I have decided to start Vlogging along with my Blogs. This has been a big decision on my part because with Vlogging comes the insecurities of seeing me up on the big screen. But I decided to overcome this apprehension with a little help from some friends of mine, who encouraged me to put aside my insecurity, and embrace myself to the fullest. That is, after all, the point of Peace 2 all Beings, yes?
My goal for the next 2 months is to focus on self-care. Self-care is a term we are all hearing a lot in the media these days. Articles on how to care for oneself plastered all over magazines with promises of a more worthwhile life. It is just a general enough term to relate to everyone, when the true concept of self-care is so unique. So, what is it, and why is it so important? Self-care put in its simplest meaning, is taking the time that is necessary to meet your own needs. Sounds simple enough, but with each day to day life it is different, there is no one uniform answer on how to achieve self-care. Often times we find ourselves practicing whatever we feel is our form of self care, and we feel guilty. Guilty for meeting our own needs. This reminds me of when you’re about to take off, and the flight attendant says, “make sure you put the oxygen mask over your own face before attending to others”. The majority of us are thinking to ourselves about how of course we will be attending to our partner or our children first. Yet, if you reframe the thought, how can you tend to your partner or your children or even the stranger next to you, if you yourself are struggling to breathe. Self-care is not selfish, it is necessary.
That burn-out that we all feel from time to time is your mental health telling you that you need to take some time and care for yourself. That mental exhaustion, the anxiety, the sadness and longing for something more outside of your everyday are all symptoms that lead back to one disease. It is a silent predator. We live in a society where an unattainable work ethic is glorified. We are rewarded when we work over our mandatory hours. We are seen as successful and driven if we only live our jobs, yet lazy and careless if we maintain those healthy boundaries. Constantly reminded of the work that will be waiting for us first thing as our phone screens ping with email notifications throughout the dead of the night. Where do we get a break? Without a break we can even severely harm our health, stress being one of the leading causes of heart disease and cancer. Now let’s all take a moment to stress about that thought.
And we’re back. A healthy and well rested mind builds resilience to incoming stressors. Yet if you’ve ever found yourself crying on the floor of your kitchen after a long day of work, staring at your full refrigerator having no idea what you want for the first meal of your day, you very well may be burned out and are reading this blog in hopes that there is some perfect magic answer in these words telling you why you just cried on your floor for the second time this week. The answer simply being, we are at our wits end! I may not know the exact form of self care to suggest every single one of you, but I promise you it is a journey worth taking to find your own. Then one day the bread isle, and all of it’s choices of breads, won’t overwhelm you and you will have successfully saved your body from the stress it does not need. My fellow work fanatics, nothing is worth ruining your health both physical and mental. I am one of you. Some would be very right in saying that I work way past my limit. Yet recently I have had to learn that taking care of me is much more important, otherwise how am I of any help to myself or those around me?
Here are some things I do for self-care that maybe you will find useful:
For those of you who have seen even a single page of my website, I love nature and everything about it. Being in nature is so crucial for all of us. It helps us to connect with ourselves, and the Earth that cares for us so much.
Embracing yourself and all of your insecurities and being uncomfortable in the process. I didn’t say this would be easy! In my most recent vlog, I found my own head getting in the way of me being able to have fun with something I truly love to do. This business is something that has been held within my heart for so long, and it is something I wish to share with many, through all forms of media. I love photography and videography as a hobby and as something to help with the vlogs and blogs that I post. Yet with all the love and passion, not once during the recording of that vlog was I feeling any of it toward myself. I had to stop being hyper critical of what I looked like during the filming. I had to learn how to push through the discomfort and embrace myself. It was 90+ degrees and I had just been doing the very thing I love to do for self-care, hiking. I was capturing nature at it’s best, and spending time on the farm with all of their animals. That day, nature not only gave me a glimpse at the marvels of our planet but a place to find peace, a place to contemplate who we are, a place to just be. I had to find that within myself again and record that vlog, giving myself the same love and care that I do with the things I find rest in, as the end goal of this all is to find that same rest within our hearts.
Photography is another self-care must for me. I feel like I can express myself best through a lens. Photography is artsy, it is expressive, it is deep and exciting.
I hope you enjoy this series of vlogs and blogs. I will continue to add more on this topic and open it up for discussion for you to tell me/us what your self-care routine is.