By Shannon R. Howell
In a world where everything seems to be social media driven, and the “so-called perfect” image seems nearly unattainable, it may seem as though images of what is perceived as “beautiful” or “perfect” occupy your thoughts, actions and how you view yourself. Rather than focusing on a façade,try tapping into your reality. In other words, recognize and accept your special qualities. It is important to love and embrace who you are and what makes you unique. With that said, let’s talk about the term self-care.
Self-care, simply means caring for the whole self---emotionally, physically, and mentally. Some examples of self-care may include: taking a walk after school for relaxation, participating in extracurricular activities, discussing your feelings with a parent or guardian and even learning to laugh at yourself when you make a mistake and understanding that it’s not the end of the world because you made a mistake. It’s okay to be who you are. You will face challenges which may be a result of friendship issues, parental disagreements or academic frustrations. Yet, when faced with such dilemmas just remember to always C.A.R.E. 4 yourself! The C.A.R.E. acronym discussed in this article details a specific plan of self-care. Each letter in the word C.A.R.E. represent tips to help you stay focused and direct your path toward self-worth,self-empowerment and ultimately self-care.
Let’s discuss the 4 steps in the C.A.R.E. plan
STEP 1 - Create opportunities 4 yourself. You are unique! You are amazing! You have the opportunity to shine! Explore your talents. Discover what you like to do best and work at perfecting that skill or talent.If you are uncertain about what talent or skills you have, try reaching out to various volunteer organizations in your community. Whether you volunteer at a local food bank or tutor younger students after school,volunteering and giving back to others will provide you with a sense of fulfillment and accoplishment. Volunteering will also give you a chance to discover skills or talents. To further explore and develop your talents, skills, and interest, you should also consider connecting with a mentor in your community, school or place of worship.Mentors provide support and share similar interest.Surrounding yourself with individuals who always encourage and inspire you to do your best will put you on a path for continuous success…
STEP 2 - Affirm yourself. You are probably asking, “How do I affirm myself”? Simply put, an affirmation is a positive statement you communicate to yourself. It could be a written or verbalized statement. Affirming who you are daily is a tremendous part of self-empowerment.When describing your strengths, goals, dreams, accomplishments, and/or talents use powerful descriptors such as strong, bold, competent, confident, and beautiful to describe your attributes. Your family and friends may also affirm you with these positive words. Practice saying “I” statements. I statements are a great way to affirm who you are daily. Your statements should be optimistic and uplifting. Here is an example of an “I” statement: Today, I feel confident and I will have a great day! Making affirmations a part of your routine will continue to build self-confidence…
STEP 3 - Respect yourself (and others). “R-E-S-P-E-C-T find out what it means to me” were the lyrics to a very popular song many years ago, yet these lyrics are still meaningful today. Respect is necessary for any healthy relationship. Respect is clearly defined as treating others as you would like to be treated. Friends should not disrespect or criticize each other’s beliefs. True friends should consider a friendship agreement in which all parties will be accountable for their behavior and demonstrate mutual respect for each other in words and actions. Surround yourself with real friends who are loyal and respectful of the friendship. The C.A.R.E. plan emphasizes the importance of caring for the whole person. Unhealthy friendships are unproductive.If a friendship agreement is dishonored; the agreement should be discussed and revised so that everyone is on the same page…
Step 4 - Embrace yourself. Give yourself permission not to be “perfect” and be accepting if things don’t always go in your favor. Having the ability to appreciate and love you despite life’s challenges or disappointments is essential for self-awareness and personal growth. Embracing and accepting who you are truly represents self-care.
Now, that you know the significance of caring for yourself, please remember to use the C.A.R.E. plan in your daily routine.
…..Self C.A.R.E. begins with YOU!!!