Self-care varies from person to person and includes all of the steps one takes to attend to all the domains of his/her life, including physical & psychological health, emotional & spiritual needs, and relationships.
Here are some examples from my personal self care plan:
1. Puppies! I have a special bond with animals, as many of us do. When feeling a little down, I’ll borrow my friend’s puppy, get him together with my puppy, and play and snuggle away! Those two raise my vibration in the happiest of ways. They enable me to be truly present in the moment, to relax, and to be lighthearted. Spending time with animals just makes us feel good. They also can encourage us to get out in nature and exercise.
2. Yoga. Yoga is very grounding and verrrry relaxing. It can also be quite challenging and give you a sense of accomplishment. It is great for personal growth. You can go to a class or even practice at home. To get started, check out Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube. Our yoga practice actually sets us up perfectly for a diving right into the next self-care practice, Meditation. (If yoga is not your thing, anything that gets your body moving will surely help shift your day for the positive.)
3. Meditation. For some, it is very difficult to imagine taking time to meditate. The good news is you do not need any experience nor do you need that much time. Start here with Deepak Chopra’s Guided Meditations. There are several different ones and some take only about 10 minutes. I like to start and end my day with these. Also, if you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, it’s a great way to relax and ease back into deep sleep. There are countless benefits to meditation. Please don’t take my word for it. Try it out yourself, and let me know how it goes.
4. Breathe. Conscious breathing is not something we are taught to give attention. It is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Dr. Andrew Weil demonstrates a technique called 4-7-8 breathing. Benefits include deep relaxation, lowering blood pressure, managing stress, and aiding with sleep issues. It is really easy to do and takes only minutes.
5. Gratitude. Taking time to bask in gratitude is probably the most important thing. It completely shifts your focus. This kind of practice pulls you away from what is bothering you, and allows you to hone in on positive aspects in your life. Every morning when you wake up, focus in on 3 things that make you feel grateful. Write them down. It can be anything…a family member, pet, friend, an experience, a funny moment…anything. At the most basic level, be grateful for your breath, or your heartbeat, or the new day and its infinite possibilities.
6. Eat well. Drink Water. Your body works best when you eat quality whole foods like grass-fed meats, organic fruits & vegetables, and drink clean water, preferably spring water.
7. Sunshine. Smile at it. Feel it’s warmth. Soak up that solar energy and Vitamin D.
There are many more things you can do for yourself – this is just a start. Come see us if you are interested in knowing how else you can best optimize your self-care. It’s not always easy, so remember to simply make the best for choices for yourself given your current circumstances and available resources.
Written by: Laura Bautista, Certified Holistic Health Coach