In honor of International Women’s Day, let’s look at how we celebrate ourselves! Some of us have always been in touch with our femininity while others grew to notice, accept and love it. Either way, we can feel its energy pulling us through our bad days and pulling us close together!
We’ve made great strides in the fight to keep this energy and tap into it on our own terms, and while the fight is not over, today is about rest and celebration.
Here are 9 ways in which I try to show up for myself every day, but especially today!
TW: mental health, body image
Learn more about International Women’s Day
Educate yourself and others about the history of International Women’s Day and ways you can celebrate with others. It’s such a powerful story and this article does a great job of explaining the holiday’s past and the traditions it’s formed through the years.
Form habits of self-love
Showing up for yourself is crucial, and it comes in so many shapes. It can be flowers you buy for yourself every month, or the food box subscription you get in the winter to better manage your Seasonal Affective Disorder. If physical touch is your love language, it can be a skin care routine, yoga or getting a massage.
However you best receive love from others, turn it inward and use what resonates with your heart in your personal care activities.
Optimize your space
Your space should make you feel comfortable, make you excited to be home and provide you the energy to leave it, too. There are solutions for virtually any need you have from your space. Sometimes, the hardest part is identifying what makes you unsatisfied. I know firsthand that a lot of discomfort comes from living with mental health conditions such as ADHD, anxiety, depression or OCD.
If clutter contributes to your anxiety, let go and donate gifts you’ve never used or move them out of sight. If you need to see all the food you bought or else you forget to eat it, then invest in transparent containers for your fridge. I found a lot of useful tips from TikTok communities and I highly recommend checking out #adhdhacks and #organizationhacks!
Celebrate with others
When I say others, I don’t just mean your best friends. The most wonderful thing about holidays is that they’re shared by large groups of people. So today, remember that every girl, woman and feminine-presenting person you walk past is likely “feeling it” too. Take this opportunity to share little moments of connection, even if it’s just wishing them a good day.
Compliments have a boomerang effect, so don’t hold back on them!
Of all the ways to improve your mental health, this is one of the best. And it’s free! The things you think about throughout the day will influence your state of being. Learn to be aware of your thoughts and how they affect your body. Learn to maintain a healthier inner dialogue, practice self-acceptance and compassion.
Meditation can also support your spiritual self-care, and you can introduce affirmations into your practice. You can also practice it while you’re taking a walk through the park. As long as you’re attuned to what’s happening in your mind and body, you’re doing it right!
Note your accomplishments
Some days it feels like nothing is going right and we can’t help but feel like we’re not good enough. I know better than to believe that feeling, but I don’t always have the time or space to meditate out of that state. This is where the Notes app comes in!
You’ve done amazing work for a client? Write it down! Someone gave you a meaningful compliment? Write it down! You’re making strides in your trauma healing process? Write it down! Write how it feels and why it matters. Reading through them when you’re feeling defeated can help to switch your mood.
Take yourself out on a date
Dating yourself is a great way to practice self-sufficiency, and you may just fall in love with being your own companion! Don’t be scared to book a class that none of your friends are interested in, or go to a spot you’ve always wanted to see but none of your exes liked the sound of.
Once you push past the initial awkwardness, doing things alone builds confidence and helps you get in touch with all of your best traits. Who else are you going to focus on? 🙂
Thank your body
We put our bodies through a lot. Starting in our pre-teen years, we’re told to mold our genetic markup into this ideal form no matter the cost to our physical and mental health. Even after years of therapy to undo that harm, it’s still difficult to prioritize our bodies and we end up skipping meals to meet work deadlines, or avoid rest because “that’s what the weekend is for”.
Today, make a commitment to prioritize your body’s health and thank it for all it does for you. For carrying you on top of that mountain, for holding your baby, for playing catch with your dog, for rolling your wheelchair up that steep ramp, for cooking your grandma her favorite meal. For keeping you alive. Our bodies are amazing through what they’re able to do, not what they look like.
Nurture your community
Today’s society praises individualism, but offers it without independence. In our efforts to stay the agents of our own lives, we forget we need community.
In her book, How We Show Up, Mia Birdsong speaks about interdependence and the need for belonging. I recommend this book if you’d like to discover more ways in which we can show up for people we care about and, through that, for our souls.