What is self-care?
Self-care means taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical health and mental health. When it comes to your mental health, self-care can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, and increase your energy.
Self-care is necessary, but like most other parts of health, is not one size fits all. For some people, it can be as simple as taking a night off to put on a facemask and sit in a warm bubble bath. But the reality is that self-care can be a little more complicated than that. We all have different parts of ourselves that need to be nurtured and cared for, and therefore we all need different methods of carrying out this care.
How does self-care relate to Holistic Nutrition?
You’re probably wondering how self- care relates to nutrition. When most people think of nutrition they think ‘diet’ and ‘clean eating’, but there are many other important aspects to consider when practicing Holistic Nutrition. The whole philosophy behind Holistic Nutrition is that one’s health is an expression of the complex interplay between the chemical and physical, mental and emotional, as well as spiritual and environmental aspects of one’s life in order to create overall wellness.
Why is it important?
Engaging in a self-care routine has been clinically proven to assist in reducing or eliminating anxiety and depression, reducing stress, improving concentration, minimizing frustration and anger, increasing happiness, improving energy, and so much more. From a physical health standpoint, self-care has also been proven to assist in reducing risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer (Canadian Mental Health Association).
Things you can do to practice self-care
I want to offer you a few of my favorite ideas that can help you get started on your relationship with yourself:
- spend time in nature- find a new park in your neighborhood to explore
- keep a gratitude journal (I love The Five Minute Journal)
- listen to a podcast and educate yourself on a new topic
- make a new recipe
- set a weekly coffee date with a friend
- take a class— art, language, dance, pottery, etc.
Other important aspects of self-care
One of the most productive things you can do for yourself is rest. We live in a world full of stressors that seem to be never ending, which can make it challenging to feel calm and easy to feel overwhelmed. By taking some time out to relax, it allows your body to be physically restored and your mind mentally alert. Rest is an essential component of working well and smart, so recuperate and return to your tasks when you feel ready.
Learn to say no
This can be especially challenging for some people, and something I have struggled with as well. Learning to say no, especially to things that are causing you unnecessary stress, is crucial for your mental health and well-being. Just because something is on your to-do list, or you made a prior commitment to do something doesn’t mean it necessarily needs to get done right this second or you can’t change your mind. Prioritizing your mental health is all about focusing on YOU and YOUR needs so that you can show up and be the best version of yourself.
Find a good routine
As humans, we thrive on routine. Our bodies crave repetition and regulation. A good routine can help improve stress levels, improve mental health, and make it easier to find time to relax. One way to practice self-care is to add journaling and meditation to your morning routine. This helps create balance and reduce stress around the day ahead. If journaling and meditation aren’t for you, consider other options for your morning routine like exercise, making your bed, a skincare routine – anything that makes you feel your best before beginning your day!
SAVE this weekly self-care checklist below for some self care inspo and accountability!