National Eating Disorders Association
Blog

The Power of Self-Care

Ana Bisciello

After tossing and turning all night, the sun will smile through the window to welcome us to a new day – calling for a fresh start. Every day and every moment, we are presented with a new opportunity to start again. We are able to start again from the mistakes we may have made, the tasks we were not able to accomplish, and the negative mindset we may have had.

It is common to have our problems, worries, and flaws linger from day to day. Our lives often pull us in many different directions, thus requiring us to be in high demand, which can be an excuse to compensate for the external and internal problems we may be dealing with. It is in those chaotic moments of our days that we should realize we are taking on too much and need to take a step back. This is a sign that our ability to self-care is not where it needs to be.

Sometimes, it feels like we are tangled in the cynical and bothersome thoughts and there is no escaping them. It is easy for us to convince ourselves that these thoughts hold some truth. However, what is not easy is to confront and combat these thoughts so we can have a healthier perception of ourselves. Audre Lorde once said, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” It is never selfish to put yourself first; however, it is a necessity. 

The three words that are not said often, even though they should be, are: "I love myself." We can put ourselves through many difficult situations, but guaranteed, the most difficult part of the day is facing your reflection in the mirror and saying, “I love myself.” Those three words are not so easy to initially believe and often uncomfortable to utter. When we are caught up in the chaos and seeking unrealistic expectations, we can only see our flaws in that reflection and not our strengths. We notice the mistakes we have made, but not the accomplishments we achieved. We notice the what could have been's and not the will-be's. There is often a deep emphasis on the past but never on the future. 

Now is the time to look into our future, of how we can be creating better versions of ourselves for the New Year. We can reflect and accept the things that have happened to us in 2016; however, more importantly, we can look forward to the things we have planned for 2017. One resolution that everyone should look to achieve is taking better care of ourselves, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  

All types of self-care are interwoven; when you are acting upon one area, another area is bound to grow. If you go for a walk, do some yoga, or even dance, you will improve not only your physical health, but your mental health as well. When you are doing these physical activities, listening to music can even improve your emotional and spiritual health. Go get lunch or coffee and laugh with some of your friends, read, or go for a drive to distract yourself from the busy days. All of these activities will give you an opportunity to steer away from the mental chaos we often place ourselves in. These activities are not helping you run away from the problems you may face, but they help you reflect upon life and your own feelings.  

These activities act as another chance to start again for a brand new perspective and mindset. Every day and every moment, we are presented with a new opportunity to start again. Even when you feel as though the days constantly seem dark, practicing self-care will allow for the sun to smile upon your days again.

Ana Bisciello is a graduate student at New York University as well as a marketing manager at Polar and founder of Clear Mind. Full Heart.