*dealing with a knee injury, don’t mind the kinesio tape. trendy right?*
If you’ve stopped by my blog any in the past, you probably know I’m a big advocate of self love. I think loving yourself should come first (well…after Jesus, the real mvp) in order for other relationships to flourish in life. The relationship you have with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.
So, one of the most important ways to keep up the self love supply is to practice self CARE! It sounds so cliche at first, but when you really stop to think about it, it is so important. Especially if you’re on a really busy schedule and don’t have much time to spend on yourself. If you’re not taking care of yourself, how are you going to genuinely be able to take care of your marriage, kids, other relationships, etc.?! It just makes sense to take time, even if it’s a small amount of time, to focus on yourself, your health, and your happiness.
With the hubby being gone for so long, I have had extra time at night and on weekends to spend on myself. Not in a selfish way, but in a self-improvement way. Because if I improve myself, I can ultimately improve my marriage and relationship with him! So everyone wins 🙂
Here are a few things I always make sure to incorporate into my routine as self care.
1. Exercise. This is probably my biggest (and most obvious) form of self care and it has been for as long as I can remember. If I’m stressed, I hit the gym and get my endorphins going and instantly feel better. If I’m angry, I go for a quick workout and blow off steam. If I’m feeling just blah, even a light yoga workout or walk can be a mood booster and simultaneously makes me feel better about my body! Getting plenty of exercise has SO many benefits.
2. Quiet time. This is something I totally dropped the ball on for the past two years, as life got really busy. I stopped taking my quiet time at night or in the morning and just got into the routine of skipping it. Recently, I started forcing myself to sit down for quiet time every morning with my coffee, and it has been life changing. Just like getting OUT of the habit became routine, you can easily get back INTO it if you simply make the time to do it. For me, quiet time is reading my devotional or Bible while sipping my coffee, and spending a few minutes in pray. It sets the tone for my day and gives me a sense of peace, regardless of how much stress I’m under. Find something that you can turn into your quiet time and use it to kick off your day OR wind it down at night!
3. Reading a book…for FUN. This is another one that I got too busy for the last couple years and recently started doing again. I forgot how relaxing it is to read a good thriller for an hour (or more depending on how thrilling it is!) a day! My friend Lauren came to visit me this summer and brought some good books with her. I borrowed one and we read on the beach and on the couch in our free time, and WOW was it nice. It’s such a good temporary escape from reality! I felt so recharged after finishing a book that week, so I’ve started reading more!
4. Eating GOOD food. This means two things to me, and in my opinion it has to be in BALANCE. Self care means taking good care of yourself, so naturally you should be eating foods that are good for your body! Whole foods, REAL food. Not eating junk every day or McDonald’s every day. I traveled a lot this summer, which forced me to eat out much more than I usually do… and it was such a good reminder as to WHY I choose to eat healthy most of the time. I felt SO gross when I was eating out a lot! My stomach hurt constantly and I just felt really sick. The other half of this ‘eating good food’ equation, however, is indulging when you want to! You can’t let the healthy lifestyle become an obsession – you have to find your balance! If you eat healthy during the week but want to have beer and nachos during the football game on the weekend? DO IT. DO IT!!! If you’re PMSing or had a terrible day and need a cupcake and some wine? FREAKING DO IT!
5. Get outside. Being outside, even for just a few minutes a day, can be so beneficial! The body converts sunlight into vitamin D once it hits your skin (just wear sunscreen if you’re out for a while!). Vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium and promotes bone health. It also helps with muscle function and your immune system fighting off bad guys. Plus, being in the sun just makes you feel amazing! So go on a quick walk on lunch break, hit the beach for some yoga, or simply sit in your yard and read a book. Whatever you choose, you’ll feel great after spending some time outdoors! Again, instant mood booster.
6. Listen to your body and know when to slow down. This is so important. At my last job, it was SO high stress and high activity, that it was literally taking a toll on my physical health. I knew it would be a mentally stressful job, but it began causing my migraines to become SO much more frequent than they already were, I wasn’t getting enough sleep, and my foot that had surgery had begun to really bother again. Sometimes, you have to listen to the signs you’re body is giving you to take a step back and slow down. My husband reminded me that quality of life is more important than making a certain amount of money! It’s so true – it’s not worth putting your health at risk. Sometimes it’s okay to slow down and binge watch a season of Friends instead of going going going every single day!
That’s the run down on my self care techniques! I know there are lots of other ways to practice self care, but I don’t want to talk your ear off any more than I have 😉 Maybe I’ll do another self care post soon! Leave me a comment telling me your favorite self care practices!