Dear Charlie is an advice column that allows readers to ask Charlie for guidance on how to deal with problems. Whether it’s about love, friendships, or frustrations, Charlie is here to give you tips and ideas for tackling life’s everyday challenges. Readers can ask Charlie for advice through DM via our Instagram @liubknews, or anonymously through this form.
Self care goes beyond a Sunday reset filled with face masks and your favorite Colleen Hoover book.
Every day should be a self care day. This includes surrounding yourself with people who bring value to your life or using your energy to love yourself.
In today’s world, overworking oneself to the point of exhaustion and burnout is seen as a success. In reality, balance is needed for one to thrive.
Here are some suggestions to improve your everyday life beyond a bubble bath and eating a tub of ice cream (although I recommend those as well):
Get Rid of Toxic Relationships That Don't Bring Value to Your Life.
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn notes that, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
The people in your life influence your internal dialogue and outward actions whether you realize it or not.
If you are constantly surrounded by people who are negative, you will be more prone to act with the same negativity.
It is also important to note that not everyone you meet deserves your energy.
Some people can drain energy from you or not push you towards goals. It doesn't make you a bad person to separate yourself from people that bring negativity.
Finding the strength to have positive self-talk is a journey not a destination. It is easy for you to be hard on yourself. I think that to an extent it has become “trendy” to find something you don’t like about yourself and hone in on it. Blaming yourself and over analyzing every situation can make things worse, but taking a step back can help bring some objectivity to your life.
This self-talk can also be influenced by social media we scroll mindlessly through everyday.
Take a Break From Social Media
While social media has done wonders for our generation as it allows people to raise awareness for important ideas, these apps also promote and spread unrealistic depictions of life.
No matter how many times you remind yourself that Instagram is a highlight reel of one’s life, it can still affect you especially if you are already struggling.
You can begin asking yourself questions like, “am I doing enough with my life?” Questioning yourself and comparing your life to others’ can make you feel lesser than, especially since people can simply edit out the bad moments of their lives.
So, take a little break from the app. You don’t need to completely delete your online presence, but it might help to simply delete the app off of your phone for a short period of time.
A short detox from social media can help to keep life in perspective and allow you to return to the app with a healthier outlook.
Use Music to Your Advantage
I have found that music can completely shift your mood in a positive way, so, make a soundtrack to your life and walk down the streets of NYC.
Music can be used as an outlet and can motivate you in many aspects of your life not only mentally, but physically as well.
The vibe of your day is up to you. It can have a relaxing vibe where you can listen to Frank Ocean or a hype vibe featuring artists like Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat.
Move Your Body
Physical activity stimulates the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These are the brain chemicals that play an important part in regulating your mood.
Whether you want to hit the gym or simply go on a walk in Central Park, Prospect Park or one of my personal favorites, the promenade in Brooklyn Heights, moving your body will stimulate the release of these important brain chemicals and can help to destress and reset.
Keep a Journal
I am a big believer in journaling your thoughts as a form of therapy as it is easy and free.
Writing down your thoughts and emotions can help to release tension felt from everyday activities and interactions.
The paper and pen do not judge how you feel. They do not have comments to make on the decisions you make or tell you how disappointed they are.
It is a judgment-free conversation between you and the paper.
Self-Care is Every Day
All of these self care items go beyond simply taking yourself on a date or getting your nails done.
Taking the time to incorporate just one of these self-care items into your life can bring a sense of calm energy to your routine. Consider taking time to work on yourself and put your well-being first.