Practicing gratitude has become trendy. But that doesn't make it any less important, meaningful or nourishing.
Most of us weren't very confident as tweens or teens. It's a tough time. You're trying to figure out who you are, what you like, what you stand for---amid confusing physical changes, surging hormones, heaps of homework, relationship drama and all kinds of other variables and challenges.
When you have an unhealthy relationship with exercise, you feel like you can't stop running or boxing or lifting weights. You feel guilty or anxious when you rest (if you even rest). You skip events with friends and family so you can exercise. You don't really have any other hobbies besides going to the gym. You exercise when you're sick, and when you're tired, and when you're sore, and when you're in pain.
In our society, people want to be addicted to exercise. When someone exercises regularly, we praise them. We envy them. We idolize their commitment and dedication. We wonder, in awe, how do they do it? How are they so motivated? How do they get up so early, especially when it's so cold? What are their tricks? What exactly do they do to look like that?
Self-care is different things to different people. But here's one way to think of it: Self-care is "a conscious effort to maintain or improve one's mental, emotional, physical, financial and spiritual wellbeing," psychotherapist Ilona Salmons, Ed.D, LMFT, told me.