important.

Photo by GIPHY

Photo by GIPHY

Self-Care for me is getting in tune with my intuition, my wants & needs and deciphering what just isn't working anymore. How can I be a self-care advocate but not be fulfilled mentally, spiritually, personally and professionally? That's when I made a conscious decision and a choice to feel free, to give myself a second chance, and to tap into my own self-worth.

Self care for me is unplugging for awhile, being with "self" for a nice period of time. It's detaching from people and things that consume a lot of my time and energy. Protecting my peace, space, mind, body & soul is a form of self-care for me. Too often we overlook that we in fact have needs, those needs don't necessarily come from others, it starts with self. So protect what you allow in your precious space.

Self care for me is releasing one-sided relationships. As a natural healer and giver, I find myself trying to create harmony amongst everyone, being there for everyone and trying to be everything to everyone. In case you're wondering, being depicted as the "strong" friend serves its purpose, but even I don't have it all together.

I often ask myself when balancing relationships: Who are the fruit pickers and fertilizers within my life? Who holds me accountable? Who supports me when it's needed most or pushes me to be my best self? Ask yourself those questions and evaluate the relationships in your life, self-care. Maintaining healthy relationships is important but it shouldn't be a chore, you shouldn't feel like you over extend yourself. 

Remember to give to yourself as much as you give of yourself. 

Self care for me is touching every inch of my body, recognizing that it is accepted fully by me. When I wrote "Lines of Accepted Flaws" I wrote that with every woman in mind who may struggle with self-acceptance, the appearance of their scars and stretch marks. 

Listening to Common's "One Day It'll All Make Sense" with no skips is "self-care" for me. Listening to the lyrics and being able to vibe to melodic tunes and words that contribute to my identity makes me feel at ease. When Solange sings about "Cranes in the Sky" I begin to reflect on a past lover and how letting go allowed me to recover; self-care was putting me first. We all heal, grow and process differently; but be mindful that letting go is a form of self-care.

Photo by GIPHY  

Photo by GIPHY  

Self-Care for me is connecting with black artists and studying the inspiration behind their expression. As a poet and writer, I tend to write about the things I find inspiring, things I find troubling to talk about aloud and I use it as a space to feel full and whole.

That's what self-care for me looks like. Nobody can define what it looks like for you.

I’m at a chapter in my life where Peace IS a priority, I now understand that I am responsible for my OWN happiness, and I realize that moving forward is the only option. 

Loving this chapter.