Self-care.

But, how?

Here are my 7 simple and practical self-care techniques:

Meditation

It’s probably something you have heard of, but have you tried it?  Does the thought of meditation bring up images of someone chanting “om” until their mind is as clear as glass? The benefits of meditation include a reduction in anxiety, relaxation, an increase in serotonin levels- which improves mood, it helps with concentration, focus, and brings a deeper level of understanding of yourself and others.

Start by practicing 5 minutes of breathing. Count your breaths to 10, and then start back over at one. Make sure you’re breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. Meditation is a great way to get a little self-care in every day.

Hydration

Water is something that everyone needs. We are made of around 60% water and yet a lot of people don’t drink enough each day. It’s recommended that we drink 2-3 liters of water per day – depending on a number of variables. The best way to get your water intake up is to have a drink bottle with you everywhere you go, on the desk at work, in your bag, and in the fridge at home.

I often get asked, “What about the water in other beverages such as coffee, tea, and smoothies?” It can be tricky to track the amount of water you are getting from those beverages. Additionally, caffeine is a diuretic which can lead to dehydration. So ultimately, the best bet is to drink 2 liters of water per day and then anything else you drink is a bonus! 

Relaxation

When I ask clients what they do to relax, they are often stumped. We are all so busy being busy, relaxing is something we save for holidays – if at all. Take some time, especially when you are feeling stressed, and find something that you enjoy and that feels relaxing. It could be reading a novel, playing an instrument, yoga or dancing. Whatever it is, schedule some time so you can rest, reset and be ready to get back to your life feeling refreshed. If you want to learn more about relaxation and self-care, check out this podcast episode. Or, this podcast episode!

Nutrition

Feeling sluggish? Suffering from headaches? What are you eating? The best recommendation I can offer you is to up your fruit and vegetable intake. The recommended servings per day are 5 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit.

If you think about your daily meals where can you fit in extra nutrients? Maybe you can make a green smoothie for breakfast, eat a piece of fruit as a snack, and bulk up your dinner with lots of extra veggies.

For more about self-care and nutrition, check out this guest blog.

Journaling

Have you been feeling stressed about a few things and is it all you can think about right now? Start writing! It doesn’t have to be in a fancy book or with a magic pen, you don’t even have to make it legible (well maybe so you can read it). All you need to do is sit and start writing. Sounds easy right?

Well, if you’ve tried before, you know it’s not always easy. My tips for journaling are: Ask yourself a question eg: What did you do today? Why are you feeling so stressed? Then just write down whatever comes up for you. Write until you feel like you are done or as much as you can in the time that you have. You can read more about journaling here.

Body Scans

Huh? What’s this you ask? A body scan is a great way to get in touch with how your body is feeling and what may need attention. Start by sitting quietly and focusing on your breath (not controlling it). Then, start from the top of your head and feel if there is any tension, pain, tightness or tingling. If it feels clear and light – move on.

If not, then remember that feeling and move down feel your face, neck, shoulders, abdomen, back and so on down to your toes. Now, where did you feel any tension etc.? Think about how you can care for any area’s that came up for you as particularly tense, tight, or painful.

Essential Oils

There is basically an oil for everything: Want some energy? Try a citrus oil. Need more restful sleep? Try lavender oil. Got a toothache? Try clove oil. Cold sore? Tea tree oil. I could go on and on.

There are a lot of different choices for how to use essential oils – you can diffuse them at home, get an oil roll-on to take with you or find a cream or lotion for your body.

self-care

In summary, I believe finding self-care that fits into your life is very important. So give some of these tips a try and see what you enjoy. If you did all of these things you would be a self-care superstar! You can discuss these and other self-care tips in the WWC online community. [You can click the link to request access] To implement these and your other self-care activities, check out the WWC Family Meeting – your weekly toolkit for more connection and organization. 

Joan Redman from Fit your Fit Food is a Nutrition Coach who believes in self-care and making nutrition fit into your life. Joan is currently studying to become a Nutritionist and is enjoying sharing what she is learning along the way. Find you Fit Food offers Nutrition coaching and support. They specialize in one on one coaching that tackles nutrition plans and personalized self-care routines. They can help you reach your goals and customize a plan that suits a busy lifestyle. You can follow Joan & Find your Fit Food at facebook.com/findyourfitfood and sign up for her newsletter at http://eepurl.com/cs2np5.