( ENSPIRE She Did That ) An Advice Column Dedicated to Pushing and Elevating Women of All Ages
Focus Challenge – Live the Definition of True Self Care
At the culmination of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (and every good cause that is celebrated in October), I wanted to end the month with a “must challenge.” Let’s focus on defining and living “True Self Care.” We have to prepare ourselves for 2021, not knowing what the next year may bring but anticipating whatever comes our way. Why, because we owe it to ourselves after enduring one of the toughest, sometimes ugliest, and often trying, years of our lives…globally.
Remember the heights of the self-care movement? Just last year, it was super easy as a writer to kick out articles on self-care. It was nothing to push the latest moisturizer or lip balm. Writing about decadent massage treatments…that was a breeze. Recommending meditation music on popular YouTube channels…so easy. Self-care themes were everywhere, and they were light, airy, fun. Life was good…people focused on themselves for a change. Then boom, right in the gut, the year 2020 caused worldwide changes in how the world viewed self-care now and introduced a new normal.
Let’s see…we have endured:
- A new enemy…COVID-19.
- Thousands of living sacrifices called “first responders.”
- Financial and job insecurity.
- Social distancing and masks.
- Unfiltered freedom of speech – offensive judgments, angry screams, and bitter cries.
- Don’t shoot – a knocked down, dragged out fight against the protection we once trusted (the fight still exists and has always existed but now it’s “our turn”).
- Major corruption in politics that made us sick to our stomachs. People siding with the dumb “jock” that will eventually leave them in the mud right along with the rest of us.
- The loss of influential icons that will be missed…terribly
- To vote or not to vote…why is that a question?
This is our new normal, I know. We sit and stand while shaking our heads in disbelief, followed by a dramatic pause. Next comes the deep breath. Say it with me, “We are in this together.” Now, we are at the end of the year embarking on 2021. What will the new year bring? All we know is this, we must take better care of ourselves.
The world, as we know it, will never be the same. What do we do? Do we live in fear and insecurity, or do we seek stability in an unstable world? Let me introduce a “new” self-care-rooted instability that will help you preserve your mind, body, and spirit. Each step is designed to get you to the point of creating a concrete self-care plan – no matter what we go through.
Step 1: Emotional Evaluation
During this time, many experienced depressions. Some experienced anxiety. Many became fearful, and some became angry. To grasp the new self-care, you must first be honest. Be honest about your feelings and take an emotional evaluation. You can take a thousand bubble baths and give yourself facials until you are blue in the face, but you cannot run away from what you are truly feeling. We are all feeling something.
Mental Illness has become so normal. To the commercials that talk about “this drug” and “that drug”—”this side effect” and “that side effect.” Tik Tok has given a platform for people to become more open about their bipolar disorders, OCD, schizophrenic states, and everything in between.
As of late, mental illness, because it is so normal, has been swept underneath the societal rug. Many, including law enforcement officials and even political figures, choose not to consider the seriousness of the mental illness, resulting in fatal consequences. In my opinion, mental illness, mental anguish, depressions, anxieties, and for a lot of us, grief, and the fear of death and dying should not be dismissed, especially in 2020.
Step 2: Clear your mind
There are so many ways to approach these beasts, whether it is talking to a friend or a professional, journaling or taking a spiritual or recreational route. The world will continue to go through ups and downs. So, get yourself together and anchor yourself by finding something that works for you. A clear mind will help you make wise decisions in the face of adversity. Make this a part of your life. Make this a part of your daily regimen. Start the day off with meditation or just simply spending time with yourself before the day gets hectic. You will be surprised how clear your mind will be.
Step 3: Create a Plan
No matter what happens in the world, you should always have a plan to protect yourself. Promise yourself that you will practice self-care and not allow the events of the world to wreak havoc in your life. Preserve your life and think about your finances, career path, environment, overall health, and responsibilities. With so much turmoil in the world, many of us went into straight panic mode and said the heck with everything.
Someone once asked, “What can I do to prevent financial turmoil should we go through another shutdown?” They asked this question after discussing how they are barely making ends meet and staying afloat.
My answer to them and to everyone else who may be thinking the same thing (I believe that is all of us actually) is to make a plan. Grind. If you are not working from home and going into a “brick and mortar” daily, then be prepared with a back up plan. Have a few irons in the fire.
We have to face reality. The reality is, the United States is not getting better when it comes to COVID-19. We may face another shutdown and even a shutdown after that. So, look at remote jobs. Look at online consulting jobs, putting your business online, and other options. If you didn’t save your stimulus checks, then save whatever comes your way now. Take a page out of our ancestors’ books and save for a rainy day. That “rainy day” could end up being a storm. We must have a plan.
Step 4: Formulate Your Tribe
My best advice this year (hands down) has been to formulate your tribe. This tribe is built with the best confidants, advice-givers, examples of success, true homies. For example, you may have a life coach (I’m one by the way), therapist, pastor, mentor, or elder for advice and stability. Then you have your “grinding” crew that only consists of people that will help you keep your momentum in achieving your financial and career goals. Always have your safe crew; those who have more than just good common sense but will protect you at all costs. Lastly, your support network. Those who could lend a hug or two, dry an eye and stand by your side. No enablers. No negativity. Who needs that?
So, I’ll leave you with this. Never neglect yourself. Take care of yourself. You still have a life to live. The way this world is going, you have to be the ruler of your destiny. Of course, eat well, drink water, sleep well, moisturize, yada, yada, yada….but be challenged to live in the definition of true self-care.
Have questions or need advice, but don’t want to ask your friends or family? Need an unbiased opinion, ask me. Let’s work it out together. Email at ENSPIREGirlfriendCorner@gmail.com.