by Moriamo Sulaiman-Ifelodun
“Be kinder to yourself. And then let your kindness flood the world” – Pema Chodron
Now that you hopefully have a better idea of what actual self-care is (if you don’t, peep my last blog post here), and it has invoked some thoughts as to if you need to readjust some things, read on to find out some self-care tips and tricks.
Honestly, there is no ‘right way’ to practice self-care. It is important that you understand that. From reading my last post, you hopefully have some understanding of the difference between consumer self-care and actual self-care. Are you balanced in your self-care? Which one are you doing more of? Does this make you happy? Are you doing what you need to do to create a life that you don’t need to escape from? Here are some additional factors that you may need to think about, and then adjust fire from there.
Are you eating a healthy, balanced diet? Doing challenging workouts?
Some may disagree with me, but self-care starts from within. If you aren’t kind to yourself, how can you expect to operate to your full capacity? It is like expecting a Ferrari to run on unleaded fuel. You have to nourish your body and be kind to your temple. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is a start. Cut the refined sugar, eat more fruits and veggies, and drink more water.
Join a workout class or get on a strength training program. Trust me, there are a plethora of them online. Just start by moving your body, and the rest will follow.
If you are having trouble with this or are even a bit embarrassed, then following a plan made by a certified trainer/nutritionist. From there, you can start educating yourself and figuring out what works for you.
External Factors and Stressors
Job, finances, toxic friends and family?
Sometimes external stressors can wear your soul down. Be it a stressful job, financial stressors, or toxic friends and family (everyone has a couple of those), you ABSOLUTELY CANNOT let it get you down. If your job can allow you to take some time off, do that. If you can, well you should, get rid of toxic friends and family members. Of course, you should maybe talk to them first about things, and if they are receptive… that is awesome. If not, then maybe it’s time to remove them from your life. It may seem harsh, but your sanity is more important.
What types of things do you say to yourself? What is your inner energy like? Are you doing what makes your soul happy? These are very important questions to ask yourself on a regular basis. Life has its way of happening and sometimes throws us for a loop. Constantly asking yourself these questions and reflecting on them will help you get back on track. It is by no means an easy task. It is work. Bettering yourself is work, but if you really want to feel better and take care of yourself, you will make it happen.
Not all of these need to be implemented at once. Just like any habit that has formed over time, it will be hard break. These can be implemented one at a time over a few weeks or a few months. It is important to understand that this can be a MAJOR lifestyle change for some, and for self-care to be used to its full potential take it slow and go with the flow.
Originally from Lagos, Nigeria, Moriamo Sulaiman-Ifelodun is an active duty Army Officer stationed overseas. Although her undergraduate degree was in Biology with a focus in Toxicology, she is currently working on her Master’s degree in Public Relations and Corporate Communications at Georgetown University. She is interested in communications, social media, and the effect it has on the population and international relations. She enjoys telling stories through writing, photography, and film-making. She is prior-service enlisted and previously completed a combat tour with the 1st Special Forces Group.
Additionally, she is a selfless servant and enjoys helping people in any way possible, specifically mental health challenges Service Members, and Veterans face on a daily basis. Her hobbies include outdoor adventures, history, education, reading, diving, Spartan racing, and she is an avid CrossFitter. Her articles in The Havok Journal represent her personal opinion and are not official positions of the U.S. Army or any other governmental entity.
This first appeared in the Havok Journal on September 4, 2019.