In a society where we are moving at a faster pace than ever, we rarely stop and take the time to look inward.
What is Self Care?
Self care is the practice of taking intentional action to care for one’s physical, mental, or emotional health.
Why is it important?
It’s no secret that our mental, physical, and emotional health are interconnected. Therefore, in order to remain physically healthy or mentally fit, the best approach is to take care of all aspects of our selves- giving special attention to the areas we usually neglect.
It’s not selfish to look after your own health. In fact, you may find when you approach your passions from a place of wholeness and health, you will have more to give!
How can I practice it?
The recipe to the best self care routine for each person will look different from person to person.
Take Inventory & Recognize Your Needs
Below I have listed some common areas for improvement in self care.
-Sleep: This one is too often the first thing to go when we get busy. However, sleep is essential to our overall health. 7-8 hours per night is recommended, but your goal could be to increase from 5 hours of sleep per night to 6 hours per night… baby steps.
-Exercise: The CDC recommends 30 minutes 5x a week. However, if your exercise routine is currently nonexistent, you don’t have to start off with p90x by any means. My favorite types of exercise are walking and jogging while listening to some awesome music, and cycling while reading a good book at the gym.
-Food: What you put in is what you will get out. Keep that in mind when your busy schedule has you heading towards fast food. Educate yourself on how to fuel your body well. Here Is One Healthy Eating Tool!
Mental and Emotional Needs:
-Know Your Limits: If I had a quarter for every time I overcommitted myself… I wouldn’t have to work a day in my life. It’s an important skill to learn how to speak your mind kindly and practice saying no.
-Positive Self-Talk: The way you talk to your self influences how you feel about yourself. Have you ever heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy? If you write yourself off as ____ (not intelligent, unworthy, disliked, unattractive, etc.), then you’re setting your mind up to take actions that confirm that you are indeed those things.
–Journal: Writing thoughts and feelings can do wonders for emotional health. This is particularly helpful for those who have a hard time acknowledging and identifying feelings or opening up to other people.
–Meditate: Slowing down your racing mind and focusing on being present can improve focus, promote relaxation, and even help you get a good night’s sleep!
–Pursue Your Passions!
Some of the best R&R I have had was spent in the outdoors, playing around on the guitar, writing, or painting and listening to relaxing music. Schedule more time for the things that bring you joy!
Featured Image: Taken by Fresh Reflections Photography 2013