At the beginning of March, I had the privilege of attending Sweet Cheeks All Natural’s “#LoveYOU” kick-off event. This was the first of many Sweet Cheeks events focusing on self-care. The topic of self-care comes up everywhere these days…Maybe that’s because most of us don’t do it enough, if we do it at all. Taking care is something we value at The 91 Rewind. We believe that everyone can share a little more of the T.L.C. we dole out to others with ourselves as well.
Not too long ago, Erica and I were having a conversation about what self-care means for each of us. As you may expect from two best friends of nearly 27 years , we have similar ways of caring for ourselves, BUT there are still some differences to note. We both love yoga, but our connection to the practice happened at different times. I began practicing yoga a little over ten years ago at Yoga Source. Erica didn’t step onto the mat until 2011 when a friend conned her into taking a class. I love a great restorative class, where I can focus on my breathing and allow myself to relax through deep stretches. Erica gave restorative a try a few weeks ago and told me she would rather do someone’s calculus homework than to take another restorative class. If I had to describe Erica‘s preferred type of yoga class, it would be one in which she is upside-down as MUCH AS POSSIBLE (FYI-I simply cannot fathom how a person finds relaxation from something like that…).
I mention this not to suggest that one type of yoga practice is better than the other, but to highlight that different methods can yield the same outcome. We both experience a euphoric yet relaxing, warm-fuzzy, post-class feeling, but we take different paths to get there. Caring for ourselves is much the same, in that it depends on individual preferences. Each of us will need something a little different, and only you can truly know what that is.
So, while I cannot tell you exactly HOW you need to care for yourself, I CAN tell you some reasons WHY you should care for yourself; why you have to #LoveYOU. I’ve debated the best way to do this, so I decided to go with a David Letterman-esque “Top 10 List.” Unfortunately, ten is far too many reasons to really remember, so I’m going to stick to five. Let’s keep it simple. Now, without further ado, here are the top five reasons to #LoveYOU!
#5 You are beautiful! Society wants to tell us what beauty is and should be, AND how or what we need to make ourselves beautiful. But let me tell you, none of that is true. There is nothing you need to do to make yourself beautiful. Beauty comes from within and extends to our outer being. You are beautiful with or without makeup; with or without the perfect outfit, or expertly styled hair. You are real and flawed and amazingly alive and that is truly beautiful. You are already here, my dear, living and breathing. There is nothing MORE you need to do to make yourself beautiful. Just #LoveYOU, and everyone else will, too.
#4 You are important! Obviously, our needs are important. That’s why we have jobs! So we can provide for ourselves…but how many of us REALLY feel that our needs are the MOST important? How often do we put off going to the doctor because we can’t miss work? How many times do we reschedule appointments because we are just too busy? How often do we want to take time for ourselves but feel too guilty to actually do it? What are we afraid of? If you ask me, it’s the fear that once we finally DO put ourselves at the top of our list, that we will never be able to go back to how things were before. Maybe that’s true, but hey you are important! After all, no one else can authorize our self-care. You deserve to feel important and it’s okay to put YOU first.
#3 Your happiness matters! I find this is hardest for mothers, and women in general, to grasp and embody. Women are natural care-takers and have a habit of prioritizing the needs of others, sometimes at the expense of our own happiness. We make a lifestyle of overextending and begin to feel stressed out and unappreciated. We wonder why no one seems to care about us, yet we behave as if we never need anything. Acknowledging that we deserve happiness and taking time to discover and create our own joy tells others that we DO matter and that our happiness is a priority.
#2 You are enough! The world would like us to believe that we are needy and ill-equipped. There are entire industries that thrive on people’s fear that they are not good enough (we won’t name any names…). Tapping into the human fear of inadequacy is a great sales tactic, but a terrible life philosophy. We question our career choices, believing the right job will suddenly fulfill us. We think we need to buy the right clothes or accessories to help us feel more love. We feel like a bigger house means a better life. We believe that our adventures only count if they get lots of “likes” on social media. We seek affirmation of ourselves from external sources. No one can tell you who you are. You would still be you without an instagram account, without a fancy job, without the latest clutch that you paid a fortune for. You are not perfect, but you are whole. You are complete, you are enough.
#1 (and Most Important) YOU’RE AN ADORABLE BADASS! You are a first-edition, limited-release, ORIGINAL. There has never been, nor will there ever be another YOU. You are the only person you can be. Embrace your originality my friend, because no one has it quite like you.
It may sound backwards, but taking care of ourselves can help us take better care of others. Learning to cherish ourselves; working to #LoveYOU flaws and all, makes us better. It makes us more kind, more compassionate. After all, you can’t convince anyone of anything until you first convince yourself.
There are a truckload more reasons to #LoveYOU and we hope this little countdown may inspire you to some steep on some reasons of your own. We often feel pressure to achieve or obtain. That self-worth is derived from doing things. You are alive and individual, and that’s all that is required.
If you doubt any of these reasons, stand in front of a mirror and repeat as many times as necessary. Some days it’s easier to believe than others, but EVERY DAY you need to #LoveYOU…no matter what!