Self-care is not selfish.
This word seems to dominate the wellness world these days. But what does it mean and how do you do it?
SELF-CARE IS HOW YOU TAKE CARE OF YOU
According to psychcentral.com, self-care is “any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health”. That means whatever will help you successfully manage stress, enhance your health and support your well-being is self-care. So, your massages and bodywork are self-care. Morning quiet time, meditation and/or prayer is self-care. Reading a book, using your sick time, going for a hike, going on vacation, your fitness training time… all self-care.
Here are 10 more self-care examples:
Regularly sleep at least 7 hours.
Drink 64+ ounces of water per day.
Move your body at least 30 minutes each day.
Eat lean protein and fresh vegetables.
Take ten minutes for quiet time and deep breathing exercises.
Go for lunchtime walks.
Stretch or do yoga daily.
Treat yourself to some fresh flowers weekly or monthly.
Give yourself a manicure or pedicure.
Read for an hour or go to the library.
No doubt all of these things (and more) you know you probably should do, but how many can you say you actually do, regularly?
SELF-CARE IS ABOUT YOUR HEALTH
Self-care goes beyond just looking good and even feeling good in some ways. It’s about your health – how well your body functions. Looking good and feeling good are the symptoms of good health.
For instance, personally, I knew I hadn’t been getting enough sleep recently, especially considering I’d really stepped up my training to reach another goal, and you know what happened? I got run down and got that horrid flu going around after a decade-plus of not catching anything! Your body will let you know – and sometimes in a big way when it’s unhappy. That flu was a relentless taskmaster, however, so I’ve since learned my lesson. I now diligently get at least seven hours every night, and I’ve placed a higher priority on being in the moment and guarding my downtime.
SELF-CARE IS SELF-ISH, NOT SELFISH
So, how about you? How’s your self-care game? Are you getting enough sleep? Do you eat well? Are you moving your body daily and stretching? Do you have a strong stress management strategy?
I know you’ve got stuff to do and big goals to achieve this year, but in your drive to succeed don’t neglect taking care of yourself in a balanced way. The last thing you want is for your body and mind to rebel in some way to make you comply. Trust me.
I encourage you to make this year 2018, the year you became self-ish. No, definitely not having “a lack of consideration for others” or being “excessively or exclusively concerned with oneself”. I’m saying put taking care of yourself higher up on the list of things to do because there’s nothing wrong with taking care of you! After all, we tend to think externally about all the stuff we “have to do” and those we do things for, but all of your actions are truly choices that can be balanced. Moreover, everything you want to do and everyone you want to help benefits most when you are functioning at your best.
If you’re not sure where to start and how to be more self-ish, just pick something from that list above and then plan what you can do to get stronger in that area. Make it a priority and don’t let your plan get crowded out. Also, notice that many of the items have a time period attached to them so that you do it consistently, too. If you need help creating your strategy, drop me an email and let’s chat about it.
Here’s to a successful and more self-ish year. Take good care of yourself so you can take good care of the ones you love, fit friends!