“An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine bright”
Self-Care refers to actions and attitudes which contribute to well-being and personal health. And although amazing, it’s not only bubble baths with candles.
Self-care is not something you can just go purchase at a store; it includes a variety of activities tailored for each one of us. True self-care is figuring out what resonates with you, honoring what your needs are and working on those needs within your boundaries.
When you Google Self-Care tips you will see everything ranging from getting a massage, going on a walk, even masturbation. Yep! Just came across that article today!
Google Self-Care Tips…
- Establish a morning routine
- Practice good hygiene
- Schedule days off
- Get outside
- Take a bubble bath
- Disconnect from technology
- The list goes on…..
When I was going through my divorce, I’m pretty sure I spent 48 hours straight one weekend Googling the different things I should be doing to take care of myself.
All the while I was neglecting some of the basic things I knew would be the most beneficial. Those common sense, everyday things that keep us going…you know, like breathing!
When you are going through shit in life, most of the time we move into survival mode. We need to just get by. Remembering to practice self-care during these times can be overwhelming.
Who wants to go on a 3-mile run then come home to cook a healthy dinner after they just spent the afternoon crying? Putting on comfy pants, a baggy t-shirt, ordering a pizza and pouring a glass of cabernet sounds a hell of a lot more inviting.
I have struggled with self-care, not only while I was going through my divorce, but also when other challenging transitions transpired in my life.
When I realized that the 7 things listed below, it didn’t have to be so daunting, I noticed I began consistently practicing self-care. That’s key…consistency!
You can find more information on each of these tips in my FREE E-Book that you can download on my website, but here is a sneak peek!
- Breathe: I’m not talking about involuntary breathing here. I’m talking about pausing when you start to get overwhelmed (or even before) and just take a DEEP breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. I’m not saying you need to spend 30 minutes a day in deep mediation breathing, even just one deep breath gets that extra oxygen flowing in your body. You can do it anywhere and the best part, it’s FREE!
- Exercise: Endorphins play a huge role in reducing stress and anxiety. What are some ways we get endorphins flowing in your body? Eating hot peppers, sex, laughing and exercise. Hot peppers sound like they will hurt my stomach, sex—well if you going through a divorce you probably aren’t getting much. Laughing I talk about in tip 7. That leaves us with exercise! I’m not suggesting that you need to go run a marathon or do something strenuous, I’m suggesting you start moving your body. Even start with a walk around the block. Exercise is great for you physically, but personally I believe there are even more mental benefits.
- Eat a healthy Diet: When you are going through challenging times, comfort food does just that, comforts you. But if you have been eating like shit, you probably feel like shit. I’m not telling you to give up the pizza or to never eat fries again. I suggest to start with baby steps and instead of two donuts today, have one. And drink some water PLEASE! If you aren’t a water drinker this can be challenging but water is soooo good for you! And if you have been crying you are dehydrated and need H2O. Start with one glass. Some tricks to help if you hate water, use a squeeze of lemon or lime, try using an herbal tea bag to alter the flavor, or try a straw—I tend to drink more when I use a straw.
- Have a support network: Alone time is healing and needed, but isolating yourself from everyone is not healthy. Try to balance your alone time with connecting with positive people. Note that word positive. It can be difficult for some people to support those that are going through a challenging situation they can’t relate with. If you notice that you are more stressed by your connections, perhaps it’s time to eliminate that connection for now. You need to protect yourself and not add unnecessary stress by surrounding yourself with toxic relationships. For those relationships that are positive and uplifting, lean into those relationships.
- Get Enough Sleep: When you are not getting enough sleep this affects your immune system, mental clarity and your metabolism slows down. But how do you get enough sleep when your mind is spinning and you are worried about what the future will hold for you? If you can’t sleep, rest. Still go to bed and turn the TV off and put the phone away and take deep breaths and do you best to re-direct your thoughts. When the stressful thoughts enter your mind, replace them with a happy thought. I also recommend trying binaural beats. Binaural beat is an auditory illusion perceived when the brain hears two tones at slightly different frequency. I will say this worked for me sometimes, other times it didn’t. Adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep. You might not be able to achieve that right away, but at least rest.
- Journal: This is worth trying, it will either work for you or it won’t. There is controversy over journaling during challenging times in your life. For some people it’s healthy to get your thoughts out there. Others believe that journaling about the struggles keeps you stuck in the past rather than moving forward. But I honestly think it’s worth a shot to see how you feel. You will either love it, or not. And there are different ways you can journal: Grab a pen, pull out your laptop or even try hitting the recording on your phone for an audio journal.
- Laugh: I actually didn’t see this self-care tip a lot when I Googled self-care tips. But this one I think is in my top 3. I never realized how healing laughing was until I started laughing more! I subscribed to SIRIUS XM just for the comedy stations because I wanted to laugh more. Children laugh close to 400 times a day! Guess how many adults laugh…15! WTF people, we need to start laughing more! Stop right now and think about the last time you laughed. If you can’t recall in 10 seconds I have a joke for you:
“What did the ocean say to the beach?”
“Nothing, it just waved.”
Ok corny I know, but maybe I got you to smile. Seriously, find something that does make you laugh or even force it (read my e-book for more on forced laughs).
Honestly, these all really are common sense things we know we SHOULD be doing, but we don’t because they can be overwhelming with life is sucky. So what we can do is try to approach them a little different.
You don’t have to wake up, run 5 miles, have a protein smoothie, mid-day mediation/breathing break, spend the afternoon on the phone with a buddy laughing your ass off, and then journal before you head to bed to ensure you get your 8 hours.
Baby steps! Pick one thing, the rest will follow.
Listen to your body, be kind with yourself and give yourself some freaking grace when you just don’t have the energy to be constantly working on self-care 24/7.
To state it as short and sweet as I can, self-care is you creating your recipe of taking care of yourself in a way that preserves and improves your own mental, physical and spiritual health. That is it! Visit my website to download my Free-E-Book!
Remember, You Got This!