Do you do it?
And more than that, what does that even mean?
Self care is a term that's been thrown around a lot online lately, and maybe you have heard about how much you should do it, or why it is important, or the latest celebrity that is talking about her current self-care regime.
And while her regime may be a little unrealistic, or out of our financial means, self-care isn’t.
And it is indeed important.
Self-care is the idea that you care about yourself and look after yourself – physically, mentally and emotionally.
It’s about more than just eating right and exercising and it’s about more than just doing it on occasion.
It’s about developing a regular self care routine, and adopting a series of habits that help you be your best self in every way.
In addition to eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly, here’s 4 other ways you can focus on self care:
- Get quality sleep – There is a difference between just sleeping and having quality sleep. Quality sleep comes from a regular nighttime routine where your natural circadian rhythm is allowed to function, releasing melatonin and decreasing your body temperature in preparation for sleep. It comes from going to bed when you are tired and naturally waking up when you have had enough sleep, and it comes from sleeping in a room that is designed just for sleeping and not that doubles as your office or your home theater room. In addition, make your room as dark as possible, keep artificial light sources like your phone and computer out of your room and sleep in a cooler than room temperature space if possible.
- Disconnect daily – Not just from your job and work, but also from your computer and phone, TV, social media, all of the above. Not only is this important from an electrical perspective in which it is good to give yourself a break from being exposed to electromagnetic waves, but also because all of these outlets can have a negative affect on our self esteem, self image and self confidence. How many times do you come home from work feeling really great about what you did during that day, only to read a status on Facebook boasting an accomplishment that you feel out performs yours? Or you see tweets from people who you are intimidated by, compare yourself to, or who put you down, and they perpetuate your low feelings of yourself that you sometimes experience. Don’t listen to it. Don’t look at it. Pull yourself away, turn it off and focus on you. Maybe you read a book or a magazine; maybe you have a nice bath or meditate with some candles and essential oils. Whatever the case, don’t let toxic people, relationships or other people’s bad days be the source of yours!
- Be your own best friend and supporter – For many of us, if we talked to our friends the way we talk to ourselves, we wouldn’t have any friends left. Think about it: “oh wow, you look really fat today.” “Come on, why did you eat all that for dinner. You know you shouldn’t have.” “Oh those pimples on your face are really ugly and you need to get your skin under control.” These are the kinds of things we say to ourselves though. Instead of having compassion and kindness like we do if our friend says the same thing, we beat ourselves up. Stop. Practice kindness towards yourself and implement daily mantras of self-love. Stop negative words and thoughts before they materialize and turn them into something positive. Cultivate an atmosphere within your head of positivity and love and you will be able to reach your goals much faster and be much happier.
- Start journaling – Whether you do a gratitude journal or simply write down the thoughts and things in your head, journaling is a great way to look after your mental and emotional wellbeing. Often when we let things stir around in our thoughts, they get blown out of proportion or don’t deserve the energy we give to them. Seeing them in writing and reading them back, or simply releasing them and getting them off our chest can be enough for us to take a new perspective or be able to work out a solution to the things that are genuine problems.
By: Laura Peill, RHN, BScH – Viand Nutrition