You must be able to love where you are and where you are going to get to your place of happiness.
Everything comes full circle when you make it a priority to take care of yourself, when society would like you to believe you must take care of others first. But you cannot properly take care of others if you cannot first take care of yourself. While I know it’s easier said than done, you will definitely reap the benefits almost immediately when you attend to yourself before you attend to others.
What does it mean for you to attend to yourself first? Well, it means eating well, getting regular checkups, exercising, dressing well, engaging in hobbies that keep you mentally stimulated, and spending time with friends and family.
Every day must be spent attending to your needs. Your body, mind, and spirit ask things of you every day and require your care so that they don’t start to feel deprived and you don’t start showing the symptoms. You need to give yourself attention in order to happily give others the attention, love, and friendship they need.
Eating Well and Loving Yourself More
The foods you put into your body are an indication of just how much you love yourself. Having french fries from time to time is not a crime against you and your body, but drinking a Coke every day is. Depriving yourself of the proper amount of water necessary to hydrate your body is another crime. Real love for yourself means only putting the best into your temple to help it operate at its optimal level.
Enhancing Your Physical Appearance
One of the many benefits of eating well is that it contributes to how well your body will serve you, including in the looks department. We all want to look our best, and what we put into our bodies impacts how well we look and feel. Certain foods, for example, help to clear skin and make hair shine.
Aging doesn’t have to be painful. Aging gracefully can and should be supported by your diet. One of the keys to looking as young as you feel (that is, if you feel young) is to eat right. Eating in a way that shows that you love yourself will reflect internally and externally as you mature. You want to be proud of every milestone you reach as you age. Below I’ve assembled a list of foods that are known to be anti-aging:
Cultivating a Clear Mind
Food has energetic power. Eating well and cleanly will give you a clear mind. Eating healthful foods and treating your body well can result in increased sensitivity, which means you emotionally show up in the now, with unclouded awareness.
You are able to show up in life and practice greater tolerance for yourself as your feelings arise. Those feelings of sluggishness, emptiness, or hopelessness can be controlled through a better diet. With a clear mind, you are able to be present and to notice what’s around you. You are able to make better decisions and to stick to them.
Regardless of how you feel, you must be the one to feed your body and let it know that you love it. Feeding yourself well is a vital way of spiritually connecting to yourself.
Getting a Checkup
I know, they can be a pain, but those annual doctor visits are a must. You need to know your current state of health. If you have a medical condition, are you taking care of it? You must be able to put your health needs before anything else. You can spend a lifetime trying to fulfill a desire, but if your health is not in order, whatever you achieve will mean nothing to you, since you won’t be able to enjoy it.
Choosing to sacrifice your health for a person, circumstance, or achievement slowly harms your body and your self-esteem. You need to make sure that you are not deficient in any vitamins and that all parts of your body are functioning as best they can.
The spirit also needs to be checked up on — every day. While no one talks about getting a spiritual checkup, you do need to be in tune with your spiritual needs. A spiritual checkup is not something that happens once every few months but several times daily. The checkup occurs when you wake up in the morning, before you go to bed, and throughout the day when decisions need to be made and challenges arise.
Spiritual checkups are a valuable part of taking care of yourself. When you take care of yourself, you display the love and compassion you have for yourself and for others. When you are spiritually deprived, you cannot encourage your own beliefs, let alone those of others. Your conversations are always full of doubt and questions, and you resist God’s truth by not operating in faith and instead only focusing on what’s happening in front of us. Your relationship with God must be intact before you can have a healthy relationship with anyone else. Getting it together means getting your spirit in order.
Exercise Your Self-Love
It’s time to take charge of your health. A healthy individual is glowing, confident, and energetic; makes better decisions; and operates with wisdom. And exercising the body, mind, and spirit is a great place to start. Let’s look at some ways to do this.
Exercising the Body
Physical activity can improve your self-esteem and, of course, is a valuable part of loving yourself. Through exercising, not only are you saying that your mind, body, and spirit are important, but you are also saying that wherever you see room for improvement, you’re on it. You are telling yourself that you do not give up on you and that you do not place your physical needs at the bottom of your to-do list.
Through exercise, you can release stress, treat depression, and help your body produce the energy and stamina needed to make it through your day. You may also use exercise as a way to reach physical goals and to improve your appearance. When you meet a physical goal, your confidence skyrockets and you take pride in yourself and your ability to achieve whatever you desire. You feel so much better about yourself!
Exercising the Mind
Exercising isn’t just physical but mental as well. Doing mental exercises often, even daily, will help you face the tasks and challenges ahead. Here are a few mental exercises to get you going:
* STUDY A NEW LANGUAGE. This not only helps boost your brain power, but it also assists in your ability to multitask, improves memory, widens your perspective of the world and other peoples, sharpens your reading skills, and helps you express yourself, problem solve, and negotiate.
* CHALLENGE YOUR PALATE. Trying new foods, as well as trying to identify the ingredients in your food, is fun and helps to improve recognition and memory. You can also do this by testing your knowledge of wines as you wine-taste.
* DO THOSE MATH PROBLEMS IN YOUR HEAD. Step away from your phone or calculator and figure out that math problem with good old pencil, paper, and brains.
* TELL A STORY. Telling stories challenges your brain to focus on details and to tie an emotion to those details. Plus, it’s great entertainment!
Exercising the Spirit
Along with physical and mental workouts, we also need spiritual ones to keep our faith in tip-top shape. Just like any muscle, if you don’t use it, it becomes weak and ill-equipped for the job at hand. Here are some great spiritual exercises:
* PRACTICE BEING A GIVER. You can do this by tithing and devoting your time to helping someone else.
* IDENTIFY YOUR BLESSINGS. Identify your blessings, and be thankful for them.
* SHARE YOUR TESTIMONY. Tell your story to those willing to listen. You can help them with their journey as you share your testimony of how God has been great to you and has loved you along the way.
* FAST. Detox the body and the mind, and focus on what is private between you and God.
* SPEND TIME IN NATURE. Doing this allows you to feel spiritually connected to all living things and to understand the meaning of being one with God. Dwell in the beauty of your present and of all the gifts of the planet.
Self-Reflection: Dressing Well
The world can tell how you feel about yourself by the way you dress. You can argue this until you no longer have the energy to say another word, but the truth will always remain that how you dress is a direct reflection of how you feel about yourself.
When you dress with care and confidence, it’s an external way of showing that you respect yourself. The daily attention you give to yourself displays that you always present your best self, even when you do not feel like it. When you look good, you feel good, and your actions line up with how you feel.
Self-neglect can lead to feeling bad, looking bad, and acting indifferent, and this includes whether you give any attention to your sense of style and self. When you stop neglecting yourself on the outside, more than likely you will stop neglecting yourself on the inside as well.
Mentally Stimulating Hobbies
It truly is great when you make the time to improve yourself. Establishing interests in certain areas of life, such as the arts, your community, your church, sports, and other extracurricular activities allows you to grow in terms of communication skills, emotional development, and the cultivation of new ways of thinking.
If you have a list of activities that intrigue you, why not take the time to try one now?
There are several benefits to taking on a hobby and participating in new activities. I will list just a few of them. Taking on a new hobby:
* raises self-esteem
* diversifies your interests
* builds relationship skills
* exercises the ability to contribute
Mixing what you love with what you are curious about is one of the best ways to diversify your interests. This diversification will allow you to meet new people, to have different conversations and perspectives. It allows you to appreciate your world on a much grander scale. Here are a few activities and hobbies that will help you do that:
* horseback riding
* singing lessons
* learning a new language
* interior design/renovation
* playing the violin
* any church activity that strikes your interest
* taking part in local theater productions
* taking a class to learn a skill such as Photoshop
It’s in the openness of your heart as you try out new hobbies that you also discover what you are truly passionate about. You have given yourself the opportunity to interact with people who share your interests and passions. As such, you are able to express a part of yourself that may have taken a backseat due to stress or routine or people in your life holding you back. Making time for your activities allows you to put you first and to discover an aspect of yourself that you may have silenced or taken for granted. You are never too old or too young to live right now.
©2017 by Tatiana Jerome. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of New World Library.
www.newworldlibrary.com or 800-972-6657 ext. 52.
Love Lost, Love Found: A Woman's Guide to Letting Go of the Past and Finding New Love
by Tatiana Jerome
Uplifting and honest, Tatiana helps you ask the difficult questions and face reality while building a better life by prioritizing self-respect, self-care, and self-confidence. You’ll discover that focusing on your own healing, spirituality, and growth is the surest path to leading an extraordinary life and attracting new love.
About the Author
Tatiana Jerome turned her personal experience into not just a thriving online presence but also a self-published book and a career counseling women and speaking at a variety of organizations. Visit her website at TatianaJerome.com