Because you’re reading this, I’m guessing that you’re already doing amazing things for your health. Maybe you work out 6 days per week, do meal planning consistently, and avoid almost all added sugar. All of those are fantastic, but if they’re adding up to make you stress out (or worse! beat yourself up!) over your health, you may be missing one critical piece: SELF CARE. If this sounds like you, keep reading for the importance of self care, plus 32 free self care ideas that you can implement today!
First, let me say: I get it. I’m great at the “traditional” health recommendations (nutrition! exercise!), but I struggle with self care, too. It’s easy for me to prioritize work, working out, family, eating healthily, and my seemingly never-ending to-do list … but get them all done at the expense of sleep and actually taking a moment to relax. For years, I worked until the literal minute before I brushed my teeth and plopped into bed … for a quick 4 hours of sleep. I was surviving, but I was not thriving. And I still work constantly on trying to unwind these tendencies. I have improved significantly, but I’m still not perfect (which is why I’m taking the challenge below right alongside all of you!).
One thing that helped me significantly is to recognize that when I’m not taking care of myself, I’m not able to bring my best self to those who are most important to me. If I show up exhausted and frantic, thinking about how much I need a nap, my clients do not get the #1 Yelp rated nutritionist in the entire Dallas area (oh heyyyy!). When I’m scrolling through my phone or thinking about all of the things I didn’t get done that day because I haven’t had a chance to calm down my mind, my husband does not get the partner he deserves (still working on it!). You may find yourself snappy with your kids, talking back to your boss, or getting unnecessarily frustrated with minor inconveniences. I used to have this quote next to my desk, and love it:
Showing up as your best self, so that you can most positively influence those who are important to you (and make a positive impact on the world!) is just the beginning. Being overrun, stressed out, and exhausted can wreak havoc on your adrenal glands and lead to burnout (I have a lot to say on adrenal fatigue! But that’s for another blog post!), a weakened immune system, blood sugar instability (read: tons of cravings and overeating!), hormonal imbalance, memory impairments, and so much more. All that is not to stress you out … just to say, take care of yourself. Your health depends on it.
So how do you take care of yourself? Self care is completely individual, so it depends on the person. What do YOU need the most? If you need some alone time, it might mean going for a walk (with no phone, no music, no distractions!) or taking a bath. If you spend a million hours with your booty parked in a chair, hunched over a desk, staring at a computer screen, it might mean a killer workout or yoga class. If you are just exhausted, it might mean a 10-minute nap or intentionally sleeping through your workout for a bit of extra shuteye. If you need more ideas, you can enter your email address here and receive a free downloadable pdf of 32 free (or cheap!) self care ideas.
Now it’s your turn … What are your favorite self care ideas? Is self care something you’re great at including, or could you work on it a bit more?