Self-care has become a popular topic these days, and while it’s awesome to write about favorite bath salts and healthy recipes (don’t get me wrong, I love them too!), I wanted to take it a little further and break down what self-care really means for my life as a whole. While it has always been important, now more than ever is the time to take care of your body and mind. Whether you are just caring for yourself during this time, or you have a family and other people counting on you, it remains true that you can’t pour from an empty cup. You need to make yourself a priority so that you can keep giving it your all.
So, what exactly does that mean? Over the past couple of months I’ve broken it down into categories for myself, in terms of feeling strong, finding my Zen, staying joyful, and feeling beautiful. I’ll talk more about the other categories next time, but for today I’m going to focus solely on strength.
All my life I have wanted to feel “strong”. Perhaps it stemmed from growing up with two brothers, or from my independent and rebellious nature, or maybe even my desire to help others. Whatever the reason, it’s always been fairly prevalent in my mindset; can I still run a mile? Can I pass that test? Do I believe in myself enough that I will not let that insult hurt me? Can I bounce back from pain or heartbreak? As you can probably tell from those questions, when I talk about my strength, I am not just referring to the physical kind. What I mean is that when I look at myself as a person, do I see someone strong, physically, mentally, and emotionally?
And if not, what could I do about it?
Here are some of the things I’ve written down that make me feel like a strong person, inside and out.
My Feeling Strong List:
- Going on a run. Although it doesn’t necessarily feel great when I’m in it sometimes, especially if I let myself go a while without working out, going on a run makes me feel physically capable. Even if it’s just a half-mile or mile and then I walk the rest of the time, at least I know my muscles are working and my legs can carry me. I like the feeling of watching the sidewalk or trail whoosh by beneath me, and knowing that it’s my body that is doing that for me.
- Listening to podcasts about women entrepreneurs, business women, or anyone who channels my inner boss lady. I know some people don’t enjoy motivational speakers, and that’s totally fine, but I love listening to like-minded people talk about their accomplishments, going after their goals, and encouraging one another. That definitely brings out my strong side and makes me want to support others, too.
- Being able to do “real” pushups. Guys, don’t judge. Unfortunately we women have to work a lot harder to maintain upper body strength, because of the way our bodies are built differently. There is a reason that “girl push-ups” exist. I used to not be able to do real push-ups at all (without putting my knees down), but a long time ago I found that I truly hated the feeling of not being able to hold my own weight for more than a few seconds. So, I started working out and gradually gained arm strength. And to this day I can still do them! It may seem trivial, but it absolutely makes a difference in the way I feel about myself.
- Taking charge of my finances. Hard as it is to admit, this has always been a weakness of mine. I used to hate dealing with money and facing my reality! But then I realized I mostly hated it because I was terrible at it, didn’t understand parts of it, and was therefore going down a path of remaining dependent on other people. When I finally got down to business and created a budget, started tracking my spending, started paying off debt and growing my savings, etc. I realized that the act of doing this actually made me feel strong, powerful, and in control of my life.
So, those are just a few things that make me feel strong. Whether they are physical activities or not, when I refer to my list and do something on it (or even simply remind myself that I can), it serves as a nice boost and reminder, that yes, I am a strong person.
And if I don’t feel that way or doubt myself about something, I look at how I could possibly change it. Nobody has to be good at everything (don’t worry, I have plenty of things that I’m working on about myself!) but at the same time, who wants to feel weak?
If you know your weakness is money management, for example, and are intimidated by the prospect – then go and learn! Ask for help, or if you don’t want to do that then there are tons of resources all over the internet that can help you get a handle on it and take control. Things can always change, and you are stronger than you know.
This method works for me, and hopefully you enjoyed the read and found value in it. But ultimately, do what works best for you.
What would be on your Feeling Strong List?