I've been on a bit of a self-care bender the last few months. And if I'm being honest, it's about dang time! Perhaps you can relate?
For most of 2016, everything took priority over me, myself and I.
Exercise? No time.
Healthy eating? Verrrrrrrry inconsistent.
Personal development? Consuming but not integrating. (I see this ALL the time with my clients, btw!)
And then as my 30th birthday approached, I realized it was time to get serious about taking care of me, because if not me, then who?
Rather than go balls to the wall and try to change ALL. THE. THINGS. in one go, I started slow. I found a gym that would make it easy for me to exercise regularly. I built this habit slowly through discipline, consistency and support. (And if you live and/or work downtown, you've GOT to check it out!).
And now I have a daily movement habit that fills me up and makes me feel vital.
Next I focused on my eating. I spend much of my day driving around in my car, which has the potential to cause me to eat mindlessly and choose food options that aren't the most nourishing or healthy. I started to scout out more healthy options that I could feel good about buying and thankfully, Toronto has an abundance of healthy and delicious takeout places to choose from!
And now I have a list of amazing restaurants and shops where I can go to in a pinch and buy food that is guilt-free.
I'm a high-stress person by nature and have always struggled to build in down-time for myself. Like, I reallllllllly struggle. As a Holistic Health Coach, I know the benefits of striving to make doing and being harmonious (because balance is not a thing), but the doing comes much more easy to me than the being.
Enter yin yoga. It couldn't be more opposite to my heart pumping, sweat inducing, and totally #vomilicious workouts that I love; instead, in yin yoga you let go of the control, relax your muscles and let your body sink into each posture. It works deep into the connective tissue, poses are held longer and the focus is on exploring postures and then being still and observing how your body is feeling. It's a mental bootcamp to be sure!
And now I've found a practice I love that is restorative and relaxing, lowers cortisol (win!) and causes a serious boost in those feel good hormones that we all crave. Amiright?
As you can see, it's taken me a while to build up to these different practices and ways of taking care of me but now, they are essential parts of my life. Do I practice them every day? Most often, but not always. And that's okay. The point is not to be "perfect" and #nevermissaMonday, it's about cultivating practices that nourish you, make you feel vital and help you show up as the best version of yourself. And these practices are ESPECIALLY relevant when life gets cray and taking care of you is the last thing on your to-do list.
My take home message to you is this: taking care of you is always a priority.
But it doesn't have to be time consuming, expensive or look like what anyone else is doing. It just has to make YOU feel good. And if you struggle to identify what that is for you, send me an email and let me know. I'll send you an email right back and help you come up with some ideas to try on.
Now over to you: what are your self-care essentials? Those things that you do on a daily or weekly basis that help make you feel your best? I recommend aiming for 3 that are non-negotiables (but simply having 1 is good too!). Having these in place comes in handy on those weeks when life is just a bit crazier and you feel like you have to do EVERYTHING!
I can't wait to hear from you!