In honor of mental health awareness month, I have created a list of self-care affirmations I’ve adopted that help me through this crazy journey we call life. Self-care is incredibly important, and it wasn’t until recently that I found out how much we need it.
I’ve learned a lot about myself and about life since I started college. It’s been the first time in my life that I’m struggling so much with myself. I have big goals for my future, and I’ve been trying to improve myself and my skills so I can achieve them.
I realize I’ve been rushing to become the put-together adult I aim to be. Sometimes I have to take a step back and tell myself to slow down. I’m fortunate to have someone in my life who reminds me to take it easy. Sometimes, though, we have to be that person for ourselves.
Nobody is as mean to you as you are to yourself. That’s just how the little voices in our heads work. They’re little demons whose only purpose is to mess with us and make us feel bad. They want to keep us down, keep us sad, keep us from being who we want to be. We have to learn to tell that little voice, “Hey, screw off! I’m better than that!”
That’s why we have to learn to practice self-care. We have to love ourselves before we can properly love others. We have to care for ourselves before we can truly care for others. That’s why I’m sharing with you the 11 self-care affirmations that keep me going. This way, you can improve your own quality of life, and share your positiveness with others.
Your health comes first.
I’m responsible to a fault. Nothing stops me from going to class or work unless I physically cannot handle it. Once, I skipped my morning classes because my body desperately needed the rest. I still got up later and went to work, but I wouldn’t have been able to do that if I hadn’t stayed in bed.
Nothing, not even money, is worth killing yourself over. I mean, you can’t do anything once you’re dead, right? That’s why you need to treat your mind and your body with the respect it deserves. If your body hurts, or your brain is rejecting the paper you’ve been staring at for hours, listen! Your body is screaming at you, saying you’re doing something that’s bad for you.
If you’ve been overworking yourself, your brain and your body will respond negatively to that and start to shut down. If you feel anxious whenever you’re near someone, that person is more than likely bad for you! Don’t ignore your instincts or the signals your body is giving you. They’re there to keep you alive and safe.
And so are the people around you who love and care for you. Don’t think that your health only affects you. You can only be good to other people after you’re good to yourself. So don’t make everyone worry, and take care of yourself.
Focus on yourself first.
How are you going to take care of someone if you’ve collapsed and landed yourself in the hospital? How can you help someone with their problems if you don’t know how to deal with your own? The advice you give to others becomes hypocritical when you don’t practice what you preach.
If you’re not in the right headspace, you’re in no place to be helping others. I don’t know about you, but I’m not buying a cracked mug when I’m shopping for new cups. It can only handle so much pressure before it breaks. Fix those cracks before you start adding water.
Take some time to look inward. Think about what you like about yourself. Write a list of things you want to change, and work on that list. When you’ve got your head on straight, only then do you have the right to worry about others.
You can just say no.
If that extra shift at work is going to cost you sleep, say no. If you don’t want to help your friend move and it’s inconvenient for you, say no. When you don’t want to go to your friend’s party, say no.
Don’t feel obligated to do things you don’t have to, just to uphold a social standard or status. If it isn’t beneficial to you in some way, don’t do it. If it wastes your time or money, don’t do it. Most importantly, if it’s going to hurt you, don’t do it.
Here’s an example. I was running an Etsy store where I sold my own crocheted hats and scarves. I gave up on it because it wasn’t profitable. There was no way I could keep wasting my time spending 11 hours of labor on a $20 scarf. I mean, minimum wage is $11! And I sure as hell couldn’t sell them for over $200 just because they’re handmade.
So, when my sister asked if I could make a scarf for her friend, I did the calculations. I told her no, because it wasn’t worth it. She understood, and I’m sure her friend did too. And I spent that time doing things I needed or wanted to do instead. Everyone’s still happy!
You don’t always have to be doing something productive.
Being in college has made me feel like there’s always something I should be working on. On top of that, I have all these goals I’m working towards. At one point, I realized I didn’t even have a full sense of my direction, but I was always trying to do something to get there.
I was getting burnout from working so hard. I’d stare at an assignment on my laptop, and I could physically feel my brain rejecting it. Then my body would tell me to lay down and go to sleep. It took me a while to realize that I was working way too much.
Sometimes I was on the verge of having an anxiety attack just because I wasn’t going to finish an assignment on time, and I was rushing to finish. I realized I’d never had this problem before, and I needed it to stop. I needed to slow down and remind myself I can’t be all work and no play.
You need time to relax and rest your brain and body.
If you want to avoid all the health issues that come with overworking yourself, you need to take a chill pill every once in a while. Get into bed after you come home from work, and binge watch your favorite show until you fall asleep. Go out for a walk to clear your mind. G
Give yourself the chance to have some enjoyment. If you don’t, you will suffer. At times, my boyfriend makes me take a day off to have fun and not worry about work. I still worry sometimes, but I’m getting more used to the relaxation. I always feel better after I’ve given my brain the space it needs to recharge.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. It only has to be done.
Perfectionism is the plague. As I’ve mentioned in my post about how to be more productive, perfectionism doesn’t exist. It’s pointless to waste time trying to make something perfect.
I have too many hobbies and too many goals to waste my time writing the “perfect essay” or crafting the “perfect project.” I get my work done, maybe fix it up depending on how much time I have, and I send it off. I don’t think about it again, and I don’t worry about how it could have been better.
I know when I can do better, but I don’t let that keep me from moving on so I can do better on the next project. Besides, life’s too short to waste it on trying to be perfect.
Slow progress > no progress.
Again, perfectionism will keep you from moving forward. Take starting a blog, for example. I didn’t wait until I had 10 posts ready and the perfect paid theme. I bought the domain and hosting, and I just jumped in. I’m on a journey, and I’m loving it! It’s a learning process, and I’m making progress.
I may not be getting thousands of page views yet, but it’s only been a month. It wouldn’t be much different if I had waited. If I had been obsessed with making everything perfect, I wouldn’t even be where I am right now. I’m taking everything one step at a time, instead of taking no steps at all.
Don’t obsess over getting everything right the first time. Give yourself the chances to make mistakes. The most successful people have failed the most. I like to say there are no failures; every loss is a learning experience. And boy, do I love learning! So I take my losses in stride. Dust it off, and move on.
You can’t control everything; you can only learn to deal with it.
Not everything is going to go the way you want. There’s nothing you can do about it. What you can control is how you react to it. You can control what you do about your situation.
As the wonderful Trevor Noah once said, you don’t have to be a victim. You can choose to be a victor. I choose to be a victor. That’s why no matter how much my body fights me, I’m going to keep doing what I can to deal with it. No matter what other people do, I stay calm and handle my own business. I assess the situation and deal with it accordingly.
You’re doing your best, and that’s enough.
You can’t be great at everything all at once. You can’t accomplish all of your goals at once. Do what you can for now, until you improve and can do more. Don’t try to go beyond your means or your limits. All that matters is you’re doing the best you can.
It will end. You will be okay.
This is something I tell myself when I’m feeling anxious. Nothing is forever. If I’m feeling sick, it’ll go away. If something’s bothering me, I’ll get through it. I’ve been through a lot, but I’m still okay. I’m still alive, and I’m still here. I’m still doing everything I can.
Whatever’s bothering you right now, remember that it’ll be okay. Handle difficult situations as delicately as you need to avoid further harm. It’s okay if you don’t feel strong in that moment. You don’t have to be strong all the time. Let yourself feel, let yourself react, and let yourself grow.
Treat yourself. You deserve it.
I’m not saying you should go buy yourself three new outfits and a flat screen TV when you finally make that phone call you’ve been dreading. I’m saying you should regularly do little things that make you smile. Sometimes I buy myself a chocolate bar, or have some hot chocolate (yes, I like chocolate), or get myself my favorite milkshake. (It doesn’t always have to be food, of course; I just really like food.)
Take notice of all of your recent accomplishments, big or small, and everything else you’ve been dealing with. Reward yourself for getting through everything. Don’t be hard on yourself; you did a good job making it through.
Remember these self-care affirmations in times of need
These are some of the most important things in life to remember when you’re struggling. Next time you’re upset or stressing yourself out, repeat one of these affirmations to yourself, out loud or in your head. Any small amount of self-care counts towards making your life better.
Do you have any self-care affirmations of your own?