5 Self-Care Practices To Prioritize Yourself This Year

If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.

Jack Kornfield

The virtues of love, sacrifice and hard work are always taught to us. And so are the vices of selfishness and laziness.

But the distinction between compassion from self-neglect, and relaxation from lethargy, is not clear to many. It is common for all of us to go all out with unlimited compassion, selflessness and industriousness. Going beyond the limits means neglecting ourselves and downgrading our lives.  

This year, avoid depleting yourself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually for the sake of things or others. Understand that prioritizing yourself is not selfishness and that you cannot pour continuously without refilling.

If you care for others without caring much about yourself, here are five ways to help you replenish before you run on empty this year.

1. Know Thyself

We see the world and act not according to our genes, but by the perceptions and habits of our raisers and the social environment we grew up in. Who you believe you are, is unlikely to be who you are. Reflect deeply and intentionally to understand why you do what you do. Question the story you tell yourself and its origin. Map your life route so far, and unravel what experiences led to the person you became. By doing so, you will find a way to break the shell that encrusts your persona and discover the new you. The free and creative person you should have always been.

2. Limit Expectations

We grew up in families and communities that openly or covertly set expectations for us. It could be why we study something, work and live in a particular place, who we socialize with or how we spend our time and money. These expectations put us on a specific life path that becomes difficult to navigate at some point. Besides, the burden of always being available or making something available becomes too heavy to bear. Make what matters to you more important than the unnecessary expectations laid upon you. Say more ‘nos’ to limit your sense of agreeableness. Learn to care of others’ business after reasonably caring for your basic needs.

3. Prioritize Self-Care

You must believe that you are the most important person on earth. Nothing matters more than your well-being and peace of mind. Self-care is the practice of intentionally paying attention to your well-being. It is choosing to love and honour yourself as much as you do for others. Self-care comes with the realization that everything you do for others cannot exist without you. Take care of your body by creating regular fitness, rest and sleep time. Nourish it by eating clean and drinking healthily. Pamper yourself with revitalizing experiences like a massage, meditation, dancing, singing or reading. 

4. Create Personal Time

Silence is the language of God, and solitude is the new age of smoking. In a world of constant movement and social media chatter, there isn’t a more lavish luxury than the occasional ‘quiet time’. Routinely allocate time to be quiet and alone without obligation. Slow down your mind and take a break from busyness. Start to focus more on deeper, profound, constructive and positive thoughts. And therein, you will find your reality and your creative genius.

5. Manage Your Energy

Everything around us is energy, and so are we. In essence, we are biological batteries. The more we recharge and consume less energy, the further we go. The more energy we have, the more clear-headed and productive we become. Limit your commitments to things that drain your body battery without results. Know when to stop grinding before getting depleted. Eliminate overworking, over-socializing,  under-sleeping, physical inactivity and poor nutrition.

Prioritizing yourself is not being selfish or self-centred. It is filling your pot so that you can have some to pour to others. Make yourself the top priority this year, and you will be amazed by how much happiness and abundance you will have to share with others.

Cheers to you!