Self-Care in the Age of Indulgence

I am a firm believer in doing everything in life for oneself, because at the end of the day we’re the ones who have to live with the decisions we make. Putting ourselves first doesn’t mean we don’t care about other people’s lives, it just means we make ourselves a priority while still helping others. As the New Year began, I decided against making any New Year’s resolutions (mainly because I always forget about them halfway through January). Instead, I decided to gradually make changes that I know will help free up my time and rid me of unnecessary stress. I thought about my health, my social life, my work ethic, and family obligations. Looking back on the past year I realized that I spent a lot of time stressing about problems that weren’t my own or that I had no control over. I was placing other people and obligations before myself, and overall my emotional stability was deteriorating. Say no out of strength instead of yes out of weakness. #wisdom #affirmations #selfcarePhoto Courtesy of: amyjbennett.com

My health was one of the things I was ignoring and placing last the most. I wasn’t getting enough sleep, I was not eating very healthy, and it was all making every day a challenge to get through. Working productively during the day and continuing to assign myself an organized to-do list has helped to free up my nights. I now have more time to spend with friends and family and take care of myself. Don’t get me wrong, I do procrastinate every now and then but I know what distracts me and I limit those disruptions. I dedicate time during my night routine to clean my room and make it an enjoyable place to rest and try not to spend so much time ruminating about one thing. In terms of my eating habits, I’ve tried to cut out unnecessary sugar. I’m no health geek so I don’t know what cutting out soda and some carbs will do, but I do know that overall I feel better.Photo courtesy of: Groupon

This last year, I might have gone a little overboard and signed up or agreed to do too many things. I had a very hard time saying no to people who were asking too much of me. I realize that it wasn’t because I was weak or couldn’t stand up for myself but rather it was because I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. I was having a hard time keeping track of my school responsibilities and family obligations because I felt that if I declined an invitation to do something, I would later regret it or lose connections with my friends. Saying no in any aspect of your social life is acceptable, even if you feel it isn’t. I don’t have to join every club on campus with my friends or go out every weekend just to keep up with those connections; I should do it be because I genuinely want to. Declining an invitation, with the intention to put myself first is something that now comes easily to me. It has not only allowed me to have time to myself but also to know what it feels like to be on my own and to be 100 percent comfortable with that. I don’t mind staying in every now and then to catch up on homework, sleep or to just simply take a breather. In this life, I’ve realized that taking things slow doesn’t mean I’m being lazy or antisocial, it just means I’m taking time to put things into perspective and take it all in.

The year 2017 was one of the hardest years I’ve ever gone through but I was also the happiest I have ever been. I went through so much and in the moment I didn’t think that things would work out but they eventually did. I know habits don’t change overnight and in retrospect it wasn’t a bad year at all, but I know a few small changes in my everyday will make things so much easier for me to deal with. I can say that the past month and a half has been one of growth and perspective. I know when to take a step back and realize what will bring me anything but negativity and stress. I know that if I reached such a level of happiness last year, I can do it again this year by setting healthy boundaries and making myself a priority.

 

Hi my name is Laura Reyes! I'm majoring in Criminal Justice and Psychology at Cal Lutheran.

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