The Self-care Manifesto

By Laura Harvey

As women, we are programmed by society to leave ourselves last on our to-do lists, whether it is the name of family or relationships or work. Self-care is the first thing we all skip when life gets busy. I’m so guilty of going out with friends when I know I should stay home and take care of myself. And even more frequently, I knowingly push myself beyond my limits in the name of achieving an academic goal. When I look around myself, I can see I’m not the only one.

When I’ve stopped taking care of myself, though, my body always lets me know. This time, I have the flu. And sure, someone evil out there probably sneezed in my general direction, but I know that the only person really to blame is myself. I take this illness as a wake-up call.

I treat others with love & respect, but often have a double standard for myself.

I recently re-watched Brene Brown’s Ted Talk on perfectionism. The major line that struck me this time was “Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.” <Click To Tweet If You Agree!>

I think the same goes for how you treat yourself.

When I would tell my best friend to get some rest, I would totally drink another cup of coffee and keep pushing. Particularly when you’re young, the world tells you to be always acting. ‘Work hard, play hard,’ though, isn’t the healthiest attitude. Certainly not in cold and flu season, and probably not in general.

I decided to write myself a manifesto of self-care to remind us all to live in balance, instead of driving ourselves into the ground until we can’t even get out of bed. I encourage you to write down your own needs and seek to honor them.

I, Laura Harvey, pledge to honor myself every single day. I will treat my body with the love and respect that it deserves. This will become my way of life.

  1. I will take my vitamins, supplements, and fish oil every single night. No exceptions.
  2. I will set reminders on my phone to stop every afternoon for a snack.
  3. I will fill my water bottle up and put it in my purse every morning.
  4. I will set aside time each and every day to just be still. I will even turn off my phone (now that’s dedication).
  5. I will pursue a passion every single week that has no tangible benefit. If I write, it won’t be for a publication, it will be for myself. If I draw, it won’t be for a graphic design job. If I read, it won’t be for a class.
  6. I will follow the 90-10 rule of eating. Ninety percent of the time, I will eat my veggies and be smart about my choices. And ten percent of the time I will throw caution to the wind and order the fries that look so damned good.
  7. I will work out to make my body feel strong, not to burn calories. Exercise should be fun and joyful.
  8. I will never stop telling the people in my life how much I love and appreciate them. I can’t even imagine where I would be without them. Expressing love fills me up.

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