This post is all about ways you can nurture your relationship with yourself while getting to know yourself again.
Do you ever get sick of hearing, “You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others?” I seriously don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I hear that! The most common forms of self-care just don’t feel realistic. Ten minutes of meditation and a bubble bath doesn’t feel like the answer to helping me or my family. In fact, if you’re like me, it probably makes things worse because you sit there stressing about more “productive” ways you could be spending your time. I’m not saying that doesn’t work for some people, but, if you are still here, it’s probably not right for you in this season of life.
However, I think the idea behind it is important! It’s just the execution that could use some tweaking…
We forget something SO important:
To meaningfully care for something, we need to connect with it first.
This includes something as simple as taking care of yourself!
Think about it. Are Sour Patch Kids actually your favorite candy? Or did your high-school-self make that decision so you have been ignoring your tastebuds since. Are you actually frustrated that your house isn’t tidy? Or are you sad that you didn’t join in the fun of creating those messes. Do you need a nap or a mental challenge? Are you still a night person or when did you last give mornings a chance?
Reconnecting with yourself so you can answer these questions is the true heart of self-care!
In a world that is literally designed to capture our attention, nurturing the relationship with ourselves often feels like a fun daydream. It’s time to step away from the self-care reels and put yourself under the spotlight. Today, we’re diving into practical ways to deepen your connection with the extraordinary person you are—because you, my friend, deserve nothing less.
This post is all about how to improve and nurture your relationship with yourself.
How to Nurture Your Relationship with Yourself
1. Reconnect with Your Body
It’s hard to respect a body that you don’t trust. Trusting an expiration date is simpler than trusting our own sense of smell. Following a diet is easier than figuring out what makes your body genuinely feel strong and energized. Drinking coffee is easier than prioritizing the rest your body needs. Like it or not, your body and mind are not separate entities. If you learn to listen to it, your body will often tell you what you need long before your mind does.
Start paying attention to how that meal fuels you, how much sleep leaves you refreshed. Forget what you “should” feel; focus on the authentic signals your body sends. Scientific studies have shown that mindful eating and sleep have a profound impact on your overall well-being, but it is more than that. You cannot separate the health of your body and mind. There are so many opinions out there about how you “should” take care of yourself. Forget everything on the internet and learn to turn to your body first.
2. Track Your Energy
Recognizing what affects your energy is like discovering a secret code to your own vitality. Most things you think are not actually your own thoughts; they are ideas you have read, heard, or grown up with. As a result, what you actually feel may be different from what you think you should be feeling. Remember that workout class that left you feeling energized instead of drained? It ignited your inner badass for the rest of the day. The hours you spent making your home spotless to make it more peaceful? It left you feeling drained and flustered.
Grab that journal and try a daily energy audit. Note down what drains your energy, what gave you energy, and what you learned about yourself. Whatever you see, it’s your internal compass guiding you to the path of a life of purpose. You’ll be surprised what you notice!
3. Embrace the Simple Joys
It’s time to take advantage of life’s tiny delights. The simple truth is that there are more things going right than wrong! When you have a fever, your body is doing it’s job to fight the sickness. Hot days can give you extra appreciation for shade, cold drinks, and air conditioning. However, it’s a lot harder to notice these things if you do not have a habit of gratitude.
Start by trying to be extra grateful on the good days. Notice the sun’s warmth on your skin, the taste of your favorite morning smoothie. I have found that a gratitude journal really helps with this. After a hard morning, it forces me to make an extra effort to notice the good parts of the afternoon because I know I will have to think of at least five that night. If that doesn’t convince you, research has also highlighted the incredible boost to your emotional well-being that gratitude journaling provides, so take advantage of it!
4. Step Away from the Screens
The quickest way to feel dissatisfied by your life is scrolling through other people doing the things you want to do. If your feed is anything like mine, it is full of beautiful homes, tips and tricks to do things I don’t have time for, and relatable problems turned into jokes. None of those things are bad, but it can be difficult not to make comparisons. If I am constantly looking at things I wish my life was like, of course I am not going to be happy with the life I have!
Give yourself a break from the cultivated perfection of social media and pay more attention to the beautiful life you have. Science reminds us that reducing screen time can lead to heightened mindfulness and contentment. (Shocker, I know!) Instead, cultivate a life of beautiful moments and enjoy the imperfection.
5. Rediscover the Written Word
I literally think I went three years without reading a chapter book after college, and I didn’t start going to the library until my daughter started showing interest in books. When I started looking for books for myself, I realized that I didn’t enjoy the genres that I consumed in high school. At first, it scared me, but then I discovered new interests and was able to explore different aspects of myself.
There are so many benefits to reading, including a better vocabulary, better sleep, and better mental agility, but I think their most important purpose hasn’t been researched. It’s a way to discover and rediscover the interests that light up your world. Books you read can reflect your evolution and remind you of your identity. Start just by going to the library and seeing what books interest this current version of you. You may not know yourself as well as you think!
6. “Indulge” in Luxurious Self-Care
Who says luxury has to be expensive? If most of your day is spent hustling to take care of the wants and needs of other people, it can feel like an indulgence to 100% focus on yourself. There are moments in your day where you kind of have to take care of yourself, like when you get dressed or eat a meal. If you want to nurture your relationship with yourself, stop using that time to also plan the day or decide what to pack for lunches. Just focus on YOU.
Use your time getting dressed to choose colors that make you happy. Take an extra second to massage your face as you wash it. Savor the taste of that fancy balsamic you were so excited to cook with. It is okay to actually enjoy nurturing your relationship yourself.
7. Craft a Routine for Your Basics
I know there are a million things you want to do, but are you taking care of what is truly important? If I’m being honest, after I had each of my babies, I struggled to take even a weekly shower. Not because I didn’t have help, but because I didn’t want to prioritize myself. Prioritizing yourself can feel selfish sometimes, but I promise it is not! I will say it again. The better you are taken care of, the better you can take care of others.
If you haven’t already, start creating routines for first thing in the morning and right before bed. Every day, you should be doing basic hygiene and mental health care. Make a list of what you need to do, put them in the order that works best for you, and do them in that order every morning and night. It sounds silly to say, but it is truly a struggle sometimes!
8. Take Advantage of the Power of Words
Most dreams can be whittled down to just a few words: curiosity, independence, flexibility, connection, predictability, peace, etc. If you find the words that are important to you, then they can serve as a heartbeat that guides the rest of your life. Like it or not, life is constantly changing, so, even if you get the perfect house with two kids and a dog, one day, they will be gone. It’s a lot easier to adapt your dream to your circumstance if it is described by a feeling instead of a Pinterest board.
Imagine an adjective that describes how you want to feel mentally and physically. Each day you can play around with ways to get closer to that feeling.
9. Say Yes to Curiosity
We need to get rid of the phrase “I’m too old”! If you would rather just rest and watch, that is 100% okay, but it should never be an excuse to not do something you want to. I started learning to draw at 20 years old, did beginner horseback riding lessons at 23, and started to actually learn how to throw a frisbee at 27.
What hobbies have you been putting off? It’s time to explore your passions by exploring new territories! One of the ways you can nurture your relationship with yourself is to give yourself the space to expand. The time to explore ends when you are in the ground, not when you graduate high school.
10. Celebrate Every Step
Whether big or small, your achievements deserve applause. From launching a business to not burning the cookies, every triumph deserves recognition. We are so much quicker to praise other people than ourselves. Even amidst the challenge of acknowledging your intrinsic value as a beautiful, unique soul, you can still appreciate the significance of the small steps you’re taking.
Remember that “where focus goes, energy flows.” This means that you will gradually become more like the person you think you are, even if you weren’t that person before. When you make a habit of acknowledging your achievements, you create a self-fulfilling prophecy that you will achieve even more!
This journey isn’t about perfection; it’s about embracing your beautifully imperfect self. When you nurture your relationship with yourself, you’re nurturing the foundation of your entire existence. So, go on, dear friend, celebrate your unique journey, and let the extraordinary you shine bright. You’re worth every ounce of effort, every moment of self-love. Here’s to a deeper, richer connection with the amazing person you are.
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