The term self-care is very important to me. The truth is that no one can achieve their highest level of well-being, if they don’t have their sh*t together. Meaning, you have to take care of YOU first, before you do anything else. Self-care can be done in a number of different ways. I think what it truly means is taking time for yourself to get you to your authentic, happy, healthy place.
I arrived here the hard way. I was once like many people who never took time for themselves. I was a people-pleaser, an over-achiever, and a stressed out, young professional. I thought grinding away, not sleeping, and living on caffeine was what successful people did. Add in two tragic life events – my father passing away suddenly and having a miscarriage at 10 weeks – and I was on the brink of a total breakdown. These two events made me realize it was time to make a change. I needed to take time for myself and also change my career path to what I’d always wanted. First, I got back into my yoga practice to help heal my emotions. Having such a great experience with this, I decided to start yoga teacher training. A year later I studied at IIN to become a Health Coach. It was through these two teachings I realized I had never really taken a look at who I was and what I needed in life. I found out so much about myself, good and bad. These lessons really taught me how important it is to know yourself and take care of yourself in order to give your talents to others.
One thing that bothers me about the health industry today is so many things are marketed to a certain crowd. There’s this feeling that you need SO many different things like super-foods and organic facials to be healthy. Being healthy should not be expensive or hard to do. Everyone should be able to practice self-care, and live healthy, happy lives. My consistent advice is to not to get caught up in fad products. Keep it simple. Most self-care techniques are totally free and don’t take a lot of time!
Self-Care is done in so many different ways. It’s truly just a way for you to get you back to your authentic, happy place. For some people, this might mean massages and spa days, but this could also mean going outside and being one with nature. It could mean singing, or playing an instrument, practicing meditation, journaling, exercising, and even reading! All of these can be considered self-care. What matters is listening to your body and learning what you need at that time. Be true to you! And if you think you’re practicing self-care and feel like it’s taking a lot of your energy, you’re not actually practicing self-care. Self-care gives you more energy so you never need to worry about it taking too much.
Personally, I’m a family person. Quality time with loved ones is so important to me. Making sure that our family is close and in contact is something I always do. I also love being artistic. Sometimes when I’m stressed or feeling down, I will make myself draw or color. This inspires me and makes me feel good about myself. I also have an instant feeling of relaxation when I go to the beach or on a hike out in nature. I love getting messages when I can and pedicures. But what I do daily for self-care would be yoga and meditation. I’m a thinker, meaning I’m always in my head. I get stressed easily, tend to worry and over think things and when I’m really out of balance, all this leads to insomnia. So, what I’ve learned is that a daily meditation practice is so crucial for me! This helps clear my head of all the clutter, it calms my mind and winds me down, so I usually do it at night. Yoga is a way for me to balance out my emotions. My daily yoga practice focuses less on athletic ability and more on mindfulness. Again, I get caught up in my head often so I need quiet times throughout the day to center my thoughts and emotions. And I don’t get caught up in the details, so some days my yoga routine will be an hour, but some days it will only be 10 minutes. I have a pretty full schedule working and having a toddler so I can’t always have my routines set in stone. But 10 minutes is better than not at all. Every little bit counts. Even if you fall out of your self-care routine for a week or even a month, begin again. That past practice time is never lost and beginning again is always a positive move.
Reminding myself that I matter is a conscious effort, but I know that I have control of my actions and thoughts. I choose every day to be happy and I choose every day to give myself the needed attention. It’s not always easy! But I’ve seen the results of what happens when I don’t and I don’t want that for myself or my family.
I remind others that they matter by helping people focus on themselves and learn what their bodies are telling them they need. I love helping others understand this concept to take control of their lives! Everyone is so unique and beautiful in their own way. Everyone deserves to feel great and take time to give a little love to themselves.