If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete. -Jack Kornfield
How much time, energy and money are you investing in yourself? Chances are it’s not enough. These days, the typical care giver gives more of themselves to the people around them rather than caring for themselves. Do you treat your animals better than you treat yourself?
Is this where you are? Are you so busy taking care of those around you that you feel unable to take time for yourself?
Let us take a minute to talk about some of the things that happen to us when we neglect to take care of ourselves. We complain about being tired all of the time and our energy levels have a tendency to tank. Our stress levels elevate, we have more headaches and we are more likely to get sick. Our bodies will experience more aches and pain and we feel like we are walking around in a fog. Our sex drive often takes a dip and we may either gain weight or lose some based on how we are handling all of these things.
Think of your body as a bank account. If you continue to make withdrawals out of the account but don’t bother to make deposits into it, it doesn’t take long for your bank account to become empty. It is important to make time for ourselves. Time to recharge our batteries and get our mind and body right. The best way to do this is to implement self-care habits every day. To regularly include in our life a little bit of love and attention for our own body, mind, and soul.
There are many strategies to make deposits into your “bank account.” (You can also hear me talk about these strategies here.)
1-Prayer and meditation- Take a few minutes of the day to stop and be aware of your own thoughts. Become aware of how your body feels. Inhale and relax.
2-Exercise- It is important to exercise often as it boosts energy levels, improves mood and helps control your weight.
3-Get a massage- Pampering yourself is enjoyable but why not let someone pamper you for a change?
4-Get away!- Getting away from your normal routine and the hustle and bustle of life for a couple of days or even just for a couple of hours can do wonders for the body and mind!
5-Read- Getting lost in a good book is a great way to escape from the everyday tasks we take on daily.
6-Journaling- Write down your feelings and thoughts on a napkin, a notebook or a fancy journal. It is amazing how free you may feel after releasing all of your thoughts.
7-UNPLUG your digital life- This may be one of the more difficult things to do these days but it can be done. Turn off the television and put your phone on airplane mode. There is a certain freedom to be found when we leave the digital world behind for a while.
8-Drink Water- Our bodies, in large part, are made of water. Being hydrated results in your body functioning properly and leaves you feeling good all around.
9-Be grateful- Take a look at all of the good things around you and be grateful for even the smallest things.
10-Stretch!- Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight which may lead to various aches and pains.
You can find these strategies discussed in more detail along with some simple stretching exercises to get you started on your self-care journey by clicking here.
Taking care of your basic physical and emotional needs should really be the backbone for getting stuff done, but ironically, self-care is usually the first thing to go. If it’s gotten to the point that you’ve perhaps even forgotten what it means to take care of yourself, these points should help you recover.
What are you going to do for yourself this week?
Take care of you,