I know it has been a minute since I’ve written about self-care with so many posts about law school, but I am still adamant about my journey toward self-love and promoting self-love in others. I shouldn’t say “journey to self-love” because it is not a destination but I should, instead, say that I am adamant about consistently making decisions that improve my self-confidence. I added “right now” to the title of this very informal blog post because I think what is necessary for my self-care today may not be necessary for the future and what is sufficient now may need to be altered down the line. It is under this logic that I say self-love does not have a specific destination. I believe it is ever changing because I am ever changing…
In my eyes, self-care is taking care of my body internally and externally. Resting, exercising + stretching, eating nutritious food over snacks, eating until I’m full, and employing a skin and hair care routines are all acts of physical self-care. This may have a different meaning for someone else and may, in fact, be the opposite of what self-care looks like for someone else. I am easily inspired and often take on ideas that may not apply to my lifestyle. So one of the keys to my self-confidence is not to worry about what works for others in order to remain in tune with my needs.
Mental health is equally important and can influence physical health. I promote my mental health by not overwhelming myself with an unreasonable amount of tasks, encouraging myself rather than putting myself down, doing the things that I want even if that is nothing at all, not doing things that I don’t want to do (as long as it is not crippling), reading, unplugging from technology, going on a social media cleanse, making an effort to spend time with friends & family, cleaning my living environment, writing & blogging, brainstorming, not considering other people’s wants/feelings as more important than my own, not giving energy to things that won’t give back positive energy, practicing positive affirmations, talking to people who I know will make me laugh, praying + reading my bible, giving myself more time to prepare so as not to rush, being on time, and waking up early to utilize more hours during the day and in the daylight. These acts or avoidances reduce my stress levels and the beautiful thing is that they are under my control!
Not only do I love myself at this moment, I love my future self just as much. For this reason, I want to put myself in position to attain my goals. Loving my future self is actively seeking opportunities to build my resume for my dream career, volunteering, taking those unpaid yet worthy internships, saving my money, living with integrity, and not allowing mistakes and embarrassments to stagnate me.
Of course, there are exceptions to some of the ideas put forth in this slightly-chatty blog. For example, I believe I should consider someone’s feelings above my own if the person is in need. Self-care, in my eyes, is not black and white. It’s all about balance, discernment, and being honest with yourself about how you feel and what you want or need, and then deciding that you are worth it. I don’t always completely embody these ideas but this is the bar that I set for myself and I take strides towards it daily.
Kayla J. Phillips