First and foremost, thank you for the over-whelming response to last week’s article on finding happiness within yourself. Many readers found it humorous that if we know better to expect material things on the outside to make us happy, so why do we keep going down the same path? There is a simple answer to that: we are creatures of habit. “If we know better, we do better” works when we take our actions off of autopilot and concentrate on real change. And real change happens when you apply self-care principals to yourself.
You can ‘Google’ yourself into infinitum looking for guiding principles, but I found a simple 12 Steps to Self Care Guide from livelovefruit.com:
- If it feels wrong, don’t do it
- Say exactly what you mean
- Don’t be a people pleaser
- Trust your instincts
- Never speak badly about yourself
- Never give up on your dreams
- Don’t be afraid to say “No”
- Don’t be afraid to say “Yes”
- Be kind to yourself
- Let go of what you can’t control
- Stay away from drama & negativity
Once you’ve found your footing in these suggested principles, the next one to add is one the majority of us have been taught since we were little children: “Love One Another as You Love Yourself.” This follows the self-care principles because if you cannot learn to love and care for yourself, you will never truly be able to love and care for others.
Originally published in the Bay City Tribune on Sunday, September 25, 2016.