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Why Self-care Isn’t Selfish

I recently saw a meme that said: “Self-care isn’t selfish.” As I thought about this, one conclusion that I came to is this: A part of the foundation to self-care is understanding that before you’re a mother, before you’re a wife, you are a woman. You’re more than the job you do, the children you have, the ring on your finger. Your success is not defined by your relationships. You are an entity on your own, and your titles and responsibilities are like embellishments that enhance who you are.

As a woman with a very full schedule, I completely understand how time can be so swift. In one moment, we are preparing to start the day, and it seems as if the next moment is when we are laying down to get rest to do it all over again. One thing I have learned over this past season of my life is to be intentional about making myself a priority. I can’t be any good to those around me if I don’t take care of myself. From remembering to take my daily vitamin, to washing my hair on a regular schedule, to taking an hour to reflect, these are things that I had often forgotten to be consistent within the past. I have let some things go as a result. At one point, I deleted all the games on my phone. Ruzzle was my fav, but a big distraction. I have been able to focus on some projects as a result of removing that as a distraction. I placed several of my self-care items within arm’s length of my bathtub, as well as my shampoo and conditioner. This gave me no excuses, especially since the products are in my face. I also discovered a wash day regimen that was much simpler than I expected.  With some thought and a little strategy, I set myself up to do better – for myself.

No matter how many different titles and responsibilities you have, you must fit time for YOURSELF into your own schedule. You have to make a conscious decision to do it because there are few who are going to remind you or take time to honor you in that way. Self-care isn’t selfish because it takes place in an effort to keep you healthy, happy, mentally stable, and so many other things. We often even neglect to care for ourselves because we’re so busy caring for others. There is nothing selfish about that!

No matter where you are on your quest to taking better care of yourself, be intentional about doing what you need to for yourself. Your output is only as good as your “input” — what you put into yourself! It all starts on the inside.

Why Monday Isn’t As Bad As We Make It Seem

A few years ago, I read a book called Progressive Thinking by Harold F. Grant. This book is so full of wisdom. It evoked some significant life changing thought processes for me.

The book is formatted in a way that references a day of the week for the first seven chapters. As I was reading the section titled “Motivational Mondays,” I came across something that reminded me of how I had conditioned myself to think about Mondays:

“Don’t be demotivated by a Monday moment. You have seen this day before, and it’s not how it’s looking at you that matters, but how you are looking at it.”

I love this!! You have seen this day many times before. This is about changing how you look at it. Over the years, I have REFUSED to look at Monday as a bad day. Yeah, I know. It’s probably the job. You don’t want to go back. It could be your micro-managing boss, the jealous co-worker, your lack of pay or benefits…the list goes on. All you know is that you dread going back. But if you change the way you think about it, you could transform your Monday mornings into a more positive experience.

I believe people often allow themselves to have such a negative outlook on their jobs because they look at the job as their source, rather than looking at God as the source. Your job is not your provider, God is. Understand that the job is what God provided as a resource, but if you lose that job, just like God gave you that one, he can give you another.

Another thing that causes people to have a negative outlook on their job situation is a lack of gratitude. It may be that this isn’t your ideal position or your dream job, but at the end of the day, you have something that many people don’t have: a job. You must learn to be grateful for what you do have, for there is always someone who is worse off than you.

Colossians 3:23-24 says,  “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” 

Start to operate as though you are doing what you do for God himself, and not your supervisor, manager or the CEO. Take on a grateful attitude and watch how this changes how you look at Mondays. Know that although you have seen this day many times before, you don’t have to look at it the same. If you are at a point where you can’t look at it from a different perspective, then it very well may be time to change the routine of what you are doing on Mondays.

Beautiful, redefined

No one can be YOU better than you. Why does this even matter? Because we have way too many people walking around trying to emulate what they see in others, rather than allowing themselves to be inspired by those things. There is absolutely nothing with being inspired by something or someone, then allowing that to evoke a change in you that is exclusive to YOU. 

“Be you fully” is a journey where you continue to blossom, as long as you continue to cultivate yourself. It’s like the life cycle of a plant. The seed gets planted and watered, it grows, produces fruit or flowers and so on. Essentially, the entire process starts from within.

When you recognize the value placed in you by God, no one on this Earth can touch that. No one on this Earth can devalue you. Just as God created the heavens and the earth, the moon, the stars, and the mountains, he created YOU. And when he created you, he gave you something to contribute to this world that is different from anyone else. You were packaged for your purpose, including every gift and ability you would need to carry it out.

5 Elements of Inner Beauty

As I thought about what I should write for the very first blog for the site, I was stuck. I wanted it to be good. Of course, right? When I started my first blog years ago, I wrote the first article then decided to start the blog as a result of what I wrote. It was that easy. I was surprised at how challenging it seemed to gather what I felt should be the first blog for Inner Beauty Reigns.

Then it hit me: It should be foundational to what IBR is all about. I realized that since this platform is about sharing what inner beauty is about, then it was only fair to be transparent but informative in my approach to writing to you all. I thought about five qualities that are important to have or cultivate when it comes to personal development. Now, although Inner Beauty Reigns is geared towards women, personal development is for everybody! The five elements that I chose are based on my experience in dealing with people, whether in public or private.

 

Integrity

Contrary to popular belief, honesty and integrity are not one and the same. Honesty is the ability to be forthcoming and truthful. Integrity speaks to a level of morality that is grounded and consistent. Honesty gets you in the door, integrity keeps you there. It is a beautiful feeling to be trusted as a person of integrity, but it only takes one occurrence of breaking someone’s trust in you to throw it all away. Stay grounded.

 

Confidence

So many people struggle with confidence. I believe this is hinged on the fact that we rely entirely too much on the opinions of others in order to believe in ourselves. Confidence is rooted in what YOU believe about yourself. Studies have shown that those who are confident in themselves, are generally more successful than others, even when they don’t actually possess the skills necessary to make it happen. Believe in yourself, especially when it feels like no one else does.

 

Kindness

I often hear people talk about how bad the world has gotten. Although this is true, my experience has been that when you extend yourself to and for others, it is often appreciated and much needed. In a world full of negativity and strife, it is imperative that we treat each person we meet with kindness and consideration. I often remind my daughter that our interactions with others could be the difference between them going off the edge. That doesn’t make us responsible for their actions. It is simply a reminder to treat each person with kindness. The bible also reminds us: “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:2, NIV)

 

Patience

We live in what has come to be known as a “microwave society”. We want everything instantaneously. This conditioning has caused being patient to become a lost art with many. Having the ability to wait things out without complaining is not as hard as you may think. It does require you to be intentional and you must be willing to think before you speak. If you have a complaint, being tactful is important, as well as directing the complaint to the party who can actually help fix your issue.

 

Intelligence

There is nothing like knowing that you’re dealing with a person who has the knowledge to get something done. It is even more rewarding to have that interaction with someone who may not know how to get it done, but are willing to seek out the information and resources to make it happen. Intelligence is a key factor of success, and is also something that is sure to make you stand out from the rest.

 

Each of these characteristics are elements that I believe are not only foundational to having inner beauty, but necessary for being successful. When you know how to interact with others and understand how to execute your skills and abilities in harmony with others, you build great relationships and attract opportunities that will propel you forward.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to email me with topics and questions at erica@innerbeautyreigns.com.