And welcome to month two of my Romeo Project.
My second resolution of the year is ‘Self Care is Not Selfish’. It might seem pretty obvious to some of you that looking after ourselves is important, but over the years it has been something that has been difficult for me.
When I was 18 I was in the grips of severe depression.
I didn’t care for myself, my own safety, or my own health.
I didn’t eat. For a week I survived off of toast or threw up with anxiety.
I didn’t go to class.
I didn’t want to look after myself.
For me, self care is all about preserving good mental health. It’s the little things we do for ourselves; whether treating yourself to a hot chocolate, or getting an early night ahead of a big day in work, or just going for a walk in the good weather.
And it's something that doesn’t come naturally to me. I spent so long without any sense of self worth that I still struggle to remember that my own health is important.
“Learning to love yourself is the key movement from which mental, emotional, and even physical health flows.” – Gary Hendricks, ‘Learning to Love Yourself Workbook’I also believe that self care can help prevent the bad days and the breakdowns. By being gentle with ourselves, learning to put ourselves first, and improving our defenses we can stop the re-occurrence of mental illness.
So I am dedicating a whole month to practicing different forms of self care. I want to make self care a habit; rather than a task I struggle to find time for.
For February I'm going to explore my happy place, self talk, daily habits and creating an emergency first aid kit.
Self care is preparation for the months ahead – the rest of The Romeo Project and the rest of my life.
Read all The Romeo Project posts so far here.