The Art Of Self Care

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In todays adventures boys and girls, we’re going to branch out into something a little broader, something that encompasses more of us than “just” our bodies.

One of the buzz words out there right now is “self care”.Ā  It’s a termĀ  who’s meaning is most likely fairly obvious.

Let’s define self care as any activity we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, physical, and emotional health.

In a world that is increasingly more hectic and busy with lives that sometimes have us running in different directions with all kinds of responsibilities it’s easy to put ourselves at the bottom of our to-do list of important things.

Where I’m at now in life, at the age I am, I’ve learned not only is self care perfectly ok, it’s also necessary. Self care for me involves everything from my daily exercise to reading something I enjoy or escaping to a warm bubble bath if the day has left me stretched thin as well as many other things that can soothe my body and mind and keep me a happy, healthy functioning woman.

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Somehow, being upside down, is one of the ways I enjoy self care šŸ˜‰ #yoga

 

I make no excuses for it or apologize for it. Nor should you. We don’t get any extra awards in life for not taking care of ourselves.

Even with all that said, many do not, or think they aren’t important enough, to practice self care viewing it as perhaps selfish to do so.

Eh.Ā  Perhaps some may believe it’s selfish.

I don’t really think it is.

Honestly, if you don’t take care of you, who will? And no one will take care of you better than you. ( gosh that’s a lot of “you’s” haha)

Self care keeps us not only healthy in all aspects of our life for (us) it benefits those we are involved with too ( family, friends, co-workers etc) I’m pretty sure they enjoy us when we’re at our optimal best.

So where do you start if you aren’t already practicing it? Or maybe you are to a degree but are looking for other ideas.

Let’s consider the three points mentioned: Mental, physical and emotional.

The most important thing to understand on this topic…. it isn’t a one time deal.Ā  Much like eating properly, exercising, and anything else we do, it’s an ongoing process. Practicing small selfĀ care things each day should be somethingĀ youĀ train yourself to do. Now with that in mind let’s move on. Below you’ll find a few tips or suggestions to help you get going. I’m offering up five various ideas butĀ you will probably be able to come up with others for yourself.

Mental self-care

Social media. Pretty much everyone is on it in some way. There can be a lot of negativity and things that aren’t positive when we log on. Some days I don’t spend much timeĀ there because honestly,Ā Ā I just don’t need to view what’s onĀ it. Weed out people who don’t offer positiveĀ vibes to you or at least mute them if their posts are troubling or pull you down. Unplug and walk away for awhile.

Do a mini-declutter. Nothing makes me feel moreĀ frustrated or overwhelmed than things seem disorganized or out of hand. Spend a few minutes on a drawer, closet or any other area that might be bothering you.

Take another route to work or change the way you go if you ride a bike or run. It’s mentally refreshing to have a different point of view.

Get out of your comfort zone. There’s nothing I’ve found more mentally engaging than getting out of that place I’m most comfortable. It will grow you.

Be selfish. Yeah there it is. The selfish word again. Do something each day for you that you enjoy that brings you pleasure or happiness. It’s really ok.

Body self-care

Exercise. Of course this doesn’t come as a surprise that this would be my first suggestion. Moving your body will not only help you physically, it helps mentally too.Ā  Find mini times to move through out your day as well. A quick 10 minute walk or some basic stretches to loosen you up.

Learn to breathe deeply. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in yoga it’s practicing those deep breaths through all the moves. You can simply learn to take three deep, slow breaths anytime in your day. Breath in deeply, let your diaphragm expand and feel your lungs really fill with air. Slowly exhale.

Laugh. Read something funny you enjoy or watch a show that evokes laughter. Laughing is good for the soul too.

Make small changes in your diet. Maybe drink an extra glass of water, try a new vegetable or swap a sugary treat for something healthier.

Take a quick nap. A power nap can refresh and energize you for the rest of your day. Remember to keep it between 10-20 minutes

Emotional self-care

Let’s refer to emotional or care for our souls. After all we aren’t just a body wandering around and our souls need some care too.

Write out your thoughts. For me personally, writing can be the mostĀ  cathartic thing I do for myself. There are times I let my humor out and there are times I write and feel like I’m bleeding all over what I’m sharing. Write out what makes you happy, sad, angry etc

Help someone. That’s explanatory enough. There is satisfaction in helping others.

Make a small connection. Connect with the checker at the store, the barista who serves your coffee or the person in line with you. Hubby often wishes I wasn’t so skilled in this area of making connections Ā haha

Splurge a little. Buy yourself a treat that you might notĀ always indulge in.

Pray or meditate. Whatever you choose to do find sometime to just be alone and reflect. To let life breathe over you. Use that time to center your thoughts and reflect on the things in your life.

ThereĀ you go.Ā Ā A few ideas, some suggestions, to help you with this idea of self care.Ā  Hopefully you will come up with a few others that are specific to meeting your needs.

The mostĀ  important thing to remember is that you are valuable and self care is not a special treat or a one time thing. It’s to be practiced in a variety of ways every day to keep you healthy and well for you and those you love.

Tell me. Do you have any special self care tips or suggestions?

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Keeping Your Cup Full

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I glanced down at my coffee cup as I picked it up. Ugh. It was half empty. Not only that, what remained was in that creepy neutral zone of “almost tepid and guaranteed to make me gag” at an unsuspecting moment…. mostly likely when I’m in my zone writing šŸ˜›

I got up to empty it out and replace it with now, hot coffee,Ā filling it to the brim,Ā and return to what I was doing. But not before thoughts began to form in my mind.

A quote I had seen recently bouncingĀ  around…. “when your cup is empty, you can’t give anyone else a drink”.

This can apply to us on several levels… spiritually and physically.

To often I hear things like ” I just don’t have time to exercise”, ” I haven’t been to the doctor for my yearly checkups”, ” Eating well is to costly”, “I have (kids, job, obligations etc) I don’t really have time for myself “, “My family is more important”

Sometimes, I think there’s a certain level of being a martyr involved, like it’s something to be proud of, putting yourself on the backburner to care for everything else.

Oh… I mean… if I can say that… did that just jump out of my head ?

Here’s the deal. When your cup is empty, not only do you have nothing to offer others, you don’t have a lot to offer yourself.

I believe a spiritual life is important, and that is an entire different post. I’m coming at this from a physical perspective.

Not taking…. and I’m using that word here… “taking” the time for yourself in your day is doing no one any favors.

Setting aside time for exercise, feeding your body inĀ  a healthy way, making regular doctor appointments, and nourishing your soul in what way you might choose is key to keeping your cup full!

Yes, these are habits you might have to work at building if it’s unfamiliar to you. It will take some time and focused determination to make it become something that feels like “routine”.

IĀ really understood the value of this several years ago when my husband had very unexpected, serious back surgery. He was in the hospital for weeks and in ICU for a week after surgery.

Those days were long, tough, and mentally taxing. If you’ve spent extended time with a loved one, you know what I mean.

Getting up and working out before I began my day there left me clear headed and feeling, well, strong, for a long day. It mentally put me in a good place. It gave my body the outlet for stress, worry and anxiety over an unexpected situation in our lives. Running let me think and process and clear my mind.

Over these past few years there have been many otherĀ things in my life, and I’ve continued to place my workouts as a part of my own health and maintenance for the benefit of those I love and serve.

I will tell you… it’s not shallow… or vain… or selfish… or taking time away when you should be doing something “more important”.

You… are important. You are important to the people in your life who love you and care for you.Ā  Investing in yourself to keep your cup full is not a waste or something you should put off or that you aren’t worthy enough to deserve.

What can you implement in your life to go towards keeping your cup full ? What steps do you need to take daily to make it happen ?