Many of us have the tendency to allow our thoughts to sit, control and even overrun us; but just like it is important to care for and protect your hair, it is essential that you are taking care of your overall well-being.

It’s important to understand that taking care of yourself is the foundation to smoothing the road of trials and tribulations that may come your way because just as caring for your hair takes work, so does caring for yourself. Remember, it is never as simple as just doing these things to get rid of whatever is happening in your life--it is a matter of working them into your routine. That way, you may better combat whatever negative feelings or energies life may throw at you. First on the list: reading and writing.

Reading gives you a break from personal stresses and lets your imagination roam as far as it wants to.

Reading is one of my favorite pastimes; I typically keep my favorite books nearby for enjoyment and my personal well-being. Getting older, I allowed reading to become my safehaven and escape from the outside world. It has not only enhanced my thinking, but opened my mind to new ideas as well, no matter how trivial the topic may seem. Reading gives me a break from my personal stresses, allows me turn my mind off and lets my imagination roam as far as it wants to. Overall it is a healthy distraction from the stressful instances of everyday life.

If you love to read, or aim to read more, join the NaturallyCurly Book Club! This month we're reading Present Over Perfect - Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living.

Reading can be the ultimate form of self-care because it’s something done for your own personal enjoyment and has been proven to relieve both stress and anxiety.

When I feel overwhelmed or anxious, I like to take an hour or two out of my day, away from everything, to just sit and read. Try starting your morning with it, use your lunch break, wait until the end of the day or even take time out of your weekend, it doesn't matter when you choose as long as you’re taking the time to do what’s best for your self-care routine. And it can be any book of your choosing, as long as it is something you enjoy. The key is to make sure you enjoy it!

Writing is the starting point of manifestation.

As an avid writer (from what I’m sure you can see), I am a major advocate for writing as a form of self-care. I know the trade of writing may not come easily to everyone, but there are many benefits. Writing can be an essential part of your growth and development, and gives you an inside perspective to who you are, where you are at, and what your thoughts are at this point in time, whether it be for functional or more personal uses.
You do not have to be a magnificent wordsmith in order to write; it simply allows you a personal space to reflect and check in with yourself. Writing also creates a space for you to write out your thoughts and give your mind a break from itself while allowing you to look back and even push forward towards personal growth. Writing is literally the starting point to manifest your thoughts and ideas.
 Writing, in a sense, gives us an outlet to vent, let go, and be free from our personal burdens, if only for a moment. 

Many of us have the tendency to allow our thoughts to sit, control and even overrun us.

Our minds run a million miles a minute thinking of what we have to do, what we are going through at the moment, what is bothering us, who is bothering us, and without even realizing it, we end up carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders. Writing provides an opportunity to let all of these thoughts out, and even let them go. Retaining them with no outlet only allows for us to hold onto things longer than needed. Writing, in a sense, gives us an outlet to vent, let go, and be free from our personal burdens, if only for a moment. This outlet gives ourselves a break from our thoughts rather than having to constantly carrying them with us.

I cannot tell you how many times writing has lifted something that was heavy on my spirit.

Once that happens you’d be surprised at the clear visual you can gain of your own feelings. It’s not something that happens overnight either, sometimes you have to write it out multiple times before it has any impact, but the goal is to help lift whatever is weighing on you.

As someone who has personally seen the work that writing has done for me, I would implore you to try it. Get a notebook, journal, or use the notes on your phone--you just need a singular place to keep track of your thoughts and start writing. Start as small as you need to, don’t think that you need to write a manuscript, just write down how your day went, give yourself a moment to reflect and check in with yourself. It can be as simple as “I had a great day, but something that someone said to me really got me thinking.”

How to start the work

Once a week, ask yourself simple questions:

  • How am I feeling?
  • How did my day/week go?
  • What did I do today?
  • What did I learn today?
  • What would I like improve for a better tomorrow?

What is the last good book you've read?

Do you write in a daily journal? What has it taught you about yourself? Let us know in the comments below.

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