[Dr Kathie – Chiropractor]
The last time you went on a holiday that involved a plane trip, the airline staff went through a safety procedures talk. Now I know a lot of people don’t pay attention to that particular talk (especially if you have heard it a few times) but do you remember what they say about the oxygen masks? It is usually something like:
If you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person.
In short, help yourself first. How much time do take in life to look after yourself? Do you regularly put others’ needs before your own? And how long do you think it might be before your body presents the bill for the extra stress created from not looking after your body-mind?
In the past, I have been guilty of putting other people’s needs before my own, and you know what, eventually (or sometimes quite quickly) that didn’t work out so well for me! Many people I have spoken to are amazed by how habitual it has become to put others first AND how their lives change for the better when they start to find simple ways to put looking after themselves back into their regular routine.
If self care means looking after your whole self (mind, body and soul!), let me ask, what is your routine of self-care? Does it go beyond making sure you have eaten, showered and brushed your teeth at least once per day?
Having a self care routine can help decrease stress, and stress is implicated as a causative factor in most major diseases. Definitely worth finding some time each day (even if only 5 minutes) to start a self care routine!
Here are some ways you can start to practice self care in your life!
Stop Over-Thinking – You can miss out on a lot of life’s little pleasures while you are stuck inside your own head.
Take Time Out to Be Still- Find somewhere beautiful and peaceful (outside in nature, or a quiet undisturbed corner of your home) and just sit. We spend a lot of our lives rushing from one place to the next. Just being can be very blissful and meditative.
Create Joyful Rituals- A simple easy ritual can ground you and centre you in the chaotic world. Try drinking lemon water every morning, hugging your partner or kids at the beginning and end of each day, meditating.
Cherish Your Family and Friends- Good friends are worth their weight in gold, the kind who can always make you laugh no matter how miserable you are feeling. Strained relationships with family, friends and even work colleagues creates stress- try to be on good terms with everybody!
Chew Your Food! Taking the time to chew your food will increase your enjoyment and your digestive ability.
Upgrade your food and water- buy the best quality food you can fit in your family budget (organic, free range, grass fed) and drink filtered water. Ask yourself what simple swaps you can make to a healthier version of your favourite comfort food- your body will thank you for it!
Eat Your Vegetables and Fruits- focussing on eating more fruits and vegetables will not only improve your health through the great nutrient benefits, but also you will be less likely to go looking for a junky snack!
Live happy and Focus on the good- whatever your focus is on, expands! Be thankful for each person who is contributing to your life in a positive way!
Exercise Regularly. Remember that exercise doesn’t have to be a hard workout at the gym. Just yesterday I exercised by playing at the local park and hanging upside down from the climbing equipment- I had forgotten how fun that can be! Take a walk, play a game outside with your kids, try a new class!
Find a song that you love, that makes you happy and sing it everyday! Did you know that singing daily for at least ten minutes reduces stress, clears sinuses, improves posture and might even help you live longer?
Create a positive environment (as much as you can), especially at home, and also at work (this is where you spend a lot of time). Put large green plants in your home (not only are they pretty, but they help replenish the oxygen in your home).
Scrub your body with a hot, damp wash cloth before your shower or bath to improve circulation and skin health. Simply fill a sink with hot water (add essential oils if you want to) and slowly scrub each part of your body in a circular motion until it is pink/warm.
Read Non-Fiction to Expand Your Mind. Read Fiction to Expand Your Imagination. And when you are reading you aren’t killing time watching TV or on social media.
Unplug- Get away from screens of all sizes and being “on call” for the office. Travel is a great way to encourage being unplugged.
Don’t be Afraid to feel Your Feelings. If you are feeling great, that’s okay, if you are feeling miserable and don’t want to get off the couch right now, that’s okay too. Get the yukky feelings out of your system- the sooner you do that, the sooner you can move on. Seek help if you need some outside perspective to help you process your feelings.
Treat yourself to regular daily quiet time – study, pray, mediate, recharge!
Try and take regular holidays- these longer recharge periods are great for centring yourself and making sure you are on track to achieve your goals! There are so many places you can start working on your self care.
Remember you can choose what to try and when you try it! If it all feels too much, start at the simplest place of all – just breathe!