Optimal Health - Wellness

Making Self-Care a Priority

When we think of self-care, many may feel that eating right, getting lots of sleep, exercising, and working a career you love, checks all the boxes. While these factors are certainly important, self-care goes far beyond them. Self-care means treasuring our mind, body, and spirit separately and collectively. Neglecting just one of these will affect the others whether you are aware of it or not. If one is off, we can become imbalanced, fragile, and maybe even ill. Regardless of our age or gender, self-care is an ongoing process that we can manage if we make it a priority. With the current downtime we’re experiencing around the globe, now is a good time to focus on your unique needs.

Lotus - deposit

We may eat right, but have to deal with a demanding job, busy family life, or financial issues. This imbalance may cause us to experience stress, depression, and utter sadness. We’ve neglect to care for our sanity and emotional health. Taking time to meditate or be out in nature heals the spirit and soothes the soul. These little steps can make a huge difference in how we feel.

Or, we may get up early and exercise, rally our family, get school lunches ready and laundry going all before we leave for work, but forget to eat healthy foods. We’re tired, look older than we are, experience mood swings, and maybe gain weight easily. Self-care means honoring your body with a balanced food plan that nourishes every cell in your body and gives you ample energy to face the world. Getting all the nutrients we need daily can lift our mood, brighten our spirit, and put a bounce in our step.

We all are unique and have our own individual imbalances. It’s up to us to recognize what area in our lives we are over spending our energy and resources and where we are neglecting it.

enjoy nature - photo credit Courtney Cook - Unsplash
Photo by Courtney Cook – Unsplash

When we actually contemplate caring for our needs, out comes the guilt or worthy factor. Is this you? Do you feel a twinge of guilt for taking the time to do something that honors yourself? Do family members or friends blame you if their needs aren’t met or their lives aren’t doted on? But the truth is, in order to live a healthy, wholesome, balanced life, self-care must be a priority. We must draw some lines, boundaries, and stand our ground. So, what steps can we take to get there? Here are a few ideas on creating a self-care plan.

* Create a schedule that works for you, not your family
* Delegate chores, you don’t have to do everything
* Meditate daily- choose a quiet place where you can enjoy downtime and reflect
* Create a me space
* Practice gratitude
* Practice kindness
* Practice mindfulness
* Practice forgiveness
* Designate beauty time every day for yourself. You wash your face every day, so use that time to pamper your skin with quality skincare products. Take your time and savor the moment
* Get out in nature. Take in the fresh air, enjoy the scenery and ground
* Eat more plant-based foods
* Read or take a course
* Learn a new skill or craft
* Avoid sitting too long
* Don’t take things personally, let the small stuff blow off
* Do yoga, Tai Chi or Qi Gong
* Only hang out with positive, happy and encouraging people
* Don’t buy into any drama queens or gossip fests
* Buy yourself flowers
* Take long soothing baths with Epsom salt & organic essential oils- light candles
* Volunteer
* Learn to say NO and stop pleasing people
* Laugh, laugh, laugh and then laugh some more
* Learn Reiki or other healing modalities
* Detox your body
* Practice deep breathing and slow breathing
* Listen to music, dance, move your body, enjoy the vibe
* Make travel plans to visit someplace you’ve always desired
* Visit a spa
* Allow yourself time for well-deserved rest
* Disconnect all electronics
* Spend time with family you love

self-care reading - pixabay

Looking after your family doesn’t mean your self-care has to suffer. Family and friends can take advantage of your kindness, but if you dedicate a specific time for you, follow through and honor it. Life is a balancing game and it’s so important that all your mind, body, and spiritual needs are met. It may require lots of patience, practice, and juggling, but once it becomes a habit, a lifestyle, you’ll tweak it to fit your ongoing needs. You’ll mean something to yourself!

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