3 Potent Ways You Can Take Your Power Back
Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths — Etty Hillesum
When you care for yourself, you’re really respecting yourself. For example, you can abuse your body through drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and even food. Whatever you put into your mouth, it shows how much you respect your body, your machine. You only have one body. If you feed yourself with good-quality, nutritious, healthy food, it shows you’re caring for your body and yourself with self-care, carefully. If you don’t and you put loads of shit in your body, it shows you’re not really caring for yourself. Therefore, you’re not really showing yourself much respect. This is one example where you may not be caring for yourself.
The first step is having awareness. Then you can start to make informed decisions about how you care for yourself.
What will you do today to show yourself you care?
Please be mindful about caring for yourself, because you are the most important person right now. How can you look after someone else if you don’t look after yourself first? Self-care is how you treat yourself, and how you do this represents your self-worth.
Be aware of how you talk to yourself, your internal and external dialogue. If you catch yourself saying ‘I’m such an idiot’, whether out loud or with your internal voice, stop, observe, and then know the truth. You are definitely not an idiot. If you keep saying it to yourself you may just start to believe it. This is certainly not helpful.
Switch up your internal dialogue. For example, If you hear yourself, or others say:
“I’m an idiot”
Call yourself out on it. Say:
“No you’re not”
The power of this practice becomes stronger with mindful repetition.
Eat good-quality, wholesome, and healthy food. The more you do this, the better you’ll feel within and without. You’ll be respecting your body by giving it the highest-quality fuel. Your body is like a Ferrari, so it needs the best fuel. If you fill it up with poor quality fuel, the result is low performance. Meanwhile, if you give your body the best input, you’ll have the best output. Your physical and mental performance will be so much better. So eat the good stuff! Eat lots of vegetables and fruits. I’m not saying deny yourself occasional treats as a reward, but make the best effort not to make it a regular habit, because ultimately, your body and mind will suffer. You have one body. Look after it, get it serviced regularly, and give it the best fuel; you’ll be performing like a supercar in no time!
You are worthy of caring for yourself. Now practice self-care daily. It is not selfish. It could save your life. It will definitely change it for the better.
Your mind and behaviour are affected by how you perceive and care for yourself, and your mental, emotional, and physical care is a high priority. You are important, and your self-care needs must come first because you’ll experience increases in mood and well-being. Surely this is a good thing for you and those close to you?
You must be strong for yourself and within yourself before you can care for others. Practise regular self-care, and you will experience reduced anxiety.
Did you know that sleep deprivation will kill you quicker than food deprivation?
‘Insufficient sleep deeply impairs our ability to consolidate and stabilize learning that occurs during the waking day’.
Amnesty International lists sleep deprivation as a form of torture. 
I used to not care very well for myself. My sleep was disjointed, and I would berate myself for making mistakes. I’d literally call myself an idiot. This was evidently unhealthy, physically and psychologically. This was certainly a contributor to my spiralling into a deep depression. Lack of sleep caused me to become lethargic, irritable, and unmotivated. Self-deprecating language was picked up by my reticular activating system (RAS), which means I began to believe I was a lazy idiot. This was definitely not helpful for my mental health and well-being.
Self-care is crucial to defend against toxic behaviours.
Three Potent Ways to Take Your Power Back
1 Create a regular sleep routine by going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning.
If you need a gentle nudge of accountability and tracking, you can always choose one of the many Sleep Apps available on the Apple or Android app stores
2 Check in with yourself daily. Ask yourself:
‘Hey, mate, how are you truly feeling today?’
Then listen to your body and mind. Awareness is key. Adjust as necessary. Tired? Go to sleep a bit earlier.
3 Meditate for five minutes.
Feeling irritated? Stop whatever you’re doing. Close your eyes. Gently inhale for 3 seconds. Hold for 3 seconds. Steadily exhale for 3 seconds. Repeat as necessary until you start to feel, well, less irritated. That’s better isn’t it?
Practise self-care-fully every single day by using positive language when thinking about yourself, being kind, and getting a good night’s sleep most nights.
This way you’ll stop giving your power away and start taking your power back.
Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you. — Anne Lamott
Thank you for reading!
Adapted from Confide: The New Psychology of Confidence. How to Power Up after Experiencing Depression
 Sleep is More Important than Food, Tony Schwartz