Friday: most people’s favorite F word- well it’s definitely mine. Friday marks the end of a focused work week, Friday also marks the beginning of a fun-filled weekend. Something about Friday makes me feel successful and motivated. Successful because I managed to get through another tough week of work and motivated because I have a weekend full of opportunity to do me. So because Friday seems to channel so much emotion in me I wanted to introduce a new segment on my blog: Feel Good Fridays. Basically a segment that will only focus on positives. This segment might have goals for the weekend, a moment from the week that made me smile, story telling about a fun moment in my life; basically anything and everything that I would consider a “feel good” post. My goal with this post is to encourage myself and anyone who takes the time to read these posts to end their work week on a positive note and start their weekend with a hopeful mindset.
My first post of this series will focus on Self Care and what I do to ensure that I am taking some time to make sure that I am looked after. Often my to do list will look as follows: go to work, study for my exam, research innovative therapeutic interventions to use with my clients, and finally self care time. Some might wonder why self care time is on my to do list? Well why is everything else on my to do list? To ensure that I remember to get to it. I think the right question to ask would be why is self care time the last thing on my to do list? Well maybe in my head everything else seemed to be of higher priority. I have worked hard to restructure my thoughts around this; to work on putting self care as a higher priority on my list to avoid burnout and also to have the energy to keep going. So lets dive in to some of the ways that Neha takes care of Neha:
1.) Netflix Binge
I am sure many people can relate that there is no greater way to spend an evening than to be cuddled up in your warm blanket binge watching your favorite show. Friends is my usual go to relaxation show but more recently I have been obsessed with This Is Us. Netflix gives me an opportunity to escape from the pressures of my real world. One of the ways I truly engage in self care while watching Netflix is by reflecting on my mood. Connecting to my mood prior to starting my show can help me gauge what type of pick me up I might need.
2.) Dance Dance
Dance like nobody’s watching is one of my favorite things to tell people. I truly embody this quote. Dance to me is a form of expression; there is so much that can be expressed through movement that may be difficult to express in words. I am not a trained dancer but I am a passionate dancer. I love watching videos of others expressing themselves through dance whether you are a professional or have no idea what you are doing. Often people ask if I have learned dance from somewhere, to be honest, no I have never learned and in order to love dance I don’t think anyone has to learn. I feel someone is a good dancer when they remove the pressure of being good and instead find their passion in it. I am passionate about dance and you will see me smiling most when I am on an open dance floor because dance to me equals freedom. Give yourself the chance to engage in this movement; don’t let “having two left feet” stop you from shaking a leg or swaying those hips. This self care activity is channeled daily; I dance in the car, I dance in my room, I have even danced with my clients in my office.
3.) Quality time with my # 1’s
A huge part of self care is surrounding yourself with people who know how to make you feel worth it even when you’re not sure how. I would like to use the word blessed when I speak about some of the people in my life. I won’t name names because if you are important to me you will read this and know that you are being talked about. I have many people in my life who go far beyond expectations to make my spirits feel lifted: whether it’s by a phone call, a Whatsapp message or a gentle reminder that I am doing great and that they are proud of me. Quality time does not always have to mean fancy dinners out or planned events; quality time for me is spontaneous hangouts where I get to be me and you be you. Quality time for me is where there are endless laughs, couch cuddles, and gentle sarcasm (well maybe not always so gentle). Friendship is not a numbers game; be sure to surround yourself with people who let you be you and trust me you could be sitting in a box together and you’ll have the best time (hmm any friends want to try :P).
4) Swipe Swipe
No I don’t mean Tinder swiping. There is only one kind of swiping that works for me and that is credit card swiping. Now this can be a dangerous self care strategy if not used properly. My self care includes not only swiping that credit card but simply going to the mall. Being at the mall doesn’t necessarily mean that I have to buy something but just walking around and seeing what is new in stores can be self care in itself.
5) Let’s Chill
Those of you who know will definitely shake your head at this one but hey it’s my self care story. So no matter how cold it is, or how late it is, I will make sure I find some time to get myself my much needed Iced Capp. This for me is usually a post work ritual; on my drive home I will stop over at Timmys and instantly leave with a smile on my face. The Iced Capp is more than just a drink for me, it is a reminder that I made it through a tough day. I enjoy seeing the ladies at Tim Hortons smile so big when they see me pull up; sure slightly embarrassing that they know who I am but also so positive that they take the time to pleasantly greet a stranger obsessed with Iced Capps.
6) Me Time
To some the following might come as a surprise: I am an introvert. Now I manage myself well in social situations for the most part but I also love my down time. So how is me time different from everything else I’ve described? Well me time includes doing nothing or doing the simple things like straightening my hair, doing my make up, or taking a shower; things that we often take for granted. This is a chance for me to show myself some self-love. This is something that I encourage everyone to do; at the end of each day instead of thinking about tomorrow or all the things that maybe you should’ve done today but didn’t get to, I want you to challenge yourself to think of one positive thing about yourself. This can be anything from that joke you told earlier which got a few laughs to it was nice of me to let that person merge ahead of me on the highway. It might be silly to compliment yourself on that but no one said we can’t. My compliment to myself for the day is that I am proud of myself for getting back into my blog: it is my space to share my thoughts, my perspectives and my amateur interpretations of the world.
It is easy to say that we need to do more self care activity in our day to day but actually implementing it can be the challenge. There are many reasons that self care might be pushed aside in your world such as having family, working every day, social commitments, etc. so my challenge to you is to take even 5 min today and each day this weekend to do something for yourself. If it’s too difficult to actually do it think about what you would do if you had the time and then make the time for it. Change the mindset that it is selfish to do things for yourself and engage in some self care. You only need one person’s permission for self care and that is your own! Give yourself permission today and everyday after.
Also a special mention to both Jasmine (@beautybyjay_mua) and Varun from Holk Photography (@vmudholk) for collaborating on this post- I will leave some more pictures because I obsessed over the makeup and photography for days. Thank you both for making this such a fun collab!
Until next time fashionistas!