The Importance of Self Care

A common theme I hear amongst my clients, for a multitude of reasons, is they are so ‘busy’ taking care of business and everyone else, that they fail to take care of themselves. Yet, if we take some time for ourselves and fill ourselves up, we have a lot more to give to others and feel more contentment and peace within ourselves.

For everyone, self care may be different. It may also change at different times in our lives. By listening and observing we can choose what is calling our attention the most.

Here are 5 of my top self care practices.

1. I enjoy exercise.

I set a standard for myself as to how how much exercise I need each week and the type of exercise I do. This doesn’t mean going to the gym and absolutely smashing myself. At the moment I do cardio, weights and yoga each week. I base how much I do of each on my schedule and how I feel within myself on the day.

In the past I have focused more on weight training, other times running depending on my goals at the time. This year I have felt more in tune with my body and have been drawn more towards yoga.

Some days a walk by the beach is all I need to refresh myself and keep myself moving.

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2. I listen to my body.

If it hurts I do something about it. Pain in my body, is my body calling for my attention. I don’t just keep smashing my body even though something is just not right.

If it doesn’t feel right I don’t do it. Even if this means getting a replacement to cover a class.

When my muscles are really tight I spend time on the foam roller or massaging my feet over a tennis ball. This year I changed all my shoes because I realised the trainers I was wearing were unsuitable for me and weakening my feet. Since then, I rarely get the foot pain I had been suffering with daily.

3. I Meditate.

I am increasing my awareness of meditation practices and the amazing health and wellbeing benefits it provides me.

The more I learn about about meditation, the more I realise that I need to make it a daily practice.

Meditation is known to reduce anxiety, boost immunity, reduce stress levels, reduce elevated blood pressure and reduce anger, amongst many other benefits.

4. I take my time.

I use Google Calendar every day.

I am aware that I become stressed when I am rushing and I set my schedule accordingly. Being self employed I am lucky enough to be able to negotiate my schedule. I recently changed my working hours, so that in the morning I work from the gym and the afternoons I work from home. This has created space for me to accommodate my self care, my family, my Life Coaching and my Personal Training.

Life feels balanced not just for me but for my children. I have noticed that they are more peaceful and happy since making this change.

5. I nourish myself.

I enjoy nourishing food. I feel so good about myself and authentic to who I am when I eat foods that I know nourish my body.

I now eat plant based, organic protein supplements because they are in line with my beliefs and values. I have noticed that I feel more vibrant when I do.

I eat chocolate! Yes I do. One day I may give it up. I have before. But right now I do eat it and that’s ok. I don’t binge on it. I have a little if I’m craving it and then I’m done. There is a big difference between allowing myself to enjoy something and binging. Binging in punishment.

I don’t over eat. I don’t like the feeling of being too full. If I eat at regular intervals I don’t get so hungry that I need to gorge myself.

I am not obsessed with food. I’m not constantly thinking about my next meal. I’m not going to starve.

I rarely drink alcohol and when I do it is very limited. Generally speaking, I don’t feel good within myself and about myself when I drink. On the rare occasion if it feels good to me in a social situation, I may have a limited number of drinks. I didn’t always feel this way or think this way. But as I have become more and more in tune with myself and my values over the years, I have evolved to this.

These are some of the regular self care practices I enjoy in my life right now. It’s important to know yourself and to know what makes you feel good about who you really are.

What self care practices are you doing? Do you have any? Start thinking about it today. Better still, go practice some self care now!

Start the conversation. Write down your favourite self care practices in comments below.