Real Self Care – Always Important, Now Essential
Real Self Care – If Not Now, When ???
One of the things that this pandemic has done has highlighted the serious risks of chronic disease. Perhaps once and for all we must honestly ask ourselves: Am I serious about making a healthy lifestyle a priority?
In other words, isn’t it really about time we reject wellness hype and diet culture that equate health with having a skinny body and instead embrace real self care strategies that promote our well being for the long haul.
It really doesn’t have to be anything radical or having to become paleo or gluten free, but it does require an action plan to do a few key things that will support your nervous system, balance your hormones and therefore create a strong immune system and metabolism.
Begin with taking an honest inventory of how you’re doing with some key elements of your self care such as Nutrition, Sleep, Stress Reduction, Mental Hygiene, Emotional Management and Fitness.
Nutrition: Am I eating a majority of wholesome, plant rich foods? Do I have consistent eating times during my day? Am I eating most of my meals distracted or while multi tasking? Am I drinking enough water?
Sleep: Am I prioritizing good quality sleep by sticking to a regular sleep and wake schedule?
Stress Reduction: Chronic stress is the root cause of 90% of all disease. Have I tried yoga, meditation or conscious breathing exercises? Now is the time. All these practices have a huge laundry list of physical, emotional and mental benefits. They all help regulate inflammation, negative thinking and lessen anxiety.
Mental Hygiene: Am I bingeing on news and social media? Stay informed but consider limiting news consumption to a couple set times during the day and please avoid the news being the first and last thing you start your day with. I can’t emphasize enough that what you allow your mind to feast on is equally impactful on your health as the food on your plate. There are so many other options on the menu from funny movies, inspiring You Tube shows, informative documentaries and of course, uplifting podcasts – like the Soul Science Nutrition Podcast 🙂
Emotional Management: Give yourself time for stillness and self reflection. Recognize, allow and accept all emotions and know that they are not really you and you can choose to let them go. Practice being a neutral observer of your emotional triggers and behavior patterns. Be gentle and practice self compassion daily. Recognize your self talk is linked to your emotions and remember that the inner critic’s voice is not true because your true inner wisdom, your true self, doesn’t speak to you like that.
Fitness: Have you heard that sitting is the new smoking? It’s not just a metaphor. Studies have found that sitting or lying down for too long increases your risk of chronic health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. So stretch, do yoga, dance in your kitchen, go for a brisk walk in nature. Your body needs to move everyday and now is the time you embrace that the health benefits of exercise go way beyond calorie burning.