a gentle reminder:
is not selfish.
How can we continue to care for one another if we aren't operating as the best versions of ourselves? Many of us feel as though we lack the luxury of focusing on self care because of commitments, obligations, and the realities we have built... Just remember, "Rome wasn't built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour. You don't have to build everything you want today, just lay a brick." -James Clear
It starts with small consistent efforts, even if only 15 minutes a day, until it becomes second nature. Similar to brushing our teeth, putting on clothes or staying properly hydrated, self care should be as convenient and routine as our basic day-to-day necessities.
Taking time each day to prioritize self care can prevent unnecessary stress, illness, heartache, and physical + mental exhaustion down the road. Sadly, most do not realize this until it's too late. Our bodies can be incredible "machines" and are very capable of showing warning signs, but they will eventually burn out if we don't give them the proper care they need.
There is a w i d e s p e c t r u m of self care because every human's needs are so uniquely special to them.
But let's break down some basics:
Proper rest (8 hours a day) this is very important for repair & recovery. Adequate rest helps your mind and body activate its inner healing cascade and return to a state of homeostasis.
Movement Our health heavily depends on the amount and method in which we move our bodies. This is vital to longevity.
Acceptable Nutrition This can be a sensitive topic, so please take what resonates and leave the rest. I am a firm believer of listening to your body. Something may taste great but you may not feel great afterwards and vice versa! If we pay close attention, our bodies are masters at telling us what it needs and what it doesn't. Regardless of what your diet currently consists of, we all need organic vitamins and minerals for healthy function and regeneration. This is the same as taking your car in for a regular tune up or a professional deep clean.
Time in Nature Linked to cognitive health and emotional well-being. In this day and age, we are more attached to screens than ever before, resulting in a lack of time spent outside. Sometimes just taking a walk, listening to wildlife, and breathing in mother nature is the right recipe for healing and the antidote for stress!
Entertaining Your Inner Child This is especially important if you are a licensed professional with weighty responsibilities. Behind these duties, we are still humans who need reminding of what it's like to laugh and play.
Freedom of Self Expression Feeling comfortable in your own skin is vital for mental health and wellness. You could apply all the above to your life and still find yourself lacking if you are not expressing how you feel on the inside. Self expression can be related to performing arts, visual arts, fashion, appearance, and behavior.
Are you gifting this earth with your own special set of skills? A unique form of features? An original imagination? A desire to help and nurture? An ability to love fiercely? A strong heartbeat? An optimistic view?
You are more than deserving of being the king or queen in your own movie! The main character we all envy! Treated like royalty with infinite love and care. Yes, you.
You ARE the main character in this lifetime.
Whether you already practice self care or not, let's start by adding just 15 minutes a day of YOU time. 15 minutes a day makes an hour every 4 days, which is 1 hour +45 minutes a week! That's 7.5 hours a month! After time & consistency, it's much easier to increase time for yourself. Maybe, instead of setting aside time, self care can be a simple decision that goes against a habitual gesture. Like the act of saying "no" to someone. This can be difficult for some and that's normal. Just entertaining the thought that honors how you feel is a great start! Sometimes, choosing to not attend or respond or give during that particular moment for the sake of your mind or body, is a great form of self care. For example: [You've been working all day, its now 4pm, and haven't had a chance to have lunch. Your co-worker is frantically asking for a favor that would delay your lunch another hour. Saying no to their needs and to the guilt that follows is choosing to care for yourself.]
You are not selfish. You are becoming your best self!