7 ways to practice self-care and avoid bad relationships.
Everything was perfect at first. You felt loved and appreciated. You couldn’t wait to see your partner or talk to him on the phone. Even started to believe actual butterflies lived inside your stomach.
Then, one day, things changed. He stopped saying “I love you” and started dodging your calls. However, you did still see him all the time—on Snapchat.
Your partner started to morph into your ex. You were in disbelief at first.
I mean, “God, haven’t I been through enough?”
You realize that maybe things weren’t that perfect after all.
Cue in the Adele and Mary J. Blige breakup mix.
Girl, I wish I could wave my magic wand and make your perfect mate appear right before your eyes. However, in all honesty, if I had that power, I’d do it for myself first…you know, just to make sure it really worked.
You are not cursed. You are not broken. You’re just in dire need of some self-care.
Truth be told, if we were our own ideal lover, there is no way that bad love (was it even love in the first place?) could ever stick around long enough to cause us stress.
Here are seven ways to practice self-care so that we can avoid bad relationships.
1. Treat yourself
Everyone wants their mate to surprise them once in a while. So, do that for yourself. You may be wondering how that could even be possible. But, I’ve figured out how. Order something off eBay from China (or somewhere else far away). Your item will probably take a month or two to arrive, and, by then, you’ll have forgotten you even ordered it. See? There’s your surprise right there. Practicing self-care can be that easy. Who knew?
Besides that, treat yourself to a good meal. Think of something hearty, warm and delicious. My personal favorites are: vegan mac and cheese, plantain and beans, and spicy fried rice. I’m an African vegan with a taste for Thai food. Sue me. Light some candles. Your presence is special. Be there for yourself.
You could always call a friend and have a good chat. However, I’d recommend that you prioritize alone time (and therefore self-care). When you’re alone, you can come up with amazing ideas, and you can find out a lot about yourself. Quality time is a must in any relationship.
2. Touch yourself
And, I don’t mean in a sexual way. Well, I mean, that works too. But, I’m referring to giving yourself hugs as a form of self-care. Generally speaking, humans thrive on physical touch. Hugs have a calming effect—yes, even if you’re both the giver and the receiver. Don’t be cheap with your hugs, either. Give yourself a nice, long squeeze.
Don’t worry about what others may think about it (I mean no one else is around, anyway). Be good to yourself. Massage your toes. Use one hand to massage the other. Could you imagine living with your partner and never touching him? Let’s not be strangers to our own bodies.
3. Give yourself compliments
Say nice things to yourself. I guarantee you’ll start feeling better. You could write positive affirmations on sticky notes and place them around your house. Imagine going to the fridge and seeing a note that said, “You’re powerful”. I’m pretty sure that, after a while, you’ll start feeling that way, and positive actions will ensue.
Ever heard of the water experiment by Dr. Emoto? Well, he filled two glasses with distilled water. He said mean things to one glass and nice things to the other. After, he froze both glasses. Can you believe that there were actually noticeable differences between the two? The glass that received positive comments was filled with beautiful crystals, while the crystals in the other glass were distorted. We’re up to 65% water! Doesn’t that make you think?
Let’s keep our crystals beautiful, everyone (and avoid bad relationships). It takes a minimum of 21 days to form a new habit. Give yourself compliments for 21 days and see how you feel.
4. Take yourself out
Go to the mall, go see a movie or go out to eat. When I first moved to Korea two years ago, I was lonely. I was team #nofriends up until 4 months after I got there. But, that didn’t stop me from going to restaurants and sightseeing. You really do need to enjoy your own company. What’s one thing you like doing when you’re in a relationship? Go to places you love by yourself. Bring your journal along with you and write down your thoughts.
5. Buy yourself sexy pieces
Wearing lingerie, and sexy everyday bras and panties can really boost your confidence level. Our self-esteem shouldn’t be rooted in the way we look. However, wearing lace or silk is a great pick-me-up. I mean, if we can do it for our partners, why can’t we do it for ourselves? Wash your comforter (I love the smell of freshly washed sheets), wear something sexy and comfortable, and just hang out in bed amidst fluffy pillows. Read a good book, or watch Netflix and actually chill.
6. Identify your flaws and work on them
I think you’re amazing. I honestly do. But, we all have things we need to work on. We notice our partner’s flaws more than anyone else does, because we spend the most time with him or her. So, really spend time getting to know yourself. What character traits do you need to work on and what habits need to go?
Working on you is a great way to take care of yourself. We should be as analytical about our inner self as we are about our physical appearance. The point isn’t to make you feel bad about yourself. It’s all about getting rid of a few weeds so our flowers can grow. The ultimate goal is self-love, and if a beautiful relationship with someone else grows from that, then that’s great too.
7. Use oils
Aromatherapy is an ancient practice backed by innumerable studies. I encourage you to give it a try. Oils like clary sage, jasmine, neroli, frankincense, patchouli, rose, ylang ylang, and sandalwood are said to encourage self-love.
Here’s how it works: When you rub those oils onto your body, the smell receptors in your nose are stimulated. Then, via the nervous system, those smell receptors send messages to the part of the brain that regulates emotions.
Go to a natural shop and test out some of the scents mentioned above. Those oils do more than just make you smell good, they’re also therapy. You can mix in a few drops with your body lotion and get to sniffing.
Honestly, try your best to integrate the seven self-care practices above into your life. This way, you’ll surely fall in love with yourself every day, so much so that you’ll no longer be attracted to people who don’t treat you right.
Which point resonated with you the most? Let us know down below.
Magda Ayuk is a Huffington Post contributor and a content marketing strategist dedicated to helping her clients make more money. She is also a self-care and financial literacy advocate. After saving $20K in a year, she decided to create “5 Days to 5K,” a free 5-day e-mail course that helps millennials and beyond save at least $5 000 in a year. Visit www.magdaayuk.com to enroll. For self-care and money tips, check her out on Instagram @magdaayuk