Reflecting on and Manifesting Self Care

My self care story may sound ironic, but it’ll all make sense in the end. I’m a strong believer in putting things out into the universe to cultivate and claim, otherwise known as manifesting. Manifesting inclines me to work towards my goals in order to make them come to fruition. 

My journey with self care started in 2012 when I began watching YouTubers like beauty gurus. As I grew older, my interests on YouTube shifted and I watched college vloggers, fashion gurus and my favorite YouTube comedians. Whenever I was in a slump, I thought I found motivation from those videos, especially the ones revolving around work/productivity culture.

I thought that seeing people do work, going about their day, and getting ish done, would motivate me to do the same. The whole purpose of watching those videos was to get inspired to accomplish my own work; instead, I ended up neglecting my responsibilities and binge-watching what then became mere entertainment in the unhealthiest way. 

YouTube homepage Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash In short, my study habits sucked. I’d go on YouTube to get motivated and end up watching a random vlog. The next thing I know I’ve wasted hours of my study session.

By calling it self care, I tricked myself into thinking I was finding motivation when in reality, I was just pushing off my tasks. Today I've managed to distance myself from consuming that type of content. Now I use other social media platforms, like Instagram, when I want to distract myself.

As everything has gone virtual, stress and anxiety are more prevalent than before. Somedays, I wake up and do my regular routine of going to work, and at the end of the night, I feel unsatisfied because I did nothing to genuinely reward myself. 

I realized I have to do what really makes me happy and stress-free. It’s important to remember self care is about the self, and it can be hard for some people to be comfortable with their own solitude. But, true self care demonstrates that you love and care for your physical, mental and spiritual health.

You can do what you love, work-wise, and still have separate pleasurable activities for yourself that don’t have to be redundant and cliche. So far I’ve realized: 

  1. I wasn’t really doing self care for the purpose of self care.

  2. I fooled myself into thinking some things were self care when they weren’t.

  3. It’s important to reflect on self care tendencies and evaluate their purpose and outcome. 

Personally, here is how I intend to practice self care moving forward. Feel free to take inspiration from the list below. Writing down your goals and speaking them into existence, i.e. manifesting, is key.

computer hands writing in journal on table Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

  1. Drink water. — I commit to drinking 70 ounces a day. I heard you have to drink half of your weight in ounces daily. Try buying a gallon of water and drink it throughout the day. It motivates you to drink more so you don't have to carry it around everywhere.
  2. As basic as it sounds, walk to clear your head, and I vow to walk at least an hour a day. There’s a reason why people do it — because it actually does what it intends. Some mornings I walk around my neighborhood park in laps with my brother.  
Bonus: Close any rings on your Apple Watch.
  1. Charge up with sleep. I’m the kind of person where I have to sleep in at least once per week. I know I’m going to be set for the week once I secure my one cheat day.
  2. Eat more fruit. One of the yummiest nutritional snacks I’ve seen from people’s routines is the smoothies — Imagine a fridge full of grapes, berries, citrus and tropical fruits. 
Stay tuned to read about my favorite smoothie recipes in the future!
  1. Exercise. I was skeptical about how working out can increase your mood, but dang, I see hotheads not be hotheads anymore after a workout. I’m doing the Chloe Ting, “25 Days Hourglass Challenge” for fun, and just to say I completed one of her many challenges.
  2. Read more books. I’ve been guilty of this and I’ve even bought books without touching them again. Setting time aside to read a couple of chapters can get you hooked on a good book. Try it before bed by reading out loud until it’s time to sleep. 
I’m reading “UN#@%! YOURSELF” by Gary John Bishop.
  1. Journaling. I bought a journal because it was on clearance, and it feels good to release pent up thoughts. I even cut cute pictures and letters from old magazines so it doubles as a scrapbook.
Tip: Get crafty! It can be a diary, sketchbook, agenda, or even a manifestation book in itself.
8. When you look good, you feel good, because you’re feelin' yourself — period. Just because we're in a pandemic doesn’t mean we can’t get dolled up. Get ready for the day as if you’re going out and see how different you feel.
This week I will get my eyebrows done, and next week I’ll dye my hair blue!

glossier makeup Charisse Kenion When it comes to self care, it can feel like a drag trying to find your routine. Keep in mind, I was also on that search, and now I’ve discovered ways to care for myself in order to compensate for all the times I didn’t. Trial and error allowed me to notice the things that make me happy, and my habits will only get stronger as I begin to feel better overall.