Self-Care is NOT Optional

Once you’ve lost yourself, it’s incredibly difficult to be found.

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It’s too easy to let life take over and to let go of the progress you’ve made with yourself. While most people would not actively choose to forgo caring for themselves, shit happens. I’ve spent the entire year focusing on improvement and learning to love myself while making positive changes; that shit isn’t easy and it’s a long, difficult path to take, but a worthwhile one nonetheless.

Lately, I’ve been overburdened with two jobs, school, sick family members, stress, lack of a support system, and baby kittens; I’ve felt myself crumble under the impossible weight of these responsibilities and let go of one responsibility that should be my top priority:

Self-Care. 

If you’re struggling to care for yourself and you can feel yourself slipping into a downward spiral, take heart.

Things won’t get easier when you don’t care for yourself. You might feel as though you simply don’t have time to do things that make you feel better; I’ve been there, I get it. You cannot expect yourself to be able to handle everything that comes your way when you’re already feeling rather broken. It just won’t happen, or if by some miracle, you’re able to, you’ll end up in an even worse spot than where you started.

If you don’t make it a priority, no one else will. They won’t feel badly about adding more to your already full plate, because you’re not speaking out and telling them. Don’t expect the people in your life to be mind readers (even the best of them can’t know what you’re thinking), so tell them. Are you scared? Overwhelmed? Stressed? Are you nearing the point of no return? If that means an assignment goes in late or you have to call in; do it. You have to care for yourself. 

There’s no shame in taking a mental health day. So just take it. This is something I still struggle with; I feel as though I absolutely cannot call into work or take a day off from coursework, but I’m working on it. I choose to go to the gym to relieve stress before I feel like I’m losing myself instead of when I’m in the midst of it all.

The best kind of self-care is preventative care. Don’t wait until you’re already on the verge. Don’t wait until you’re so stressed out you feel like crying. Take an hour to yourself; whether you can only take a hot shower, paint your nails, sit in silence, whatever, just do it! You need it and your soul will thank you for it.

It’s not easy to find time to care for yourself, but it’s damn worth it. Write. Read. Take a long bath. Go for a walk. Find your inner peace in whatever way you can. Make time for it, even if that means you have to schedule “me time” for yourself each week. Do it and don’t feel guilty about it. You’re worth it.

-LP

 

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How Will I Know if He Really Loves Me?

I’ll be me; you be you.

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Accept who your partner is and what they love. Appreciate their views and respect their opinions. Make them feel heard and loved. It’s too easy to accidentally allow someone to feel unloved by passing over the things they care for or by ignoring their feelings. It’s something you learn from experience. It truly is. In my very limited dating experience, I’ve learned how important that is. I’ve had boyfriends that I liked but didn’t even pretend to care about the things they enjoyed and vice versa.

You realize how much that can hurt someone when you’re the one dealing with the indifference. I’m not saying you have to love every single thing they do or even slightly agree with them on every topic, but it’s important that you two at least have the same basic foundation. If you don’t, it might be time to reevaluate that relationship.

The boyf and I don’t agree on everything, we don’t even like all of the same things, and I’m glad for it! I love how different we are and I think it’s so important to have those differences. You don’t want to date yourself, that’s just no fun. He might not like dancing, but knowing that he’s willing to dance with me sometimes makes my heart flutter because I love dancing and I want to share that with him. I’m not a huge fan of Star Wars (don’t kill me), but I’m more than willing to watch them with him because he likes them. Who knows, maybe I’ll become a nerdy Star Wars person because of him, I’m okay with that. I’m open to loving some of the things he loves, but that metal music will just never be my fav, sorry babe.

Regardless of our differences, we’ve got the kind of foundation that can last us a lifetime. We’ve got basically the same sense of humor. We tell inappropriate jokes at inappropriate times. We can talk about anything from religion to politics and we’re respectful of each others opinions even if we disagree. We do our best to make sure that the other person feels cared for and loved because we do love each other.

But we love each other differently. If you want to show your partner love in a way that is meaningful for them, you need to learn your partner’s love language and try to speak to them in that way.  For instance, my main love language is Quality Time followed by Words of Affirmation; this is what makes me feel loved and cared for, but if my partner’s love language is something like Physical Touch or Acts of Service, then that is how he feels loved and is how I should try to show him I love him. It might seem a bit weird at first, but it’s really nice to know how your partner feels loved because it allows you to at least attempt to love them in a way that is meaningful to them. If you’re interested in finding out your love language you should totally take the free test by clicking here and suggest that your partner does the same.

If your relationship is struggling, look and try to figure out why. If they’re belittling things you love, your opinions, your ideas, your dreams, get out. You deserve to be with someone who loves and supports you at all times. That’s not to say that fights aren’t going to happen, because they are. You can’t escape them, but you need to know how to handle them and keep the love alive while you do. Kiss them if they love being kissed; spend time with them if that’s how they feel loved; do what you can to show that you care.

Don’t let that love fade away. If it’s true, it’s worth the fight.

-LP

P.S. If the title of this post reminded you of Whitney Houston, click the link and support a badass baby blogger like myself.