Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Self-Care: Part 2 – Self-Love

Writing a blog only once a week makes me feel a lot of pressure to actually say something meaningful. Telling you about why I put a certain shirt with a certain pair of pants is fine when I’m producing content several times a week, but if I’m only saying something once every 7 days, shouldn’t it be something worth hearing? Aren’t all the other bloggers saying significant things on important topics, like faith and (successful) relationships and politics? Or even how to ship lap?

But, I suppose that’s the problem – bowing to pressure and comparison. I can only be me. I’ve always only been able to be me, and any attempt to do otherwise has failed miserably (cue awkward memories of high school and college). And you can only be you. Sure, we all want to be the best versions of ourselves, but I actually just read an article about how our culture’s obsession with self-improvement leads to even more depression and anxiety. We’ll never fully arrive – there will always be room to become an even better best, and it can be exhausting trying.

So, I guess that leads me to my second point on the topic of self-care. Self-love. I think you all know me well-enough to know that I’m not what you might call a hippy…. I have a pretty traditional view of Christianity that includes words like “sin” and “righteousness”. I think there are moral absolutes and definite rights and wrongs.

But, I also think there is a lot more room for grace than we give ourselves. I’m not just talking about faith matters – I mean, grace to eat a cupcake if we’ve had a really bad day and just need something to cheer us up. Or grace NOT to eat the cupcake, if we are in a season where prioritizing our health is important. Grace to say no to things that we genuinely don’t want to do, or to put ourselves (our families, our sleep, our health) first, instead of feeling obligated to do what we think society might expect of us.

I don’t pretend to be an expert on self-care, let’s be real. In fact, I’ve never been sick as often as I was the first year I moved to Nashville. I blamed the allergens, but honestly, part of it was learning how 30-something year old me needed to operate. And part of how I need to operate is just to say no. Sometimes, that means saying no to staying out just a little bit later, when I know I’ll be exhausted the next day and more susceptible to getting sick. Sometimes, it means saying no to eating fast food for the 4th time that week, because I know I’m not feeding my body well, for either the short or long-term. Sometimes, saying no is listening to that Still Small Voice who always knows what’s best for me – even when I can’t see what’s up ahead – and making my decisions accordingly.

Do I do this perfectly? Good lord, no. Do I do it well? Even that’s debatable. But I’m trying.

So, what’s the takeaway here? Well, there are a few practical things I regularly try to do to take care of myself. These include:

  • Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night. And sometimes taking a nap in my car at lunch if I need a little extra boost. No shame in my game.
  • Eating healthy foods. I’ve learned what my body likes and what it doesn’t, and in 2018, I don’t think any of us are really confused about what’s healthy. I try to keep this in mind at least 75% of the time.
  • Friendships. I’m such an extrovert, if I’m not around people at some point during a 24 hour period, I start to go crazy. But, even for those who are less extremely extroverted than me, fellowship, laughter, and companionship is always good for the soul.
  • Down time. Because of my extroverted nature, it’s really easy for me to just go, go, go. I’ve learned, though, that a little time to decompress – read, binge TV, do chores, or otherwise just exist – is good for me and gives me the opportunity to be still with my thoughts.
  • Daily devotional time. Spending time in prayer and reading the Bible (as well as other inspirational books) keeps me centered and focused on the things that truly matter, and it’s the most surefire way to find peace in stressful times. Non-Christians can also benefit from a daily reflective practice, but for those who adhere to a faith, I think this step is crucial.

Those are some of the ways I stay healthy – physically, emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually. Yours may be different. You may be someone who needs time in nature on a regular basis. Or maybe you’re an introvert who needs to protect your alone time. Maybe a relaxing bath and a glass of wine is all you need.

But whatever it is, be sure you make time for those things. Self-love isn’t selfishness. Even the Bible compares Christ’s love to how we as humans nourish and cherish our bodies (Ephesians 5:29). By being sure that we stay healthy, we’re then much more equipped to do the things that we need to do, and to be a blessing to other people.

Another way that I take care of myself is by fostering my creative side through clothes, so with no further ado…

It’s already that time, y’all. My first sweater of the season, although I paired it with white jeans to help ease the transition from summer to fall – never an easy task for me.

The sweater is actually a sweater dress, I think, and at some point in the season, I may wear it with leggings or tights. But, for now, I just did a half tuck in the front to make it seem like it’s a normal length.

I’m also trying to work on my poses, and this not-looking-directly-at-the-camera thing seems to be the way to go. How am I doing?

What are some of the ways you stay healthy by taking care of yourself first? Let me know in the comments – maybe we’ll all get some other good ideas!

<3,

SB

5 Comments

  1. That’s a dress??? It looks so cute with those pants!
    I’m with you – I love a good devotional or bible study to keep me in the Word daily.
    I need to work more on sleep & relationship with food. It’s all about taking care of the body!

    • Sarah_Beth
      Sarah_Beth

      September 13, 2018 at 11:49 am

      Thanks, Rebecca Jo! Yes, I think it is a dress…or a REALLY long sweater. But it tucks so nicely! And yes, everything is about balance, and that’s so difficult to do. But, all we can do is try. 🙂

  2. Wow Sarah Beth! It truly sounds like you have it all together and know what you want in order to care for yourself. 🙂 I agree with you all the way here. I think that having a healthy, normal routine for one’s life is essential for a healthy existence.
    I try to do a somewhat similar thing to what you do.

    I’m an extreme introvert and absolutely need my down time. For me, that means reading (usually children’s fiction novels as I work in the children’s dept. at my library, but I read other genres as well), making postcard art, listening to my classical (Vivaldi mostly) music, and sometimes just being quiet. Sometimes I pray and talk to God. I’m not ashamed to admit that as I’m a practicing Christian (I’m not perfect!). And if I feel the need to, I’ll whip out my iPod and play one of my favorite app games (usually puzzle games) and binge play for like an hour. No shame in that!

    I constantly try to tell myself that I am “okay” and that it’s okay to be “me”. Other people try to convince me otherwise. And while I do occasionally heed their “advice” to be more social and outgoing, I am still okay with wanting to do what I want to do and being okay with saying “no” from time to time. No shame in that.

    And as I said before, it’s nice to have a healthy routine. I try to work out at least 2-3 times a week, I try to maintain a healthy diet; a nice mixture of all the food groups goes into my body, but occasionally, I need a burger or a slice of pizza. 🙂 And every Friday evening, I make it a priority to go to my local coffee shop and either meet up with friends or just go alone, to enjoy a cup of coffee and a cookie (my equivalent to going out for drinks as I don’t do alcohol). And I have fun with it and look forward to it each week. 🙂 Even though I’m an introvert, I do find that I like being around people (as long as the focus isn’t on me!). I just like seeing everyone there, going about their business. It sort of humbles me into thinking that we are all humans and we all have our wants, needs and everything that makes us who we are.

    And most of all, I pray everyday for my family, friends and fellow bloggers (including you!). I do all of these things and I am happy about it. 🙂

    • Sarah_Beth
      Sarah_Beth

      September 19, 2018 at 5:35 pm

      It sounds like you have some good things in place to take care of yourself, Mike. I’m glad – it’s important for all of us!

      • Thanks Sarah Beth. I think so too. And I like to change it up from time to time to help keep it interesting. Just having positive things in our lives makes us better people!

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