Written by Dana Brown
Taking care of yourself doesn’t end with eating well and exercising. Self-care is the buzzword for 2019 to integrate into your health and wellness regimen. The mind, body and spirit work together to create a whole, balanced person. Most of us are physically affected by how we handle stress. The mind and spirit are powerfully connected to our physical bodies; our attitudes, thoughts and beliefs can positively or negatively affect our physical well-being. How we treat ourselves physically (what we eat, how much we sleep, our posture and breathing) can also impact our mindset. It’s crucial that we are aware of this deep connection in order to become our healthiest self! Self-care is the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health and having an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular, during periods of stress.
Sounds easy enough, right? We know that we shouldn’t neglect self-care but so many of us are just trying to keep up with our crazy, roadrunner way of living that it’s no wonder self-care often is put on the back burner. Don’t wait for a wake-up call to notice the toll that a busy lifestyle can take on our bodies. Self-care is NOT all about fancy facials, pedicures and treating yourself. Effective self-care is simply the act of taking care of yourself, and there are so many ways to do that! Learning how to take care of yourself isn’t always the easiest thing to do but small changes add up over the course of the day to truly improve the way we feel. Here are some simple ideas to get you started:
- Journaling helps you process your emotions, feel calmer, be more mindful, get organized and achieve your goals.
- Set your alarm 10 minutes earlier each day and start a new morning routine. Use this time to give yourself a full-body stretch while sipping on warm lemon water. Lemon water is great for your immune and digestive systems.
- Remind yourself to breathe correctly throughout the day. Short, shallow breathing makes us feel anxious and tense. Deep breathing improves blood flow, detoxifies the body, reduces inflammation, stimulates the lymphatic system, improves digestion and so much more.
- Unplug! Set aside specific periods of time to put down the phone, shut off the computer and simply be present. You will sleep better, feel recharged and improve your interpersonal communication with your loved ones!
- Fill your space with your favorite scents – light a candle/essential oil/incense.
- Read for pleasure.
- Declutter! Tackle small spaces at a time and get rid of anything that no longer serves you.
Choose simple acts of self-care that will be easy for you to stick with. Over time, you will be amazed by how easy it is to show yourself some of the same TLC that you so freely give to others. YOU are worth it.