As women, we oftentimes place our needs on the back burner. We put the needs of our career, family, or partner before our own. And many times this pushes us into pouring from an empty cup.
I know we hear all the time from people, social media, and health care professionals that you should be allotting time for “self-care” into your daily routine. However, the options we often receive, are to “take a bath” or “get a pedicure”. Now, although these are ways to relax and de-stress, it's not always enough.
This is where radical self-care comes in. Radical self-care is about taking care of things at the source rather than just sugarcoating or managing the symptoms. It teaches us to promote the prioritization of our own needs, especially as we are being pulled in multiple directions all requiring our attention now!
Radical self-care is a concept that encourages us to fill our own cup first. It requires us to unlearn previous methods of self-care that were based on helping us survive our fight or flight lifestyle and adopt those that support thriving even when our lives are undergoing constant change.
So, let's learn some ways you can start incorporating radical self-care methods into your everyday life.
1. Practice Positive Self-Talk
How we speak to ourselves plays a major part in practicing radical self-care. We can either be supportive speaking positively or beat ourselves down by speaking negatively. It may sound easier said than done, as that little voice in our head can really play tricks with our minds. You can combat this by changing your mindset with daily positive affirmations or mantras.
Now, positive self-talk takes practice.
However, through reciting daily affirmations or writing encouraging things on post-its and placing them around your home, you can form a new habit of shifting negative thoughts into positive opinions.
2. Practice Mindfulness
There is so much going on in our everyday lives. We are usually muti tasking at any moment, scarfing down lunch over our laptop or watching TV as our partner is trying to tell us about their day.
Yet, taking time to be fully present or mindful in the moment, no matter what your doing is a great way to practice radical self-care. Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment. The goal is to reach a level of alertness and focus by deliberately paying attention to your thoughts and the task or moment at hand. You can observe mindfulness through meditation, breath exercises, or simply tackling one task at a time with no distractions. This self-care technique helps to improve your mental health, attitude, and relationships. Not only will it increase your well-being, by the well-being of others around you!
3. Take a Sabbatical
For the most part, taking a sabbatical was reserved for tenure professors and persons working at a company for a long period of time. But not any longer! There has been a trend lately of younger people, early and mid-level into their careers taking sabbaticals as a form of radical self-care.
In contrast to past generations, once you started on your career you stayed the path until retirement. And forget about quitting that was not even an option! Yet, as a way to show self-care, people are quitting to travel, start a business, or follow a passion. It has allowed people to recharge and heal from burnout, making it a creative and unique way to practice radical self-care.
4. Disconnect From Social Media
This is something we are all guilty of. We scroll social media for hours commenting, liking, comparing ourselves to the people we watch daily. And at the end, we feel a little less happy about what we have, how we look, and where we are in life. It’s just too much!
This is why disconnecting from social media is an important way of radical self-care. We get it, the thought of logging off for an indefinite amount of time seems a bit scary. But what if we told you, doing a social media cleanse can help you sleep better, curb FOMO( fear of missing out), and help you to be more present in the moment. Sounds good right! So why not give it a try.
5. Get a Restful Sleep
We have all heard the phrase “I’ll sleep when I die”. But not getting enough sleep can actually be killing you, affecting your mental and physical health. According to a study from the CDC, more than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis. As a vital part of your health and wellness, not sleeping has major downfalls. Specifically impacting how your immune system functions, your mood, and even more! Sleeping less than 7 hours can increase your risk of obesity, diabetes, and mental distress. Thus getting a good night's rest is radical self-care that is beneficial to your mind, body, and soul.
6. Write in a Gratitude Journal
Radical self-care is unique to each person. For some, journaling is a self-care method that gives you the space to share your joys and gratitude without fear of judgment. Plus, there are studies that show the benefits of keeping a daily gratitude journal enhancing your sense of personal well-being. So, start by just writing one or a few things that you are grateful for in a journal or even on paper that you can place in a bowl and pull from when you need a boost in self-love. You can start small and increase as it becomes a part of your daily routine. But just know, the journaling process is different for everyone, and yours can look however radical self-care looks for you.
Radical self-care is an important aspect of our mental and physical health that we must honor daily. It allows us to be the best version of ourselves and show up in the world ready to give from a place of abundance. It pushes us to attack the self-doubt, burnout, and negative thoughts at the root providing us a deep level of self-care that a simple bubble bath just can't do. So, do something good for yourself this week and every day after that will nourish you into practicing the type of radical self-care you need.