Too many women have been taught that self-care is about finding time for a bubble bath or going to the spa. The reality is that those activities are part of a more important root. Knowing your self-worth and matching your behaviors to them are the most valuable self-care habits you could ever make.
While giving yourself time to read a book is important, what’s more significant is that you are worth setting aside time to read the book in the first place. You’d be amazed what happens when you start to focus on self-care. Some women realize that they haven’t prioritized it because they didn’t think they were worth it. They were taught that their lives were only meaningful if they were productive. While productivity has value, you have even more value. Here are some ways to develop self-care and self-worth habits.
Buy Nice Things For Yourself
Stop waiting for someone else to buy you tennis bracelets or a new outfit. Stop lamenting about how you wish someone else would give you a day at the spa. You can save for them yourself and there is no reason you need to wait for someone else to decide to buy you something you love. It’s okay to buy nice things for yourself, it’s okay to pamper yourself, and it’s okay to splurge on things you like. This is especially true for moms. Parents tend to feel that if they buy something nice for themselves it means their kids will be lacking. You can do both. Take care of the kids but take care of yourself as well.
Don’t Put Up With Other People’s Mistreatment of You
One of the best self-care pieces of advice is that you don’t need to put up with other people’s mistreatment of you. If you’re in a job with a harsh boss, start job-hunting. If your friends are treating you poorly, start finding new ones. There is a difference between someone having a bad day or going through a tough season and a pattern of mistreatment. Being constantly put down, made to feel bad for your choices, or criticized all the time are huge red flags that you need to look for new connections.
Be Kind to Yourself
Are you your own worst critic? Stop being so hard on yourself. Whether you’re rehashing a fight that went awry or you’re wondering how you could do a better job on your projects at work, give yourself some slack. You won’t live up to your own expectations of yourself. If you’re expecting perfection, you will always be disappointed. Humans grow, learn, and sometimes they mess up. If that fight was your fault, humble yourself to say sorry. If that project wasn’t as good because you procrastinated, look at ways to get better at managing your time.
Avoid Harmful Comparisons
Comparison is the worst. Something inside of us wants to be the best, and sometimes that means all we do is compare ourselves to others. You’ll find yourself experiencing more joy, more freedom, and more excitement in life if you stop the harmful comparisons. Social media can make you feel inferior if you’re constantly looking at all the amazing cooks, the fabulous chiseled bodies, and the perfect relationships. If you find yourself feeling like you aren’t good enough because everyone on social media is better, then get off the smartphone. Go for a hike, take a trip, call a friend. You’ll find yourself realizing that your life is beautiful, and it doesn’t matter if anyone else’s life looks better in Instagram photos.
Give Yourself Freedom to Dream
In job interviews, they always ask a question like, “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” These questions seem irrelevant because does anyone even know what the next year holds, let alone the next 5. The right answer always feels fake. Something like, “I see myself moving into a managerial role with your company” and blah, blah, blah. But dream about something new instead. What would you like to do in the next 5 years? Maybe you want to finish school or visit a new continent. Perhaps you’d love to start a new business or finally learn to play the drums. Give yourself permission to dream about your future, and then take steps to get there.
Self-care and self-worth are connected. When you perceive yourself as valuable, you’ll invest time and money into doing things that bring you joy and making connections with people who lift you up.