Self-care: 9 ways to show up for yourself

Silhouette of a person doing yoga at dawn in an act of self-care

It’s normal for life to become a little complicated, especially once we’re in adulthood and we’re continually trying to keep up with all of our responsibilities. At those times, it can be all too easy to stray away from ourselves; it can feel like we’re along for a ride that we never fully signed up for. 

And sometimes, that can be positive. But there’s also a high risk of falling into a way of being that we’re not fully happy with. At those moments, it’s good to prioritize the self and to become your biggest supporter. In this post, we’ll run through a host of ways that you can show up for yourself. Take them all on board, and your life could look radically different — and be significantly better— in a matter of weeks.

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 Take a Step Back 

Life can be chaotic. While there are some periods — Christmas, say — when we just have to suck it up and go with it, for most of the year you can choose how much madness you let into your life. There’s a lot of value in simply focusing solely on yourself for a week or two. That means putting no pressure on yourself to say yes to invitations, or even expecting to live your best life. Sometimes, we have to take a step back before we can launch into something that’s even better. So clear the schedule, and give yourself space to nurture good habits.

 Change How You Speak To Yourself 

How you speak to yourself is going to have a huge impact on your experience of life. Some people are born with a positive inner voice, but the majority of people tend to be a little negative. The voice that says they can’t do something is louder than the one that says they can. The good news is that you’re not locked into how you speak to yourself. It’s one of those things that you can actively change with a bit of work. There are  meditations that can help  to silence that overly negative inner critic. Remember — the goal is to talk to yourself as you would a friend; if you wouldn’t say it to the people you love, then don’t say it to yourself. 

 Put Yourself First 

Everyone has responsibilities, and many of those responsibilities are to other people. This will be most obvious if you have a partner and/or children, but it also applies to people with friend groups, colleagues, and so on — essentially, anyone who expects anything from you. While it can sound positive to prioritize other people, the fact of the matter is that you can’t pour from an empty cup. People who invest in themselves and ensure that they’re in a good place are often able to give much more than those who only think of others. Make sure that you’re meeting all the essentials before you start giving too much of yourself to other people. 

 Look After Your Body 

Anything that enhances your mental, spiritual, and physical well-being is of value. In our busy lives, it’s easy to overlook our physical fitness. After all, that takes time — and after a busy day at work, it’s much more inviting to spend the evening on the couch. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that investing in your fitness is one of those things that offers a significant return on investment. You’ll be happier, you’ll have more energy, and you’ll be keeping a whole host of potential health issues at bay. It’s not about becoming ultra-fit, but just about having a good level of basic fitness. Try it for a month, and you’ll definitely notice the positive impact it has. 

 Face Your Issues 

Self-care doesn’t just involve doing things that’ll push you forward. It also involves saying goodbye to the things that are holding you back. Every single person is fighting their own battle, many of which they don’t talk about. Overcoming those issues is one of the great achievements of life; it shows the individual that they’re not a prisoner to things they don’t want to live with. Whatever issue you have, you can be sure that there’s support out there that can help you to move past that problem. If you think you’re drinking too much alcohol, then you can check yourself into  alcohol rehab ; if you have lingering negative thoughts from your childhood, then you can work with a therapist. We can often think that we’re destined to live with our issues, but that’s just not true. 

 Treat Yourself 

Many of us go through life just taking care of business. We feel guilty when we do something nice for ourselves. Yet conversely, we’re often more than happy to do something nice for the loved ones in our lives. You can show up for yourself by taking that spirit of generosity and extending it to yourself from time to time. It can be highly rewarding to take yourself to the spa, buy yourself a special dinner, or buy an item of clothing that you’d have your eye on. It’ll make you feel special, and what’s more, it’ll be you who has made yourself feel that way. 

Knowing how to treat yourself is a surefire way of knowing how to live for yourself.

Practice Gratitude 

For whatever reason, we’re hardwired to think of the things that we don’t have, rather than the things that we do have. One of the simplest, easiest ways to become happier with yourself and your life is to practice gratitude. Studies have shown that  keeping a gratitude journal  for two weeks can lead to a significant increase in happiness levels. Simply write down three-five things that you’re grateful for each day. They don’t need to be overly grand things, either. Even reminding yourself that you have a cozy bed, food in the fridge, and people who will help you in an emergency is enough — in fact, it’s more than enough. 

 See What You Can Do  

Most people don’t make the most of their potential. It’s not about being the best in the world at anything, but about being the  best that you can be . Let’s say, for example, that you’re naturally gifted at drawing. Showing up for yourself can simply involve setting time aside each day to improve your craft. If you don’t have a specific hobby to work with, then set yourself a challenge. You’ll likely find that you can take it in your stride once you get going. And once you do, you’ll learn that you’re so much more capable than you thought you were. 

 Don’t Take Things Personally 

Sometimes, it’s not what we do that brings us down, but how other people treat us. Even if you’re the greatest person in the world, you’re going to have people who don’t like you, criticize, or just make you feel bad in some way. One of the best gifts you can give yourself is to learn how to not take things personally. Most people’s criticisms will have nothing to do with you whatsoever, but will rather be a reflection of themselves. This is true even for friends and family, but it’s especially true for strangers. If they criticize you, then let it go in one ear and out the other. It’s all about protecting your energy and not letting the whims of others dictate the beauty of your day.

It takes work to be there for yourself, but it sure is worth it. Get started today, and you never know what it might lead to — but we’re sure that you’ll be much happier and satisfied with life when you get there.