Taking proper care of oneself has a long lasting impact. Not only on our own health, but affecting those around us and our community at large. Ignoring what our mind, body and soul needs can result in major consequences.
What the statistics tell us:
- Mental Health - 40 million adults (18%) suffer from anxiety. It costs the U.S. $42 billion dollars a year. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.
- Postpartum Depression - Up to 20% of moms experience postpartum depression after the birth of their child.
- Obesity - More than one-third (36%) of adults in the U.S. are obese.
- Substance Abuse - 21.5 million Americans ages 12 years and older battled a substance use disorder in 2014. 5.1 million Americans adults ages 18 years and older reported having an alcohol use disorder in 2015.
Self-care is NOT the solution to every aliment.
However, over time, self-care has the power to heal. Regular self-care activities can help you achieve your goals, assist through a weight loss journey, empower you in decision making and help you cope and navigate through life's challenges.
What is self-care?
Self-care are actions you take in order to care for your overall well being. Self-care actions include: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual practices.
Does this action nourish me?
Does this action improve my overall well being?
Is this action in my overall highest good?
Benefits of self-care include:
- More energy
- Avoid burnout
- Less irritability and more patience
- Prevent illness
- Foster creativity
- Feel better and happier
- Improve your overall quality of life
My favorite self-care practices.
Hydrate - The general rule of thumb is to drink at least half your body weight in water. For example, if you weigh 130 pounds, half your weight is 65. So, you should be drinking at least 65 ounces of water. This number varies based on your lifestyle, including the climate you live in and your activity level. Drinking adequate amounts of water will not only help you feel better and hydrated, but it will also help you recover from illness quicker and increase your metabolism.
Pro-tip: Start your day with drinking a large cup. Keep your cup or water bottle nearby and hydrate throughout the day.
Journal - Journaling is a great tool to help find clarity and organize your thoughts. I always tell people, "give your thoughts a place to live." Journaling can help you foster creativity, become more organized, assist you with healing and forgiveness, and help you achieve your goals.
Pro-tip: Every morning start with a blank page and just write!
Mindfulness Meditation - Meditation is the coconut oil of the soul! There is a vast array of meditation techniques to practice. One of my favorites is mindfulness meditation, or Vipassanā. Mindfulness meditation is bringing your attention to your breath, and observing all thoughts, distractions without judgement. When a thought or distraction arises, you simply notice. Refraining from labeling good, bad or indifferent.
Pro-tip: setup a quiet space in your home.
Spiritual Dance and Music - I know what you’re thinking. This does not mean dancing in the forest among the woodland creatures, unless that is what you want it to be. What if I’m not a “good dancer” or musician? There is no right or wrong to engage in a spiritual dance practice. This can be whatever spiritual and dance means to you. Engaging in a spiritual dance and music practice can be a simple as playing your favorite pop song dancing in your living, hymn, or chant.
Pro-tip: Create a 15 minute playlist of your favorite jams.
Self-care though isn’t all hot baths, mediation and wine. Self-care can be an active practice!
Active Self-Care Practices
Class or Workshop - Classes and workshops are great places to get guidance and support. Deepen your practice and learn with an experienced facilitator. Additionally, surrounding yourself with others who are also committed to self care helps you know you are not alone on your journey.
Planning - Planning can help you stay on track, keep up on your to-do list, achieve your goals, and stay organized. Successful companies and entrepreneurs do not operate without a plan. Why should you? A plan is a map to help you get where you’re going. It will help you be more efficient and achieve your dreams.
Pro-tip: Setup time once a week to plan out all your action items, food prep, daily to-dos.
Coaching - A coach is a professional who helps to counsel, encourage, and guide you through the messiness of personal or professional challenges. Coaches range from business, fitness, health, life. They will help you gain clarity, accountability, and cheer you on. Level up by hiring a coach!
Pro-tip: Do you research! Not all coaches are equal. Find someone who you connect with and has an accountability style that works for you.
De-clutter - Mindfully cleaning, organizing and de-clutter can be deeply relieving and healing. Ask yourself: Does this item bring me joy? De-clutter with the intention of releasing what is no longer serving you. This process will change the energy in your space. Free the things that are no longer serving you.
Pro-tip: Don’t try to empty your garage in one sitting. Set aside ten minutes each day to work on clearing your space. I promise you’ll feel lighter after this one!
How are you going to care for yourself today?