Can you believe that it is Wednesday already? Every week goes by so quickly I swear… I’m just over here like slow down! This past week has been a little crazy- Liam had the chicken pox and was just having a hard time with it. He was (of course) a little sad and cranky. Usually he is a pretty good sleeper but he’s been having a hard time staying asleep unless we are cuddling him. I won’t complain that much though 😉 I like to cuddly my sweet boy! Because Liam was needed more time and attention from us, I didn’t get to workout as much as I would’ve liked. The only thing I really did was learn a new U-Jam song… no TA! I am missing it so I’m back on the TA train. I have 4 more days of level 3 of metamorphosis (read more about my TA goals HERE). I’ve also been working on my flexibility and stretching and I am really happy with my progress! It’s not anything insane but I can definitely tell I’m getting a bit more stretchy 🙂
Why am I telling you about all of this? Well, it’s because I think that self-care is absolutely vital in order to find a balanced life. As you read from above, self care sometimes means taking a break from a workout schedule to be with your baby. It also means getting back on the workout schedule because exercise is so important in preventing chronic disease and feeling good. When you practice self care like exercise, sleeping enough, wholesome food and relaxing/taking time with loved ones it is not selfish at all. In fact, it can actually help you reach your goals faster (health goals and life goals) and find more fulfillment in your life.
The biggest perk, for me, of practicing self care is lower stress levels. I struggle a lot with anxiety and stress… so much so that it gives me massive stomach problems and acne. Don’t get me wrong, a little bit of stress in life is useful and necessary but an excessive amount can be very detrimental. When I take time for myself by exercising, eating right and relaxing (ie not over-scheduling myself) my acne almost completely disappears and I rarely have an upset stomach. I noticed the biggest change is my acne when I moved to Denmark because I actually had time for myself! I wasn’t running from work, school and other responsibilities nonstop and it has made such a huge difference!
Another major benefit of self care is the chance to refocus on your goals and avoid burning yourself out. When I am working a project or have extensive familial responsibilities, the best thing I can do is take 30 minutes to break a sweat and take a relaxing bath but sometimes it’s hard to realize that you have the time to take care of yourself. Sometimes it seems that if you aren’t giving 100% to other people you’re a bad friend/sister/brother/wife/husband/daughter/son/employee/mom/dad or whatever role you’re filling. But taking a step back will actually help you refocus on goals and priorities so that you can work more efficiently. Without taking some time for yourself, you can potentially get to a point where you just can’t take anymore and you just give up or have a breakdown. This has happened to me so many times and it is seriously the worst feeling in the world. At this point, I would pretty much do anything to avoid that “meltdown” feeling.
So how can you practice self care?
- EXERCISE: Break a sweat everyday, try for at least 30 minutes but even 10 minutes can turn your day around.
- EAT HEALTHY: Taking the time to create a well balanced meal (that includes carbohydrates, proteins and fats) that is low in sugar and sodium can ground you and stabilize your blood sugar. Extra points for making it look pretty!
- GET READY FOR THE DAY: Take a shower, put on attractive/comfortable clothes and do your hair and make up. When you feel more confident in the way you look you are more confident in your ability to accomplish your goals and get things done, in my opinion 🙂
- TAKE SOME DOWN TIME: On busy days when you are feeling overwhelmed, take some time to relax and unwind. I love to watch an episode of a favorite TV show (currently watching The Good Wife), give myself a foot massage or do some meditation (I love my Headspace subscription for this!)
- DON’T OVER-SCHEDULE YOURSELF: If you are often feeling like a crazy person running around having to do this and that, take a look at your schedule and free it up. Stop committing to things that you don’t have time for. Take a minute to remember that just because you have a free hour here or there doesn’t mean that you have the capacity add in more responsibilities.
- DO SOMETHING THAT YOU LOVE: Taking time to do something you enjoy will help you feel happier and more fulfilled. I love to read and there is something so enjoyable about getting into a book and leaving your world for a different one! (My current favorite book series is Mistborn, but I am about to start the Wheel of Time series.) I also love taking time with friends and family to just hang out and hygge, it’s one of my favorite things about life! It helps ground me and feel connected to those I love.
I think we all want to enjoy life and in order to really do so, we need to take time for ourselves and take care of ourselves. Neglecting your physical, mental and emotional well-being can be detrimental and lead to a life full of stress and a lack of happiness. When I look back at my life I want to feel fulfilled- like I accomplished difficult and challenging goals but also that I felt happy, content and relaxed. Life is meant to be enjoyed! What’re some of your favorite ways to practice self care?
I hope you guys are having an amazing week so far and that you have some good things planned for the rest of the week/weekend. We are taking time with friends, I’m teaching U-Jam and we are going out exploring (as long as the weather is nice!)… I can’t wait. Love you all, thank you so much for reading and supporting me. It means the world to me!