Let’s talk about self care. It seems to be the buzz word right now!
A friend of mine was telling me about her recent health issues. She had spent the past two years caring for her elderly parents. Two years of stress and lack of self care added up, and her stress level and blood pressure spiked. Thankfully, she was able to get immediate help. Our conversation shifted to how she was working on her own self care plan. She was actually thankful that this happened - that she had this wake up call, and that taking care of herself was not optional, but a necessity. We talked about the steps she was taking to add more exercise into her life, to eat better, & to take the time she needs to take care of herself, so she can be there for her father, daughter, & husband.
Getting sick or having a health scare (HBP, High Blood Sugar, Cholesterol, etc) is a harsh reminder that self care is vital. And it’s not a one time thing. It must be incorporated into our lives regularly. It’s the consistent repetition of many tiny habits, which together nurture you and make sure you’re at your best —physically & mentally.
What is self care?
Self care is the act of taking care of yourself to protect, maintain and improve your health. It’s about identifying your own needs and taking steps to meet them. It is taking the time to do activities that nurture you. Self-care can include any activity that promotes relaxations or bring you joy.
Why do we need self care?
We spend a great deal of time nurturing our loved ones. Yet, we often find ourselves focusing more on others than ourselves. This causes us to become exhausted, stressed out, and overwhelmed. For those of us who spend time helping and caring for others, it is too easy to neglect our own needs. It’s like running on empty when we don’t take the time to re-fuel. We spend so much time and effort caring for our loved ones. With all the family activities, errands, housework, meetings, etc.—there isn’t much time left for caring for ourselves. We need to find a way to balance our daily lives with activities that bring a sense of peace and well being. When we neglect our own needs and forget to nurture ourselves, we often become unhappy, have low self-esteem and feel resentment. Self care is about taking the time to take proper care of yourself. It means treating yourself as kindly as you treat others.
How do I start to add more self care into my daily routine?
The important thing is to just start incorporating self-care in your life. You can start small, by choosing to take 10 minutes a day for yourself. Once you can do 10 minutes of self-care on a daily basis, add five more minutes. The key is to START to take care of yourself, so you will be better able to take care of those around you.
The best way to do this is to implement small self-care habits every day. To regularly include a little bit of love and attention for your own body, mind, and soul. Take 5-10 minutes to take a quick walk. Take a short yoga break. Lay down and let your body relax. It’s OK to take time to take care of yourself. Give yourself permission to stop and take the time you need to nurture you so you can be your best for the ones you love.
What will you commit to doing this week to take care of yourself? One of my personal favorites is to add some Yoga & Pilates to my daily routine. Click here to get my Guided Progressive Relaxation Video that you can try right now!