Back to Basics ~
The misconception about self-care is that it's a temporary fix. It's the thing that you do when you feel worn out. Often it's a day at the spa, a pedicure, or bubble bath. Self-care is the thing that you do to treat yourself, reward yourself, or self-care is what you do to finally get the relaxation you need when you're exhausted. Many think of self-care as selfish or indulgent. BUT, self-care so much more than any of this.
It is just as it says, it's caring for self. Caring for yourself is something that needs to be done every single day. Self-care is all the small things (and sometimes big things) that you do for yourself throughout the day.
It isn't always pretty or glamorous. In fact, it often isn't. Self-care is something as simple as ensuring you're getting enough water throughout the day, to something as challenging as saying no and setting boundaries. It can be soothing and comforting. It can also be complex and messy, or difficult and emotionally painful. AND, it's always rewarding!
The question I am always asked in every interview I do is, What do you recommend for the woman who's exhausted or burned out? Where does she start with self-care?
My answer is always the same: Go back to basics.
If you're exhausted, depressed, anxious, or just wondering if you're caring for yourself enough, go back to basics.
Take a good, honest look at what you aren't doing for yourself. Every human body needs the basics to function well. We need to be receiving optimal sleep. It hugely benefits us to be eating real whole foods and remain very well hydrated. We require fresh air and movement every single day. Are you receiving all of these in your life?
If you aren't, choose one to begin with and focus on that. Once you're doing that, bring in another one. I call this layering. You layer each new habit on top of the one that has become familiar in your day-to-day life. I don't recommend trying to do too much at once because it becomes too easy to go into overwhelm. This is especially true if you're already feeling exhausted.
Tips For Going Back To Basics:
Sleep Well ~
The amount and quality of sleep you receive is fundamental to your health and well-being.
Lack of sleep weakens the immune system, making you more susceptible to viruses and harder for your body to recover from illness. Without adequate sleep, you aren't able to manage daily stressors as effectively; when you aren't managing stress effectively, sleep becomes more challenging. This puts you in a cycle of not receiving sleep because you're stressed, and not being able to manage stress because you're tired. Sleepless nights contribute to forgetfulness, irritability, and difficulty making decisions. Furthermore, without adequate sleep, the body naturally craves high-fat, high-sugar foods, and we all know those aren’t the best food choices. For tips on improving your sleep, click here.
Hydrate Well ~
Did you know that the majority of people are chronically dehydrated? Perhaps you're one of them. Water is the body’s most important nutrient. Staying well hydrated benefits you in so many ways! It helps to rid the body of toxins, helps boost your metabolism and immune system, is fantastic for your skin, increases your energy, and helps maintain regularity. And these are only a few of the many benefits. Signs of dehydration are: dizziness or light-headedness, irritability, headaches, fatigue, dry lips and mouth. Dehydration contributes to brain fog, making it difficult for you to focus, think clearly, and make decisions easily. For tips on how to add more water to your day, click here.
Eat Well ~
Often we think of food as the thing that fills our hungry tummy, yet it's so much more than that! Food is fuel and nourishment for your body and your mind. When you aren't eating a diet full of whole foods, you're more likely to experience lack of energy, brain fog, irritability, and difficulty falling asleep at night. Food is necessary for survival and what you choose to fuel yourself with can keep you just surviving or can help move you into thriving.
It’s so easy to forget and to take for granted how hard your body works for you. Every single thing that enters your system has to be processed. When you make healthier food choices, your mind and body are healthier for it. When you fill yourself up with the best, you contribute tremendously to feeling your best. And when you feel your best, your best overflows to those around you. For tips on eating well click here.
Fresh Air ~
It's so easy to stay inside cooped up all day, especially during the colder winter months, and even more so these days while we're in a pandemic. However, getting outside and breathing fresh air every single day is extremely important! Even when it's cold or raining, dress for the weather, and get yourself outside. It's been proven that fresh air is essential in maintaining healthy brain function, growth, and healing.
And even better, go for a walk outside. Walking for at least 20 - 30 min in nature helps improve mood and provide mental clarity. Walking in nature also improves creative thinking and concentration, while effectively reducing stress and depression. All you need is a good pair of walking shoes and a beautiful place to walk. Even if you live in a large city, you can find a nearby park, trail, or maybe even a waterfront. For more on the benefits of enjoying fresh air and walking outside, click here.
Your body needs to move every single day. I can't talk about the importance of this enough. Even if you are fit, you may still require more movement throughout the day. Regular physical activity has been shown to significantly reduce stress and feelings of depression. It helps boost memory, focus, and creativity. Every time you move your body, you're improving immune function, circulation, and heart health, while increasing flexibility, muscle tone and strength, AND reducing body fat. Daily movement also helps improve sleep and release feel good hormones; endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. It doesn't matter what your age or ability, there's always something you can do to get your body moving!
So if you don't know where to start with your self-care, start with the basics. Fuel yourself with the things that we know the human body requires for optimal health. I know this isn't exciting. It isn't new and flashy. It seems to simple. And it works!
Be sure to set yourself up for success and reach out for support in the areas you require. For ex. If you're struggling with sleep, reach out to a sleep expert to help you. If you're struggling with nutrition, reach out to a nutritionist or naturopath. Join a support group, such as the private Facebook group that I have called Live Well Insiders, where you can meet and chat with others working on the same goals you're working on. Or, join a coaching or mentoring program, such as the Live Well Mentoring Program. There are tons of programs out there, find one that you feel aligned with and invest in yourself. You're worth it!
What basics are you working on in your life? Leave a comment and let me know.
If you've enjoyed this blog, I'd greatly appreciate you sharing it so that others can benefit from reading it as well. Thank you.
Looking for more tips to help you live well? Check out Your Live Well Journey - The Podcast, every episode offers ways to help you improve your self-care.
Ready to live your life feeling happier, healthier, and more fulfilled? Click here to learn more about my Mentoring Program and book your FREE consultation today!