The idea of self-care is based on the philosophy that we are responsible for our own well-being. It is up to us to make choices every day regarding what we eat, what we do, and how we feel. These choices either bring us more into balance or move us farther away from good health. Accepting responsibility for our own health can be an empowering experience that can lead to personal growth and a higher quality of life. I highly recommend developing a regular personal health maintenance routine (with the intention of improving or restoring health) that fits into your life EVERY day.
I find that rhythm and routine is the best way to keep myself in balance. Even when life gets full and hectic, my daily routines help keep me grounded and nourished. I try to keep it realistic and simple, so I am more likely to stay with it. Over the years, I have tried out many different ways of eating, supplements, health ideas, etc. A few of them have stuck with me. And I find that when I stick with them, I feel more vital, I have more energy, and I am generally happier….
5 SELF-CARE TIPS FOR VITAL LIVING
#1 STAY HYDRATED
Start your day with a BIG glass of room temperature or warm water. On an empty stomach, hydrate yourself first thing in the morning. Give your cells what they need to function properly. Water not only hydrates us but also assists with detoxifying our bodies. Drinking water first thing in the morning can also keep you regular as it may stimulate the bowels. Wait a bit before eating to let your body assimilate the water. Adding a bit of fresh lemon juice to the water can help the liver do it’s job of clearing toxins out of the body more easily. Read more HERE. And remember to drink water between your meals throughout the day. Avoid drinking liquids during meals as it dilutes your naturally occurring digestive enzymes and stomach acids which are essential for good digestion. Poor digestion can lead to uncomfortable issues like bloating, gas, heartburn, and indigestion.
#2 DRINK A GREEN SMOOTHIE
Getting your green veggies into your diet is essential. And smoothies are the easiest way to do this. Leafy greens are loaded with vitamins and minerals that will strengthen your immune system, help with detoxification, give you more energy, help your mind feel clear and focused, fill your body with antioxidants, and help with unhealthy cravings. The alkalizing effects of green smoothies help reverse some of our more unhealthy habits like caffeine and sugar, which make us more acidic, leaving us more vulnerable to disease. The water content in the smoothie helps keep you hydrated, and the fiber helps keep you full and satisfied. Blended smoothie are easy for your body to assimilate and digest. And since many of the vitamins in the veggies are fat soluble, go ahead and add a bit of full fat yogurt, almond butter, or coconut milk/oil to help get the most out of your smoothie. The fruit/veggie combinations are endless. You can experiment and find what you like best. I switch back and forth between kale, spinach, and sometimes even lettuce greens. 2 easy recipes to try are the Happy Belly Green Smoothie and the Good Morning Green Smoothie.
#3 AVOID REFINED SUGAR
This is a BIG one. I’m not saying to cut out all sweets. That’s not realistic. Nor is it fun. I believe in adding a bit of sweet into life to cultivate that sweetness energy in life. What I am talking about is man-made, refined sugars from cane, beet, and corn. These sugars have been stripped of all minerals and are acid-forming. Instead, enjoy naturally occurring sugars like honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, date sugar, and dried fruits. Eating whole foods with natural minerals is a much healthier choice when going for the sweets…. I can personally attest to this. I try my best to avoid all refined sugars, and when I do have a weak moment, my body INSTANTLY tells me that it DOES NOT like it. After not having any refined sugars in my body for so long, it’s easy to tell how bad it makes me feel. Stomach ache, jitteriness , headache, general malaise….. Honey and maple syrup never make me feel that way. Try the Honey-kissed Lemon Tart to see how amazing whole food sweets can be.
#4 GET PLENTY OF SLEEP
Getting adequate rest is essential for your well-being. Our bodies and minds need time to recuperate and regenerate. Sleep issues and sleep disturbances are becoming more common today, and the average adult rarely gets the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Lack of sleep can lead to irritability, mood swings, depression, weight gain, mental fogginess, and a weakened immune system. Living in a constant state of sleep debt can contribute to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. And it’s not always about how much you sleep but also WHEN you sleep. Like everything in nature, our bodies have a natural rhythm to them. Sleep when it’s dark, and wake when it’s light. Getting your ZZZZZ’s in earlier in the night (before midnight) and waking up with the sun will help you feel more rested than if you stay up super late and sleep late into the morning. So, commit to getting good rest MOST nights, and see if you not only FEEL better but LOOK younger and more refreshed….. and good luck to those with small children. I feel you on that one!!! 🙂
#5 THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS
Seriously!!! This is one that my teenager would roll her eyes at me and say, “Whatever, mom.” But your mental attitude has a tremendous effect on your physical well-being and vice versa. And it’s a learning process for some of us. Keeping a positive attitude can be difficult if you are in the habit of letting your mind go to that dark place. We all go there sometimes. But being happy is a choice. Deciding to make the best of the life that you have been given instead of worrying about what you don’t have can make a big difference. Simply observe your thoughts throughout the day. If you have a tendency to become negative or critical (either of yourself or others), try taking a deep BREATH and make a conscious choice to begin a new story for yourself. We often carry around stories that we tell ourselves that do not serve us or our higher good. It take practice to learn a new skill. With time, it becomes second nature. I highly recommend taking time out of every day to think about all the things you are grateful for. It’s hard to feel down when you are feeling GRATEFUL.
I would love to hear if you have any daily self-care things that you do that help keep you healthy and vital. We can all learn from each other, so please share.