How Practicing Better Self-Care Is Saving Our Lives

I’m sitting here curled up with my laptop working through some of my tasks, with Young Living Sacred Mountain essential oil diffusing, and I’m feeling awakened. Ready to share part of my story. I feel pulled to be upfront, open, and to truly focus on connecting with you. We put this series together because Nikki and I share a deep understanding that there is such a priority for self-care in our lives – that our lives actually depend on it.

As we move more into the Self-Care Sundays series, there’s a few things I wanted to put up front. This series isn’t going to be all about bubble baths and spa days. Though we love and enjoy those and I am an advocate of some good self love pampering, it’s not really what self-care is all about.

Not every day will be easy.

Building a strong self-care practice and routine takes some work. It’s going to take some avid soul searching and deep diving into self discovery. There may even be old wounds that you are going to have to open that you’ve buried for so many years. Part of this process is going to be allowing that pain to be released and those wounds to heal. You deserve to be free!

Good self-care also includes setting healthy boundaries in all areas of your life. It’s about working through the bullshit to get to the other side. And it all starts with you. True happiness comes from within folks. Now, that doesn’t mean that every day is going to be rainbows and glitter. Bad days still come. But with good faith and good self-care, they won’t drag you down as much. And you’ll know that you won’t allow those crappy moments to linger too long – because you will be stronger than they are.

Self-care is important for everyone!

No matter where you are on your journey, there is a place for self-care. You could be living the wonderful life right now – still take care of yourself! It’s also essential during rough times or during recovery. Take care of yourself first before anything and everything else. It’s the whole ‘put your oxygen mask on first’ theory.

Tonight, I’m going to share our stories. The purpose of this series is to create a knowing and a supportive environment. No one is ever truly alone. We just have to find our tribes. We’re here to welcome you <3

My Story

So here goes something – something I never thought I’d do – but because I have such an amazing support group, I’m going to share this with you. Also, because I want you to know I’m real, I get it, I’ve been there.

I was diagnosed with PTSD last year. I know burn out way too personally. And I have Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood and Anxiety – that translates to Stress Induced Depression and Anxiety. I have triggers because of my PTSD. These triggers I didn’t know I had until last year. I had been struggling with these all of my life, successfully (not necessarily beneficial or healthy), but successfully, I suppressed and kept on chugging along. Until the burn out caught up with me – physically and mentally done was where I was. I had no energy to go on. So nonetheless, I started off 2019 with a totally different perspective on life. I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty details of it all because honestly it’s super personal and private for me. I’m still getting comfortable with it.

It was this situation though that has brought me to where I am today – happier, stronger, more confident. And more aligned with my soul, my mind, my heart – my true self.

One of the therapists I met with told me something that really stuck with me and I think it’s so important for everyone to hear: The Chinese symbol for crisis translates to two words, “danger” and “opportunity”. Think about it. When you reach a crisis or a troubling situation it is a warning in a way and it is a breaking point. And most of all it is an opportunity to rebuild, to correct the situation. You are presented with the opportunity to heal, to grow, to thrive. So this is where I am now. I am at an amazing opportunity and beautiful things are coming out of it and happening in my life. And my priority…self-care.

Nikki’s Story

Nikki started blogging back in November as a means of distributing unused creativity. Also as a way of connecting to those on a similar path as myself. The reason she was drawn to the topic of self-care and development was very personal.

For 7 years she was heavily addicted to opiates, and in the very center of all that particular lifestyle entails. She has since found recovery. And she’ll be celebrating 3 years clean in August!

During her recovery, for a long time, she felt she had a powerful void within herself. After checking off a number of things on her “get clean to do list,” such as straightening out her license or past bills that she had been neglecting throughout her addiction, the void still continued to grow. The number of times she had thought to herself “I thought recovery was easier-happier,” was countless.

She then discovered self-care and what it truly means. How she discovered it: through a Google search of ‘how to be happy’ – guess what popped up? Self-care! That was the very first piece of her self-care puzzle.

Nikki’s hometown had been hit hard by the heroin epidemic and she had lost many people she was close to it. Adding on to her loss, she struggled with a great deal of survivor’s guilt. Her friends had been put to rest by something she had narrowly escaped.

It was at this point in her life that she realized a lot of her success in recovery had become of her newly acquired self-care practices. She developed the belief that self-care can bring you up to a new, higher level in life. Because of this, she is very passionate in her need to share this information with others. This is why it is so important to her. Nikki whole-hardheartedly believes that her self-care helped improve the stability of her recovery.

You must learn to love yourself first.

The thought that happiness can only be found through service to others is something that we are often taught. Though this is partially true, it cannot and should not be your sole source of happiness and contentment. Satisfaction and joy can be found in helping others but it will not fill a void and it will not lead you to the supreme happiness you crave. This comes from meeting your needs, filling your desires and in building confidence and resilience. You must grow to understand yourself and all you are made of, physically, mentally, emotionally and more. This is magical.

Coming up on the series:

Tomorrow I’m sharing my Sunday self-care ritual – what I refer to as ‘RECRISP’. Oh yeah, I totally made it into an acronym! We’ll be sharing self-care activities to celebrate Earth Day, the self-care practices that aren’t pampering. Stories of how self-care has helped during times of recovery, the importance of laughter, and more! I hope you will choose you and join us on this journey!

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2 thoughts on “How Practicing Better Self-Care Is Saving Our Lives

  1. This is perfect. I’m so happy you acted on impulse! 😂 seriously though!
    I know sharing our stories is difficult. I think about “ohh what if this person stumbled on it, or that person??” And then I remember, I haven’t seen them in 10 years! Why does it matter? It’s like I get temporarily transported back to high school, back to that mindset.
    And then, I remember all of you. People who know my story, where I am & where I’ve been…and you love me all the same. It doesn’t matter what I’ve done because it isn’t who I am anymore. I am incredibly grateful for that❤
    I am so happy for you, proud of you & all the work you are putting into yourself and your work. It’s so gratifying, and I can read & feel your contentment. Much love

    1. You are very right, about all of it. My blog started as my road to growth and it proves to push me to do so in many ways newly almost every day. I love the community that we are building. It’s a place that feels safe, comfortable, and full of love – this is the tribe I want to be a part of. And the best way to find and stay there is to be open, to share my story, and to allow connections to happen. Yes, it’s super scary to put yourself out there and to be vulnerable (and I hate hate hate being vulnerable) but it’s a situation where the reward is much greater than the risk. So what if someone reads my story and scoffs it, isn’t that really a reflection of themselves and not me. My reflection, my presentation is that I am overcoming the obstacles in my life. I’m choosing to let go and to allow myself to heal. Heal, Grow, Thrive <3 I am so happy we connected and I love how much we are both transforming already through this. I also love how our friendship is growing - from collaboration to a new born friendship - we got this!

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