Self-care has really been at the forefront of my mind lately.
Throughout my life, I’ve always made an effort to take care of myself on some level, but as I’m now entering my real mid-30’s (the big 3-5!) I’ve pumped up my self-care dedication to a new level. As some of you know, I’ve spent the past 7 years helping women on their path through grief and loss. This alone has given me profound insight into the importance of taking care of ourselves – body, mind, soul – if we desire to live lives that feel joyful, healthy, and fulfilling. Now, as I’ve branched out to help women through holistic wellness, I felt it appropriate that this first blog post be devoted to how we can best take care of ourselves.
Life is a wild ride. It can be crazy, busy, overwhelming, painful, challenging, exciting, confusing, beautiful, and just plain hard.
You never know what you’re going to face from day to day, but one thing that you can learn to count on is yourself. When you’re rooted in who you are, aware of how you feel, and conscious of how you’re co-creating a day filled with peace or chaos, you can experience powerful (and needed!) shifts in your daily life.
These are my top 5 favorite tips to get your self-care on track. They do require commitment and a little effort, but they are so worth it if you are seeking a happier, healthier you! I’ve been practicing them regularly, and I invite you to do them with me…
1. Honor Your Losses
This first one might be surprising, but it is essential. As human beings, we all experience loss. It is inevitable. Whether it’s job loss, relationship loss, loss of a dream, loss of a loved one, or loss of a certain phase of life, it impacts us all. The worst thing you can do is ignore these losses. They are a part of you and your life story. They matter and are worthy of being honored. Even though they’re not the fun, shiny side of life, they are real and can actually shape you, guide you, and lead you to your calling and greatness. So honor your losses by journaling about them, speaking about them, sharing them, connecting with other women about them, attending inspiring workshops (link to workshop page), being gentle with yourself, surrounding yourself with meaningful symbols, and staying open to the lessons that arise.
2. Set Healthy Boundaries
Learn when to say “No!” If you are a people-pleaser, like me, this can be one of the hardest things to shift. There’s a lot of pressure that women feel to do to it all. You feel like you have to be superwoman (or super mom) and the guilt sets in when you realize that you just can’t keep up. Obviously, there are certain things that need to be done each day for your life to run, but when it comes to extra projects, social commitments, or activities that don’t feel like a “10” to you, then seriously look at removing them from your list or kindly declining a request. Sometimes, you just “have to do you,” and the world’s not going to end if you take a break, change plans, or let something go that’s non-essential.
“You have permission to let it go and say ‘no!'” via @HerCWellness
3. Practice Being Present
This is another big one for most of us! I admit of my own addiction to technology, always wanting to know what new email, text, or FB notification I have coming through when I hear the little “ding” of my cell phone. It’s like a rush of adrenaline and curiosity, wondering who could be needing something or what news I could be missing! Over the past few months, I’ve made a more conscious effort to put my phone away when having a meal with my loved ones or when doing activities with my daughter. I’ve even taken detox breaks from FB, deciding that I don’t need to post where I’m at throughout the day or share pictures immediately. I want to be in the moment first and foremost, because moments go fast and then they’re gone. Try starting with just 5 minutes a day with a breathing exercise or 5 minute meditation. Write down your thoughts or feelings in a morning or nightly journal. Put all technology away after your workday is done. Do yoga. Take a bath with some essential oils and simply be with yourself. Make time each day to re-connect with YOU.
4. Nourish Your Body
Treat your body like the sacred vessel that it is. Consume food and drink that will fuel and energize you. Switch out sugary snacks for a smoothie instead. Try to eat some leafy greens every day. Drink lots of water! As someone who prefers flavor, you can enjoy enhancing your water with lemon or peppermint essential oil. Feel gratitude every time you’re about to enjoy a meal. This simple act of appreciation can help us to stay mindful of what we put in our bodies and how it makes us feel. Also, get outside to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine! Just 15-20 minutes of exercise a day can really lift your spirit.
“Your body is the only one you’ve got, so give it the love it deserves!” via @HerCWellness
5. Do One Thing That Brings You Joy Each Day
Each day that we have is a gift. Even if you are moving through something really hard, like a recent loss, health challenge, or you’re struggling with where you’re at in your life, allow yourself time to step out of the fog for a little breather. You deserve it. Whether it’s listening to an inspirational podcast, blasting your favorite song in your car, sipping your favorite latte, or reading a juicy book, allow yourself those small (but magical!) moments of pure joy. You will feel clearer, less emotional burden, and more like the “you” that you enjoy being.
You can start putting these tips into action right away. If you put them into practice, I promise they will bring transformation! Feel free to start with one tip per day, and gradually add on. There’s no right or wrong way. You can print them out to keep next to your bed, or put on your mirror as a reminder. Share them with a friend and hold each other accountable.
Remember, self-care = self-love. You are so deserving of love each day. So be good to the one and only you!