Maintaining your energy and balancing self care with work, family, friends, life is challenging. I know when I take care of myself I feel like I can conquer the world. When I don’t, everything and everybody suffers—especially me. Self care is essential.
Maybe you struggle with sleep (quality and quantity) and eating (the right foods at the right time), not to mention taking care of your mental and emotional health needs. You’re not alone. Self care is so much more than a pedicure and a massage, but you need those too.
“I want to feel my life while I’m in it.” ~Meryl Streep
Self Care Tips to Live Your Best Life
Here are easy, all natural and budget friendly tips to include in your daily life for immediate results.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is the MOST important form of self care. Sleep takes priority over everything else: yoga, meditation, time at the gym, time out with friends or Netflix binge watching. A good night’s sleep is crucial to maintaining mental, physical and emotional health. If you're trying to lose or maintain your weight you must get enough sleep. When you get the rest you need, your body repairs itself and your brain processes memories and learning.
Read More: How to Prioritize Your Sleep
Keep Your Digestive System Healthy
A healthy digestive system is the basis for a strong immune system and lots of energy. Digestive issues usually indicate you aren’t eating the right foods for you. You can try an elimination diet to determine what food is causing digestive distress.
Remember eating hot food will make you hot and eating cold food will make you cold.
- Drink Room Temperature Water – Ice water slows down your digestive system by constricting the blood flow to your digestive tract. When your digestive system is sluggish, you feel sluggish and lack energy. Drink plenty of water, herbal tea and other non-caffeinated drinks to keep your digestive system hydrated and to avoid constipation. Cooling cucumber water is great for the warmer months.
- Eat Whole Foods – Our bodies don’t run well on processed food. If you feel lethargic, what you’re putting in your body for fuel isn’t working. Replace processed foods with fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains and healthy fats.
- Eat Seasonally – Our bodies were designed to eat according to the seasons. Eat cooling foods such as watermelon, cucumbers, salads to stay cool in hot weather. Eat warming foods, such as root vegetables in soups and stews and spices such as cinnamon and cloves, to stay warm when it’s cold.
- Practice Mindful Eating – Take time to eat your meal without the distraction of your phone or TV, eating slowly and being aware of every bite.
- Drink Ginger Tea – I make ginger tea and save it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. In the winter I have it warm, in the summer I drink it at room temperature or chilled (with a little bit of club soda for a ginger ale type drink).
Take Care of Your Emotional and Mental Health
Let’s face it, life is full of ups and downs. Know that you’re not alone, we all experience dark days. If you’re having more dark days than light, know help is available.
- Find a Professional – For the truly bleak times in your life, consult a professional therapist.
- Journaling – I firmly believe in writing down your thoughts as a tool to process emotions. I usually journal several times a week. I love looking back at my journals to see how far I’ve come.
- Gratitude Practice – Gratitude for small things and big things will help you survive when life is challenging. Gratitude allows you to focus on the good, which in itself is healing. Research has shown that gratitude improves psychological well being and may also benefit physical health. A gratitude practice is anything from keeping a gratitude journal to making a mental list before bed to sharing gratitude with friends or family members.
- Meditation – Meditation is a mindfulness practice. It can be as simple as sitting in stillness or taking a walk. Several times per week is ideal, but do what works best for your schedule. Don’t let yourself get hung up on clearing your mind completely during meditation. Letting random thoughts come and go is part of the process. Here are a few tips for starting your own meditation practice.
- Physical Activity – Yoga, walking, bicycling – any activity that gets the blood flowing and increases your heart rate is ideal. Take the stairs at work or park in the furthest parking place and walk. Science shows exercise increases the “feel good” brain chemicals and helps manage symptoms of depression and anxiety. Start with what you can do and build up from there.
- Time in Nature – Nature is healing. The colors, the smells, the sounds—immerse yourself in a bath of nature by walking through the park or simply spending time in your backyard.
- Take Time to Recharge – Take time away from your day-to-day, solo or with your best girlfriends—maybe even at an upcoming retreat. Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery to change your perspective and in turn, your life.
Navigating life while staying healthy can feel impossible. By tweaking your routine, you can meet the challenge head on. Incorporate one new habit at a time and watch the magic happen. If you stop and start, no worries, start again.
Discover how good it feels to take care of YOU!
This blog is intended to provide helpful suggestions for self care and overall well-being. I am not a mental health professional. If you’re struggling I encourage you to seek the help of a professional. Find a Mental Health Professional | National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988