Society's messages can be confusing, right? One minute it's all about taking care of others and being selfless in order to care for the needs of others, then the next minute we are told to focus on ourselves and practice self-care. Oh wait, but when you actually create boundaries and implement self-care into your daily or weekly regimen then we are labeled as selfish. I can not keep up! One of the ways I combat being influenced by these mixed messages is being mindful and aware of my own needs at any given moment. You may be thinking, well what does this look like? Keep reading fam.
My journey towards a mindful state of being often ebb and flow. So much to the point that my body craves being in a state of stillness when life begins to feel out of sorts. Practicing moments of being alone with my thoughts, feelings, and exploring how this impacts my behaviors on a daily basis is a true example of being mindful.
Contrary to popular belief, humans do not just engage in behavior without some type of catalyst or reason. Yes, of course, we do have autonomic behaviors that we do without thinking such as breathing and blinking, still these behaviors take place for a reason, i.e. breathing: to keep oxygen flowing through our bodies, blinking: to prevent the eyes from drying out. We simply push these behaviors to our subconscious mind on a regular basis and go about our day. Yet, being consciously aware is the practice of bringing certain thoughts and emotions to the forefront and exploring them further for better understanding.
After practicing mindfulness consistently, I am able to better assess what my body needs at any given time. So, there might be days when I need to connect myself with others and buy a gift for a friend to cheer her and myself up. Other days I might need some "me" time which consists of cooking homemade tacos and catching up on my favorite show. No matter which option I choose (sometimes I choose both in one day) removing society's narrative of judging my decisions as good, bad, selfish, needy, inconsiderate allows me to be calm and still in my own skin. I encourage you to create time and space to explore the depths of you, find out what you need when different emotions surface, and self-soothe those emotions with whatever you know works for you.
The way you choose to make yourself a priority IS NOT up for anyone's approval when engaging in healthy practices that meet your emotional and physical needs.