What Is “Self Care?”: A Guide For Trying To Keep It Real

So many of you lovely lot know I run Keep Real®  and with that comes a fair few things. Such as responsibility, creativity, management and hmmm I’m gonna say…self care. Yes! I said self care!! Whoa…Did I really just say that?


I did. A lot of folk won’t state that or *gasp* even mention it as something that comes with their life, business or whatever else. For example, entrepreneurs- our little metaphorical ent-baby needs to grow and flourish, but it will get sick or needs to learn how to walk, we don’t actually put ourselves in the equation. We love it, so self-care is just…non existent. It’s non existent for many! We just wanna keep the ball rolling. As long as it’s moving, its…doing something.

So what is this “self care” thing anyway? Let me break some things down for you…

  • SELF CARE IS NOT SELF INDULGENCE – Let’s get that little myth solved, mkay? It isn’t ‘retail therapy’ and sure as heck isn’t finishing off a full bottle of wine. These are temporary fixes. In a world that wants you to consume more…you gotta stick it to the man and just do yo’ thang.
  • SELF CARE IS A GENTLE BUT TOUGH MISTRESS – It ain’t always plain sailing. Self care can actually be real hard to do. When we’re so fast paced and overwhelmed- we feel that we actually can’t slow down. Self care comes in many forms. It may be going to bed an hour or two earlier, or going for a long walk. Not a walk to work, not rushing to be somewhere. Just a w a l k . Nothing more. It can be hard to do things for ourselves, but we need to learn to slow down a lil’.
  • SELF CARE DOES NOT COME FROM OTHERS – Sorry sweetpea, but self care doesn’t come from any other human being, doggo or your favourite cuddly toy. Self care has to come from you and you alone. Sure, other folk will support you- but there’s a reason why it’s called ‘self’ care and not ‘other people care’. Try not to focus on relying on other people for that comfort. Self means self, so soothe that soul. Pick up a musical instrument or pen (even if you’re terrible at music or art), create something, make a pinterest board or ‘life board’ of your goals and things you have achieved, take a bath and moisturise! Anything for you, that you can do by yourself is self care. The most important relationship you have, is with yourself.

So, treat yourself how you would treat someone you hold dear. You deserve to take a break. I still need to remind myself that too (Oh hi blog, you naughty reminder you) – because we can’t burn out and expect a quick restart. Slow and steady wins the race. Don’t work harder, just work smarter. And that starts with self care.
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It’s Allll Ok: Sadness & Why We Need It!

Sometimes life can throw some mega curve balls our way, sometimes it can sail along fine and dandy, and other times it can really suck. But days do get better. They truly do. The first step, is to say that you truly can. When we start believing that things will be good, or will be better- they will be. You have no idea how much power you hold in the present moment, and ultimately in your future. Yeah, that may be a little daunting,Screen Shot 2016-05-07 at 20.55.31 but it’s surprising what our minds can do.

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.”- Mahatma Gandhi

Sadness as one of our six basic emotions (happiness, anger, fear, disgust and surprise as the other five) and is just part of who we are. There’s no escaping it, and it’s a very natural response to things that make us feel things from hopeless, despair and disappointment to loss and grief. It’s an emotion we all want to shake. No one likes to feel it! We all say hell nawww to all of that, but that’s where we go wrong. It feels all uncomfortable because we can’t control it like we can control happiness. We want all the happiness all of the time! But we have to understand that sadness is a natural response which will pass. Have patience and be gentle with yourself. 

Sometimes, we don’t even know why we’re upset- and that’s ok. You’re not weird, or silly and don’t ever apologise for how you feel. Remind yourself that it’s all ok. It’s important to allow yourself to feel whatever you feel.

I will leave with you my favourite quote by a brilliant man named Osho. Take care you ❤

“Sadness gives depth. Happiness gives height. Sadness gives roots. Happiness gives branches. Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth. Both are needed, and the higher a tree goes, the deeper it goes, simultaneously. The bigger the tree, the bigger will be its roots. In fact, it is always in proportion. That’s its balance.”

 

Body Image: Why You Should Love Yourself

“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.”
― Amy Bloom

Why do we struggle accepting ourselves for who we are? Our bodies are our own beautiful temples, moving and breathing without conscious thought, allowing us to explore this world and well, live. We are literally made of stars, yet we somehow have such negative thoughts when it comes to our bodies. Too fat, too thin, bumpy bits, not enough of this, too much of that. Anything we can think of, we use to shame our bodies.

Why?

We compare, and the image of our bodies has been in a sense, warped by external influences. Yes, loving your body comes from within; but when society is pushing a certain size, shape or type into your everyday life-how do we feel good about ourselves?Ameema Blog Picture

We have to start using social media positively, and using it to our advantages. This links in with Shaun’s guest post on here about Social Media and Mental Health, that we can actively make what surrounds us a healthier impact on our wellbeing. There’s loads of mental health apps, (See my list of favourite free apps here ), wonderful people like the folks over at The Crybaby Club with a support network for ladies, also non-profits and organisations championing self-love and being comfortable in your own skin. We are not what we see on the screens. You, your friends, your family and loved ones are not all the same body shape or size- so why are we trying to obtain this unachievable ‘perfect’ body? Hell, it breaks my heart when someone tells me they dislike parts of themselves. Most of the time they’re comparing it to other people they know or see online.

“Even the models we see in magazines wish they could look like their own images.”
― Cheri K. Erdman

The people you are comparing your bodies too, are also comparing their bodies to other people. It is a vicious cycle of some strange secret competition we have in our heads. Even Beyonce hides her ears because she thinks they’re too big. You’d tell her to take a walk! But you shouldn’t diminish someones insecurities because you see them as beautiful or ‘perfect’ in the first place. We all have something, and because it isn’t your insecurity doesn’t mean it isn’t valid.

“Healthy emotions come in all sizes. Healthy minds come in all sizes. And healthy bodies come in all sizes.” ― Cheri K. Erdman

You kick ass and deserve to feel comfortable in your skin. Love transcends our bodies, and goes deeper than the skin that covers our bodies. We gotta love it.tumblr_nqbkpunYAi1u7jt09o1_r1_1280

Self Love

It’s so much easier to love other people, than to love ourselves. It sucks, but it’s true. Unconditional love is a complete and whole love without limitations. Accepting ourselves is so important, and unconditional love comes from within, before we can completely and  unconditionally love others. Go with your gut, trust yourself and accept all of the things that make up who you are as a person (that’s your bad habits and flaws too!). Remember, your body is a beautiful thing. It heals you without any conscious thought. You’re here breathing, and moving your eyes along the screen. Your body is your temple, and it’s worshipping you every day!Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 12.47.51.png

Feeling comfortable in your own skin is difficult, but important to your wellness. We always pick out our flaws as a person, then cannot understand why others do not see them as strongly as we do, if at all. For example, If I’m worried about my skin, or a bad habit I have- my friends seem baffled. I think a lovely way to the journey of self love is the saying ‘treat yourself how you would treat your best friend’. We all have days where we’re not so confident in ourselves, and feel uncomfortable in our bodies. It’s ok. Who is 100% happy with themselves all of the time? No one. Treat yourself with kindness, and the world will bring it back to you in abundance. Be gentle, you’re doing so well already ❤

We need to feel secure in ourselves, so it’s that little bit easier to not rely on others for happiness. If we constantly look to others for acceptance, how will we truly learn to love ourselves? We need to seek it within, so loving becomes such a wonderful and rad thing.

Be gentle with yourself, you ❤

Be Radiant!!

You were given life; it is your duty to find something beautiful within it, no matter how slight. – Elizabeth Gilbert

I have always believed if you radiate good vibes and treat yourself and others with kindness, good things will always find their way back to you. I guess you could call it karma, the principle of causality. It flows with the same principle as motivation in a way. How would you know you’d be good at something if you have never put yourself out there? Without action, there is no consequence- good or bad. Now what kind of life is that?! It’s safe and it’s in the comfort zone. If you’re happy with it, then that’s all cool. But if you have aspirations and dreams that you aint fulfilling, you need to get off that pretty little bum and do something about it!

Be good, stay well and forever keep real ❤

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared- Buddha

Senti(mental) Health

Hello my lovelies! Hope you’ve all been keepin’ well and keepin’ real.

I stumbled across a box of letters I’ve been keeping these past three years. It started at the beginning of University when I moved away from home, right up until now- where I’ve finishedwpid-img_20150520_180337.jpg my degree! The majority of the letters are from both sets of Grandparents, some are from other relatives and friends. What a beautiful way to keep in touch! Reading through all of them and delving into all the past letters brought a smile and plenty of memories back.

Writing letters and the act of writing can be an extremely cathartic process for many. Even though it is one way of communication, it is also great for your mental health! It’s fulfilling, wonderful and full of positivity. Especially when writing to loved ones, or even just to write letters for yourself. Writing down how you feel, or writing a note or letter for someone is just a beautiful thing to do. You can put anything and everything you want down on that piece of paper. It’s total free will and there isn’t much else that can be more liberating as a person.

You can pour your soul into those words, your hopes, dreams and frustrations. wpid-img_20150520_175727.jpgCompared to the rush of an email or a text it is so much more powerful. Feeling that pen in your hand and taking the time to write it all out, is a process which is sadly lacking in this age. But it is ssssoooo good for you! Whether it’s to catch up with family and friends, or to write down in a diary your thoughts and aspirations- the act of writing is an influential tool to the freedom of the self and expressing sentiment.

It is a profound act of expression. We tend to dwell on past experiences or problems that we cannot see the solution to. Sometimes our heads are so full of thoughts, we cannot see a form of resolve. However, writing down relieves the feelings of inhibition and gives us a greater perspective of our experiences. You can write and write some more, the power is with you. You don’t have to be fantastic at grammar or have fancy handwriting- you just have to be you.

Let those words flow, whether it’s for yourself or to family or friends. It’s good for the soul ❤