10 Ways I Practice Self Care on a Daily Basis
Today I share 10 ways I practice self care on a daily basis. I used to never practice self care. I would over work myself, sleep terribly, have no routine or daily acts I did to create happiness in my life. As a result, I was constantly stressed, nervous and anxious. I mean at what points in our lives are we told the importance of self care? Especially for women?
I primarily counsel women, and because of this I can say without a doubt- 99% of the women I see don't practice daily acts of self care. Is it because we feel we are not worthy? That our own happiness and lives don't matter as much as those we are taking care? Women are naturally givers and caretakers. But how do you give to others without giving to yourself first?
I have a secret for you. Happiness is not created by owning every item you desire, making a certain amount of income or finally reaching your goal weight (actually most people are most miserable when they reach their goal weight!)
Happiness comes from internal happiness. This comes from self love, body acceptance and daily acts of self care. Because you matter. And you deserve happiness.
Adding daily acts of self care into my life have literally changed me. I'm no longer the anxious, stressed out and fearful girl in my early 20's I used to be. I no longer strive to be perfect (although that's a daily battle!) I have internal happiness and a result, I have a pretty damn amazing life. Like attracts like. I truly believe my positive mindset and internal happiness has attracted positivity in my life in many ways. And I believe it can for you, too.
That's why in my practice, before we ever talk about what or how to eat, we talk about self love, body acceptance, stress management and daily acts of self care. Today I am sharing how I practice daily acts of self care.
1. Get enough sleep. It drives me nuts that it's a badge of honor to be sleep deprived. "I can live off 4 hours of sleep" is something I hear all the time from clients, and in my head all I am thinking is just because you can live does not mean you are thriving. Unless you have a true reason why you cannot prioritize sleep in your life (hello to my new mommas out there reading this!) there's just no excuse. Get 6-8 hours of sleep. Not only are you going to live longer, but you're going to thrive in life.
2. Have a morning and nighttime routine. I am all about routine. Not only does it help me feel present and grounded during the day and fall asleep faster at night, but it's often in those moments in my morning routine and nighttime routine that I create deep peace from within that I carry with me at all times. Routines don't have to be strict and rigid, just create a few things each morning and night you do to help you feel centered and present. Personally, my morning routine always includes starting the day off with my warm water and delicious bulletproof coffee, moving my body and meditation. My nighttime routine almost always includes turmeric milk, reading and cuddling my husband and puppy on the couch.
3. Hygge. Have you ever heard of it? Basically, the Norwegian are smart AF and know the importance of wellness. The word Hygge comes from Denmark, and basically means acts you do that create inner happiness and "wellbeing". Personally, many of my favorite acts of hygge are part of my morning and nighttime routines. Favorites for me include cuddling my husband and puppy on the couch, reading, loving on my kitty and sipping warm beverages.
4. Move my body. I strive to move my body in some way on a daily basis. But here's the kicker, it doesn't have to be killer exercises everyday. Just like with my eating, I am also intuitive with my exercising. When I wake up in the morning I see how I feel, and base my exercise for the day off that. My favorite forms of exercising are weight lifting and yoga. Nothing beats the feeling of strength and empowerment being able to squat your own weight gives you. But what I love just as much as weight lifting is yoga. I feel they are such a perfect blend of what my body needs. So about three days a week I lift weights and the other days of the week I do yoga. Sometimes its BUTI yoga which is more cardio based, but I also do a lot of yin yoga (where you hold poses for 2-5 minutes each) and just simply using yoga to stretch. Occasionally, when I am in the mood I add HIIT (high intensity interval training) exercises in the mix. And some days I do nothing! You NEED rest days, it's drives me crazy when I see other bloggers out there doing 'light exercising' on their rest days. Guess what guys? 1-2 days a week I don't do ANYTHING at all, because ya body needs to rest, too!
5. Daily walking. This is by far one of my favorite things to do on a daily basis! I could gush for hours on the importance of getting actual sunlight and what it does for us emotionally and nutritionally (sorry but a vitamin D pill is never going to act in the way actually getting it from the sun does!) I love how Meg talked in this post about walking meditation, and I couldn't agree more. I almost never listen to anything while I walk. I just want it to be by myself and my goal is to not attach to my thoughts and just let them flow! If I am ever in a funk, walking outside almost always gets me out of it. I take walking breaks while I am at work every day, but I also try to take my dog on a daily walk, too. Nothing beats watching his happiness from walking together :)
6. Enjoy my favorite drinks in a calm environment. Jacked Up Java, matcha latte and turmeric milk are my favorites. I love beverages, especially warm ones. I don't care at all that I live in Florida, I ALWAYS drink my coffee and most other drinks warm! It's so soothing and probably why it's always a part of my morning and nighttime routines.
7. Eat traditional foods. As you can imagine, this is one of my favorite ways to enjoy daily self care! While I don't believe in food rules, I do have food convictions and eat in a way most days that makes me feel beautiful, radiant and energized. When you start to feel this way from how you eat, it's life changing. Food isn't what it used to be. My goal for myself and my clients and you my readers is for us to get back to the way we used to eat before diet dogmas and food trends began. While I actually agree with many of the premises of the Paleo diet, I don't think we need to look that far back. Our eating evolved over the past 10,000 years that has similar trends all around the world. Traditional, real food existed even in America until the 1950's when misinterpreted studies like those done by Ancel Keys came out. From there, we began to fear food- taking the fat out of everything we eat and in its place adding sugar, trans fat, vegetable oils, chemicals and preservatives. In my opinion eating a traditional diet full of fresh foods like produce, fermented and sprouted foods (more on this soon!), eating meat (or fish and eggs for my vegetarians out there!) and parts of the animal people especially in America are fearful of eating (hello, liver) and utilizing every part of the animal (like making bone broths) is truth health and true sustainability, too. More to come on this :)
8. Attach no emotions other than positive emotions to food. As you can tell from #7, I do have strong food beliefs. I like to call it instinctual or traditional eating. But you guys know me. I think intuitive eating has to lay the foundation before we can even talk about what to eat. One of the most amazing acts of self care you can do on a daily basis is to not feel guilt or any negative emotion around food. Food is social and holds so much tradition and culture for a reason. Because its pleasurable. It's meant to be. Hold no emotion other than positive emotions around food.
9. Meditation. A game changer for me. Just like improving your diet or starting an exercise routine takes time to form the habit, so does meditating. But the more I do, the more I love it and need it. I truly don't think I would be able to be run my own business while working full time for another company if I didn't meditate. It keeps me sane. It keeps the to do lists out of my mind. It keeps me positive, present and grounded. I know meditating can see intimidating or too "woo woo" but it's not, I promise. Its simply allowing yourself to sit alone with your thoughts. Its powerful beyond words. If you are looking to form a meditation routine read my sister's guest post on how to do so and go to her website, she has many guided meditations you'll love!
10. Positive self affirmations. I say positive affirmations to myself literally, all day. Any time I look in the mirror, I tell myself something kind. Sometimes it's something superficial like you are beautiful or "OMG girl you killed that cat eye!". But a lot of the times, it's that I am so proud of myself. Or that I have a good soul. Or that I am deserving. I hate how people speak so negatively of themselves, especially women. We all have positive attributes and you should celebrate those. It doesn't have to be anything about your looks but hey, it can be that too! Whatever works for you. Next time you look in the mirror, tell yourself that you are beautiful, that your soul is beautiful and so is your body. And watch your mind shift.
Now it's your turn...Share below in the comments how you practice self care on a daily basis!