Over the past few years, I’ve seen the term self-care grow in popularity, that is, doing practical things that nourish your mental health. The enormous amounts of information that we have been taking in has only increased over the years. Too often it is tragedy on a global scale that our minds just aren’t equipped to handle.
As a survivor of depression, I can attest to how imperative it is to take care of the mind and not neglect it just because the mind is out of sight. Self-care has become my saving grace and creating a mental health workout plan for each day of the week has kept me mentally tough and centered.
Monday: Focus on what you like about your body (1 set of 10 reps): Too often we focus on our insecurities with our physical body and we don’t give as much energy or attention to the things that we do like about our bodies. It’s important to note that though you live in your body, you are not just your body. There is much more to you. We put heavy emphasis on our body and the physical world but that’s not all that there is. There is so much more going on. Don’t compare your body to anyone else’s today. The moment you find yourself doing so, come back to those things you like about your body. Monday is all about celebrating the unique body you live in.
Tuesday: Celebrate the self you can’t see (1 set of 10 reps): Say something that you like about other parts of your being. You may like the fact that you’re really in touch with your emotions or that you’re a great listener or that you like how good of a friend you are or that you like your speaking voice. Don’t compare yourself to anyone today. The moment you find yourself doing so, come back to that thing you like about yourself. Tuesday is all about celebrating those things about yourself that you cannot see.
Wednesday: Give yourself permission to feel (1 set of 15 reps): In the West, we focus on masculinity and masculine energy. It’s what we praise and celebrate. We tend to punish femininity, talks of emotions and other things we deem feminine and mainly celebrate things we deem masculine. Wednesday is about trying to bring those things into balance. Celebrate anything you feel today, and allow yourself to experience a variety of emotions and see where that takes you.
Thursday: Live like nobody is watching (2 sets of 10 reps): This is certainly my favorite on the list. From the moment you wake up until the time you go to sleep, live your life like nobody’s watching. Positioned from that mindset you get a way more authentic, carefree and in tune version of yourself. I don’t like who I am when I care so much about how other people are viewing me. It affects the way I walk, talk, what I wear, it can be toxic and debilitating because it affects too much. When I give myself the permission to be carefree, to just live like nobody else matters besides me (regarding how I view myself), I am free. Try it.
Friday: Practice giving & taking love (2 sets of 5 reps): Love is giving and taking. Some of us are good at one or the other but balance can be elusive here, though it is better. Love is not giving until you’re empty and it is not taking until someone else is empty without any contribution from you. It is both.
Saturday: Yoga day (20 minutes): I am a huge fan of doing yoga in your living room. Saturday is all about returning to your mat, returning to the body, stretching it and focusing on the breath. Two awesome YouTubers that I recommend are Fightmaster Yoga and Yoga with Tim. Fightmaster Yoga is really good for beginners, she is really kind and intelligent and giving. Yoga with Tim is an instructor who will challenge you but sticking with it will be rewarding. Gift yourself this time well spent.
Sunday: Inspirational reading (20 minutes): Spend 20 minutes reading an inspirational or self-help book. It is a great day to recharge and start the week off right with a clean slate. It is a great time to get in tune with yourself and how you intend to show up during the upcoming week, gather some motivation and foster inspiration for the week ahead. If you don’t have an inspirational or self-help book in tow, my book The Other F Word: Forgiveness is a great place to start.