Practice Self Care for the Mind, Body & Soul
Between long days at work, household chores, taking care of the kids, weekend dinner plans, and time for your family, your calendar is bursting at the seams. Can you remember the last time you took an hour, maybe even two, for yourself? If you have to think very hard about this, you may want to consider taking a step back and reevaluating your daily schedule. Prioritizing everyone else may seem selfless, but the reality is, completely neglecting yourself isn’t good for anyone. In order to be the best employee, wife, mom, friend, daughter, sister, etc., you first need to take care of yourself. So whether you’re going through a rough patch or simply grinding it out, self care should be part of a daily ritual and truly does nourish your mind, body and soul.
Albeit, taking a spa day is enjoyable and relaxing, self care is about more than getting a massage or soaking in a detox bath full of rose petals, surrounded by candlelight and aromatherapy. Self care is not an escape and it’s not just something you do once in a while and then check it off your list; it’s the repetition of small habits (rituals you might say) you do on a daily or weekly basis, which together help you feel your best mentally, physically, and emotionally. Here are some small things (and some larger things) you can incorporate into your self-care routine, not just to function better, but to be your best self!
Create a relaxing routine
I’ve recently started a new nighttime self-care routine that I think has been helping me de-stress and fall asleep a little more easily. It consists of my skin-care regimen, flossing/brushing my teeth, and doing some gentle yoga to help get me ready to wind down for the night…nothing too strenuous. The same way a bath each night for your infant or toddler prepares them for bedtime, nightly rituals help you wind down and they give your body the message that “we’re getting ready for sleep”.
Break a bad habit
A bad habit may give you short term satisfaction, but in the long run it may not be doing any good for your overall happiness. Take junk food, for instance. Research published in the Public Health Nutrition Journal revealed that those who eat fast food regularly are 51 per cent more likely to develop depression. In this scenario, avoiding junk food could very well be the key to happiness. So do yourself a solid and ditch that bad habit!
Grab coffee with a friend
Connecting with friends meets a basic need of love and emotional connection. This brings happiness and joy and a deep inner fulfillment. AND it makes you feel like a real person!
Take some time to laugh
For me, self-care is curling up on the couch and watching a TV show that makes me laugh. When I’m feeling stressed, my go-tos are old reruns of Seinfeld, Parks & Recreation, and The Office. I’ve seen all the episodes more times than I can count, but that’s the beauty of it. Watching them helps shut off the negative part of my brain for a while. It’s mindless and relaxing and just feels great sometimes.
Pick up a good book
Getting lost in a book is such a great form of self-care. If you have kids at home, you don’t have that much time to read, but you can still sneak in 10 minutes here and there—on in the morning before anyone else is awake, during nap-time, before bed. Right now I’m reading “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? And Other Concerns” by Mindy Kaling. She’s hilarious and it clears my head of anything stressful that day.
Remove any energy robbers from your social media and your life
Energy robbers are those people who just suck the life out of you and make you feel drained. Everyone has positive and negative influencers in their life. The important thing is to recognize which people fill you up and which ones deplete you. On social media you can just “mute” them; you don’t have to delete them. But in real life, these people have to go! These changes in the right direction can help you live a more mentally/emotionally healthful life, and in turn, this benefits your physical health.
Work up a sweat
Making time to exercise a few days a week is another one of my forms of self-care. In particular, my go-tos are yoga, weight lifting, and sitting in the infrared sauna for an hour, which feels especially therapeutic. Working from home makes this one especially difficult to work into my day due to my full schedule and need to feel accomplished for the day, but if I don’t take time for my physical health then my mental health suffers. When I take a break from work for myself, I am better able to care for my clients…and my husband.
Dance it out
Who doesn’t love a good dance party? Put on your favorite tunes and shake your booty!
Talk about a problem with someone you can trust
Sometimes just talking through a problem can bring clarity or even just help you feel more peaceful about the situation. There is a reason they call it talk “therapy”: it helps you get things off your chest, which feels therapeutic.
Do one thing today just because it makes you happy!
Take a quick nap
Ten to twenty minutes can boost your energy and leave you ready to take on the rest of the day.
Try a new skincare regimen
Treat yo’ self! Who says you have to go to a spa to get a great facial? Simply trying out some new skincare products at home can feel just as pampering, especially when they are deeply nourishing and healing. I regularly seek out new skincare products that I can add into my routine and it feels like I’m spoiling myself!
Do a mini-declutter
Recycle some things from your wardrobe that you don’t love or regularly wear. Sort through that mail that just keeps piling up. Organize that junk drawer you’ve been meaning to clean out. It feels good to get organized and get rid of some clutter. Out with the old!
Stretch for 10 minutes
Stretching not only reduces muscle tension; it also increases range of motion in the joints, enhances muscle coordination, reduces stress, improves your posture, increases blood flow to various parts of the body, and increases energy levels. Stretching has also been shown to aid in the release of endorphins, a natural body substance that helps you attain a feeling of joy and serenity. Stretching when you wake up is a great way to start your day and stretching before bed can optimize your sleep.
Have a date with yourself
Spend an hour alone doing something that nourishes your soul. Maybe that’s reading, visiting a museum, enjoying a hobby, etc.
A connection to a greater power or truth can give you a sense of purpose and meaning beyond the day-to-day. Prayer offers a bigger sense of purpose, may reduce anxiety and depression, and can help you cope with difficulties. Prayer has also been associated with improved health and well being and spontaneous remission from chronic conditions.
Studies show that regular meditation practice reduces stress, encourages a healthy lifestyle, improves concentration, improves self-awareness, increases happiness, increases acceptance, slows the aging process, and benefits cardiovascular and immune health, among others. You don’t have to sit in a quiet room for hours focusing on nothingness in order to meditate. One form of meditation is mindfulness: being aware of the present moment, calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and sensations. We are hardly aware of the present moment in today’s fast-paced, over-scheduled, stressed-out life. Take some time to just be. My favorite meditation tool is Holosync and it doesn’t require you to actually “meditate” in the true sense at all to work!
Listen to an inspiring podcast
Have you ever listened to a podcast? Let me tell you, since there are so many different kinds of podcasts, there really is something for everyone. They can be funny, informative, awe-inspiring, entertaining, and even heart-breaking. This is part of my morning ritual. Some of my favorites are Mastering Nutrition, Bulletproof Radio, The Sean Croxton Sessions, and Women’s Wellness Radio.
Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers
Whether you’re single or not, you deserve flowers for special occasions, for Mondays, and just because. We all know there’s just something about looking at fresh flowers on your kitchen counter that makes us innately smile. So go on, celebrate you, praise yourself, reward yourself! You do so much and still you think it’s too little.
Take a mental health day
We all need a day off from the stressors of work life every once in a while. You can get easily stressed in the workplace, and sometimes we may think we don’t want to go back. But we don’t really want to quit, we just want a break. And a mental health day can give you just that.
Unplug for an hour (or 24)
Switch everything to airplane mode and free yourself from the constant bings of social media and email. No TV, no computer, no smart phone, nothing. It may sound crazy, but many of us spend our entire day in front of a screen and studies show that we’re suffering as a result. We increasingly miss out on the important moments of our lives as we pass the time with our eyes glued to our devices. We’re also forgetting how to socialize in real life! Remember, we did once survive without this empty 24/7 connection to the world. You can do it! Take this time to enjoy your family or just spend some time with your thoughts.
Go ahead, wear that special dress or outfit
Pick something from your wardrobe that feels great next to your skin or that just makes you feel good when you’re wearing it.
Get fifteen minutes of sun each day
This may vary depending on your skin tone and your climate, but getting some direct, full body sun exposure at least 2-4 times per week builds up your vitamin D levels. Here are some general guidelines taking into consideration a multitude of factors. Looking up at the sky (not directly at the sun) for 10-15 minutes each morning also helps re-set the circadian rhythm, telling your body to produce more cortisol to get you going for the day!\
Check in with your emotions
Sit quietly and just name what you’re feeling without judgement. Although it is still often overlooked, emotional health is absolutely essential to your physical health and healing. No matter how committed you are to the proper diet and lifestyle, you will not achieve your body’s true healing if emotional barriers stand in your way. This is where something like Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) can come in handy.
Enjoy a home spa day (or hour)
Have a long bath or shower, paint your nails, give yourself a facial, sit around in your bathrobe, and read magazines. Who doesn’t love pampering themselves!
Sit somewhere green and be quiet for a few minutes. Appreciate the beauty around you that God created. It’s amazing!
Write out your thoughts
Your brain is like a hard drive. When you write down your ideas, thoughts, and emotions on paper, it helps your brain to unload some baggage, giving it room to think about other things. Write for fifteen minutes about anything bothering you. Then let it go as you throw the paper in the trash. This is a healthy alternative to letting it bottle up inside of you.
Ask for help when you need it
Big or small, just reach out.
A little bit of attention to your own self-care will go a long way. You’ll feel more connected to yourself and the world around you. You’ll delight in small pleasures, and nothing will seem quite as difficult as it did before. And when you take good care of yourself you can take better care of others. Your cup will be full and you can take on the world.
After reading this blog post, please don’t forget to help our community of women suffering from breast implant illness grow by joining our private Facebook support group at the bottom of the page.
Sarah has a passion for health that has taken her along a path from RN, to fitness enthusiast, to becoming a certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner and True Cellular Detox™ Practitioner. She has a passion for breast implant illness and teaching her clients about restoring health through nutrition, lifestyle, and detox, and guiding them through the sea of mis-information in hopes of finding their path to vibrant health.
Sarah’s belief is that we should settle for nothing less than vibrant health! And with breast implant illness, detoxing after en bloc explant is a foundation for that. She focuses on healing the body naturally at the cellular level with whole(real) foods, lifestyle changes, detoxing, and addressing the downstream conditions caused by breast implants. She believes that alternative therapies can be just as effective, if not more so, than conventional medical treatments because we are seeking to heal the body rather than merely mute a symptom with a pill. Sarah is an advocate for natural living and doing what she can to keep toxins out of the home and environment. She is also very passionate about eating real foods as she feels it’s the key to keeping our health and the future health of our children. The thought of explant surgery and healing the body can be overwhelming, so she is here to guide you through the process. Sarah is super passionate about this work, as she truly believes there is a reason for her own struggles that is bigger than her. Sarah will show you how to reverse breast implant illness, take back your health, and live vibrantly!