I’m calling you all to join in with Self-care Saturdays, I will be touching on everything from body image and confidence to mental health every Saturday. It’s important for me to share what I’ve learned from my journey so far and the inspiring people who I’ve met along the way as I would love to be able to help you look after yourself. RunwayRiot is your site, so voice your thoughts below in the comments. I would love to answer any questions you may have.
So, what is Self-Care?
‘’Self-care is a reflection of our self-esteem and enables the best of what is inside us to shine through. It is the natural extension of a healthy relationship with self and underlies how we look, how we feel and how we live our potential. Self-care is self love.’’
Ilene V. Fishman, LCSW
I wish I had known about self-care, and I wish I could have told all my friends to practise it. I’m 25 now, and after spending time with older friends and researching eating disorders it came to my attention that this really is something you should to incorporate into your life.
1. I detached myself from comparing.
For my own sanity, I stopped comparing myself to others about four years ago. I had been through so many years of body scrutiny in the fashion industry and never fitting into the right size ‘mold’ that I knew I couldn’t look at other models and women anymore and wonder why I couldn’t look like them. As soon as I detached myself from these comparisons, life became a lot easier. Because guess what? You can’t ever be anyone else, only you, and that means you are one of a kind. No one else can compare to you either, and you have unique gifts and talents and can give the world something no one else ever can.
So I don’t go through my Instagram feed with the fear of getting lost in this unrealistic world of filtered lives. All losing hours looking at others does is make you question yourself, your life and your exterior appearance. If you can’t wean yourself off looking at other girls pictures, just remember that it’s NOT real life, especially on social media, and as much as you may think you would be happier with “her” looks or lifestyle, if you start to appreciate, love and nurture yourself that is true happiness and no one can take that away from you.
2. I get rest and exercise when I feel my body needs it.
I listen to my body. Somedays it needs to rest, but other days, I go to the gym and take out any stress with a hard sweaty workout. Your body deserves to be loved. It’s your home and the more you care and look after it the happier you will be.
3. I don’t diet.
I do not count calories, and I haven’t dieted for over four years. The relationship I have with my body is one of respect. I see it as more than just the physical appearance rather what it does for me and how it enables me to live in this beautiful world.
4. I count my blessings.
I have become more in tune with my spirit over the years. Now I have confidence, and I’ve discovered who I am, what I want from life and what makes me happy. My spirit is full of positive energy. Sometimes you will have bad days, we all do, and there is nothing wrong with that. I use that time to meditate and rest, and I mentally write a list of all the reasons I should be grateful. That is very important to me, going over daily what I’m grateful for. I feel so humbled and aware I must try to help others as best I can because I have a platform that I can use positively by sharing what I’ve learned through my own experiences. The transition of worrying about myself to instead focusing on trying to help others personally and directly through my social media really helped my direction in life, and I became more fulfilled and it gave me purpose.
For more information on self-care, check out Taking Care of Yourself While Caring for Others by Lauren Myers. I love this excerpt, and it’s good material to understand the importance of self-care.
‘’I thought that I was the only one who believed self-care is a selfish act. Now I know that isn’t true. It’s not selfish to care about my own health. It’s self-love. Breaking patterns and overcoming obstacles isn’t easy but it can be done. I took time to understand that I can’t stop the impact of my mother’s illnesses. I can only take responsibility for my personal well being. I gave myself permission and found resources to make it happen.’’
I would love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have in the comments below.
Thank you to Ilene V. Fishman, LCSW and Founding Member of National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) and Lauren who is a student at Simpson College majoring in Philosophy and minoring in Women’s Studies and Exercise Science. On campus, Lauren is involved TriDelta, SELF – a body positivity and activism group, and SARA – Sexual Assault Response Advocates, and volunteering.
Further Reading and Information:
For more information on nutrition, check out the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
For information on disordered eating, please contact this toll free number Monday-Thursday from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm and Friday from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (EST) 1-800-931-2237 or firstname.lastname@example.org