Self care is the term given to a collection of ways you can better care for yourself. It does what it says on the tin! We all know we should take better care of ourselves especially when we are working long and hard in a busy city. I believe that the mind and the body are not just linked but intertwined and inseparable. I often notice in my own practice that individuals with higher stress levels, those who give out but don't give back to themselves, those who are over-run and under-rested, and those with a less positive outlook on life tend to heal slower that those who practice self care. So, in the spirit of replenishment I've broken up self care into 5 categories with which to feast from soothe you can optimise the lifestyle factors that contribute to health, healing and recovery from injury.
Feed your body
Your cells are made up of what you ingest and absorb so make good food choices. Eat from the earth and avoid processed foods. Make nutrition part of your lifestyle by following the 80:20 rule. 80% of the time eat well and then 20% of the time treat yourself. You may also want to take supplements which I will write about later in the year. Aim to drink at least 2 litres of water per day and sleep like a baby! For more information on improving sleep quality check out one of my most popular articles here.
Feed your mind
I am a sucker for learning new stuff. I read as widely and as avidly as I possibly can. Reading, listening to podcasts, attending lectures all take us away from what is regular in our every day lives. New information wakes up our brain and challenges us to think differently. For me learning is like a spring clean for the brain.
I'm also highly recommend some kind of personal development work every day. None of us are finished products - we are all working on different things no matter how old we are or what stage of life we are in. I try to do this through meditation which requires a great deal of discipline from me! But there are many ways we can improve ourselves - I think it is as individual as we all are.
Feed your soul
It's also great to have things in your life to look forward to such as concerts and days out or travel plans. It is good to have something to anticipate and it helps break up seemingly mundane periods of routine.
I also advocate spending time outdoors ideally a little bit every day if you can. Exposure to sunlight helps you gain vital vitamin D3 and being in green space helps
And probably the most important thing I have incorporated of late is doing something I love every day. For me I need a creative outlet - this always brings me peace and satisfaction. It could be something as simple as reading your child a bedtime story. Personally I am into the adult colouring books - I find it very therapeutic. Do something every day that you love.
Feed your tribe
Your tribe are the people around you. Other people are an integral part of your health and wellness. Speak highly and graciously of other people. Lift them up, encourage them and make them feel better. And speak highly of yourself and to yourself. When you are kind and complimentary to others it has the same affect on you.
Make time to spend with the people that you love. Have fun and laugh and find sources of entertainment that rejuvenate and recharge you. And take time to really enjoy those moments - to live and experience the moment.
Feed your future
A great tool part of self care is doing something every day towards a goal. Your goal can be anything - work related, business related, fitness or health related. Whatever it is do something every day that gets you closer to that goal.
And lastly, practice gratitude. Life generally tends to produce more of what you are thankful for. So by being thankful you can contribute to your future.
All these things put your body and mind in a healthier state and encourage a positive outlook on life which affects your outlook on healing and recovery. Self care is an imperative part of your life. If you are your best self then you can be a better Mother, Father, friend, husband, wife, worker, manager and you'll influence others to be better too!