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Self-Discipline or Self Control – Which Is Most Important To Manage Self-Care?

Self-care is hard work that requires self-discipline and self-control. Both are essential to maintain healthy self-care habits and take your self-care and mental health routine to the next level. Starting new or maintaining self-care habits is similar to training for a marathon. It requires a lot of you to get started, but it is such […]

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Self-care is hard work that requires self-discipline and self-control. Both are essential to maintain healthy self-care habits and take your self-care and mental health routine to the next level.

Starting new or maintaining self-care habits is similar to training for a marathon. It requires a lot of you to get started, but it is such a rewarding experience when you make it to the finish line.

Self-care is hard work that requires self-discipline and self-control. Both are essential to maintain healthy self-care habits and take your self-care and mental health routine to the next level.

Read on to learn about the importance of building self-discipline and self-control and how both can help support your self-care and get you where you want to be in different areas of your life.

Self-Discipline

Self-Discipline is the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome weaknesses. It requires us to be more intentionally proactive and less reactive and resist temptation.

When it comes to self-care, self-discipline is important because it encourages us to act following what needs to be done – not what we feel like doing.

You may not feel like waking up early to work out or meditate, complete a journal entry after a stressful day, or even go to therapy. Still, you know and understand doing these actions is conducive to your self-care, happiness, and success in the long-term.

How To Build Better Self-Discipline

Build Small Habits

Starting and practicing new habits is hard. Our brains are wired to return to what feels familiar and comfortable, so it can be challenging to introduce significant changes in our life.

To help you get started without overwhelming your brains and to build momentum, start with small habits. Be sure these habits support your self-care goals and routine.

If you want to start journaling every day, start with 3-5 days a week. If you want to be better at setting boundaries, start by unfollowing social media accounts that make you feel unhappy. Getting started is the hardest part. Once you start, use the momentum to reach achieve bigger goals. You can do this by increasing the number of days your journal or becoming more strict with your boundaries by setting a cut-off time to answer phone calls and texts.

Celebrate Small-Wins

Be sure to celebrate each win along the way – big or small. Remember that to achieve your big goals, there are smaller goals along the journey. Drinking more water and resisting the temptation to eat a piece of cake, is just as significant as saying no to a loved one or colleague.

Give yourself the credit you deserve. And if you can write down at least three of your wins daily. Use the list when you are feeling down or overwhelmed.

This recommendation is two-fold as acknowledging your wins is a form of self-care, and it also helps you continue and maintain your goals and routine.

Adopt A Can-Do Attitude

Understanding and accepting that we are responsible for our actions and mindset is the foundation of self-discipline. When you affirm powerful thoughts about what you can do rather than what you cannot do, is when things will start to change for the better.

When you struggle to maintain your self-care goals and routine, say out loud what you can do.

Instead of saying, I can’t make it to the gym today, say something like, “I can work out for 15 minutes during lunch.” Or instead of saying, “I can’t stop drinking wine,” say, “I can give up wine manage my stress in another way.”

You can build self-discipline. You will build self-discipline.

Prove Yourself Wrong

To help combat negative self-talk, I started this prove myself wrong practice. If I say, “I can’t do this” or “this is never going to happen,” I take it as a personal challenge to prove myself wrong.

We are our biggest critics and our self-doubt and criticism directly impact our lack of self-discipline. Replace your self-doubt and self-pity with an ingrained reflex to prove yourself wrong. This will be a fun way to get out of your comfort zone and see exactly what you are capable of achieving.

Self-Control

Self-control is the ability to control one’s emotions and desires or the expression of them in one’s behavior, especially in difficult situations.

How is self-control important for self-care? It requires us to refrain from immediate gratification – like indulging in comfort foods (or comfort libations) in times of stress or binge-watching a new Netflix show when you have a journal entry to write.

If we want to limit our guilt and increase our peace of mind and success in our life and self-care, we need to practice self-control.

How to Build Self-Control

Self-control is the ability to control one’s emotions and desires or the expression of them in one’s behavior, especially in difficult situations.

How is self-control important for self-care? It requires us to refrain from immediate gratification – like indulging in comfort foods (or comfort libations) in times of stress or binge-watching a new Netflix show when you have a journal entry to write.

If we want to limit our guilt and increase our peace of mind and success in our lives and self-care, we need to practice self-control.

Remove Roadblocks

What consistent or potential roadblocks interfere with your self-care routine? How can you remove or plan to deal with them?

When the pandemic hit last year, my therapy sessions shifted to virtual sessions like work and school. As someone who doesn’t live alone, remote sessions were a big obstacle for me as one of the benefits of therapy is the privacy and confidentiality between you and your therapist. I found myself canceling my sessions because I couldn’t find a private time to be open and honest with my therapist. To prevent this from reoccurring, I would attend my sessions from the car or the nearby park in my house. I had to leave my house and dedicate an additional 15-20 minutes to the days I attended therapy, but it was easy and rewarding in the long run.

Identify what your potential roadblocks could be and plan how you will deal with them. Don’t allow obstacles to prevent you from getting the most out of your self-care routine.

Follow An“If/Then” Strategy

An “if/’then” strategy is a discipline that demands you to correct (or punish) behavior that goes against your desired routine or behaviors. It dictates that “If X happens, then I’ll do Y”.

For example, If I surf Instagram when I’m on a social media ban for a month, I will extend the ban for an extra week. This corrective punishment prevents you from straying away from your self-care routine and practicing better self-control.

Forgive Yourself

Failing is a part of learning and practicing any new habit. You are going to fail, and you must forgive yourself! This was hard for me to adopt as someone who views failure as a weakness and is a bit of a perfectionist. But giving myself permission to forgive myself transformed my self-care routine and helped improve self-esteem.

Beating yourself up is wasted energy and will only make things worse and add to your stress. Learn how to happily forgive yourself when you fail to follow your self-care routine. This will help to build self-control and prevent further spiraling or declining mental health.

This post was originally published on BringYourOwnPower.com.

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