Self care is a hot topic in our world. So much so that I believe it’s begun to lose its meaning and importance. We’ve all heard the “oxygen mask” analogy in nauseum and we are beginning to block it all out. Self-care isn’t just about putting on an “oxygen mask” or just taking a hot bath. It’s so much more than that. And that’s why Id like to invite you to join me in April’s theme to define, personalize, and practice self-care in your life.
OK Caroline, SO WHAT IS SELF-CARE, REALLY?
Self-care is any action or behavior that helps us avoid triggering health problems (like increasing our risk for heart problems due to excess stress, for example) and benefits us by improving our mental and physical health through better self-esteem, less stress, and overall wellbeing. These behaviors help provide balance in an increasingly over-stimulating world. Self-care makes up an essential part of a healthy lifestyle that keeps us healthy, happy, and more in-tune with our minds and bodies.
Sadly we often neglect self-care because it can be tough to make changes and manage stress in healthy ways. Self-care is also sometimes associated with selfishness and lazy, over-indulgent behavior. You can read all the “Myths of Self-Care” Here. This mentality might make us feel guilty for thinking we need to take a break from our lives to do something that, simply put, makes us feel better. But ignoring our needs has some dangerous side effects: It makes us more likely to get sick and can make existing conditions worse — not to mention the emotional toll of never taking a break.
That’s why taking the time to check in with what your mind and body needs isn’t a bad thing. In fact, researchers believe the pursuit of health and happiness is far from selfish. When we take good care of ourselves, we’re likely to see an improvement in many aspects of our lives, including our physical health, relationships, and even our income. Plus, by making the choice to practice self-care, we have a tendency to care more for others — proving its importance for not just ourselves, but the world around us.
When it comes to the definition of self-care, it is different and unique to every individual. I want to take a step back and help you identify “high mileage self-care activities” – the little things that go a long way towards helping you live with more ease. The first step to a better self-care practice is defining what it means to YOU. Take a moment to consider and jot down the answers to the following:
- “What kinds of self-care truly feel like self-care to you (and not like a self-care to-do list)?”. I love this question. Theres a difference between self-care as a chore and self-care as a way to maintain balance in your life, even in the face of stress. What is truly helpful to you?
- What makes you take a breath of RELIEF – a big, ol’ belly breath *sigh* – as soon as you do it?
- What creates a sense of SPACE in your life…room to breath, think, or just be?
- What activities boost your ENERGY or increase your FOCUS during your work day?
- What leaves you feeling more RELAXED and CENTERED, sometimes all day long?
Now that you’ve thought over the questions above, tell me in the comments below…Which of these things can you do in just a few minutes almost every day?
Sure self-care could mean eating well, exercising, and get enough sleep at night at night. But I believe the point of self-care is to support your ability to achieve your life goals. And it’s as personal as food and exercise is “bio-individual.”
I’d like to invite you to JOIN ME in the month of April’s theme of self-care. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be giving you different ways to nourish your mind, body, and spirit. This is not to give you more for your to-do list, but simply suggestions to help you live a life you love. Feel free to take the ones that speak to you and ignore the rest. Start treating yourself like you would treat a small child, with the gentle kind of care that you deserve. Changing the way you treat yourself takes time and practice. Start here. Start now. Don’t waste another second.
What does ‘self-care’ mean to you? What practices do you bring into your days? Join me in defining and refining your self-care habits in the month of April. Use the hashtag “#selfcarestar” and tag “@Caroline Jordan Fitness” to participate in this month’s theme. Post photos, status updates, or tweets and share how you make self care a part of your happy, healthy life. I am looking forward to sharing this month with you. Heres to an April and in celebrating the art of taking care of yourself.
Other Things To Check Out This Week:
- Summer Six Pack Secrets. My no nonsense tips for feeling strong in your swimsuit!
- 70 Ways to Fall in LOVE with your life.