Self-care is important. Whether you work full-time, are a stay at home parent, or are retired. And it can mean something different to each person. For some, it’s about practicing yoga and meditation every day, for others it’s finding 15 minutes to read a chapter of their book. It could even be taking a half an hour to play a video game. It varies from person to person, and that’s a good thing. Everyone’s version of self-care should look different.
I’m guilty of not practicing enough self-care. Sure, I take time for myself, but certainly not as much as I should. I’m always on the go, trying to fit it all in, which usually leads to stress and my anxiety rearing its ugly head, even more than normal. If we’re not taking care of ourselves, it’s mighty hard to take care of those around us.
I’ve made it my goal to make self-care a priority for 2018. For me, it’s not always about downtime. I basically don’t do anything at night after work except read or crochet. Unless I’ve had a lot of photo sessions. Then I’m editing my life away. For me, it’s about finding a balance, not just with my health, but also anything that causes my anxiety to rise or stress to elevate. Here are the self-care practices I’m focusing on this year.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but when you’re on the go a lot, the hardest part is eating healthy. At least for me. Give me something easy, and quick. And I will eat it. We’ve always done a lot of take out. Even if they are salads, it’s still takeout. When I do groceries, I focus on keeping foods around that will be easy for us to make a meal out of at night. Like frozen shrimp and stir-fry veggies. Quick, healthy meals. I’m eating more salads and protein. I’ve cut out (most) dairy, with the exception of some cheese and greek yogurt in my tuna, and I’m limiting my refined carbs.
Is the end goal to lose weight? Yes. I won’t lie. But I also know how crappy I feel when I eat tons of dairy and refined carbs/sugars. My body feels weighted down and my digestive system gets all wonky. Cutting back on all of that just makes me feel… better, for lack of better word.
This is also a benefit of eating better. I’ve been battling my weight for a long time. I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I do love the skin I’m in, but I need to lose weight for my health. Not for vanity. I joined Weight Watchers in February, which is helping me stick to my goals.
Again, another simple self-care tip, but one that I haven’t been practicing for a long time. Yes, I walk the dog one to two times a day, so that’s a start, but I need to do more than that. I need to make the time to get a solid workout in every day. I joined Beachbody On Demand, and have good intentions of starting a combination of PiYo and T25. Between those programs, walking the dog, and being at the barn, I think I’ll definitely meet my “moving more” quota
Be more body positive
I know above I want to eat better and lose weight, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to focus on being body positive. I’ve gone for a long time, hating my appearance because of all the weight I’ve gained in recent years. I’m constantly picking on myself in the mirror, or judging my cellulite when in reality, I should be embracing my curves. Yes, I need to lose weight, but not for vanity. I need to lose it so I can be healthier. In the meantime, I’m going to love myself as I am now, and stop picking myself apart. Body positivity = self love.
I’m addicted to my iPhone. I know I am. I’m not ashamed to admit it. But I need to put away more often. I need to give myself that breather from technology, even if it’s just a few times a day. My main goal is to keep my phone in my pocket when I’m walking the dog. I walk Ace every day at lunch, and there are days when I’m so distracted from work, that I feel that I’m constantly looking down at my phone and not enjoying the time I’m spending with him.
I know the days I do stop thinking about work for that 20 minutes, I always come back refreshed and ready to go. Not to mention seeing his sweet face and wagging tail – it always perks me up.
I also need to put the phone away more at night, especially when I’m spending time with the hubs. It’s good to disconnect every once and awhile.
In fact, when we were at Foxwoods a couple of weeks ago, I barely had my phone out. I usually take pictures and all that, but I didn’t. I just enjoyed spending time with my family and making memories, instead of documenting it all.
Drink more water (and more tea)
I have always been a water drinker. For years, I could drink three or four Nalgene’s a day. Now I’m lucky if I drink one. It’s not because I’m not thirsty. It’s because I get so focused on other things, I forget to drink. Water is so good for the body, and my body is certainly craving more of it.
Tea is so comforting. I find, whenever I drink it, it’s like an instant hug.
I feel like you hear this word thrown around like a baseball, but it’s true. When was the last time you ate your lunch without reading an article or scrolling through your Instagram feed? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been eating lunch, looked down and suddenly it was gone because I was preoccupied when something else.
I need to take a step back and pay attention to everything around me, whether it’s what I’m eating, what I’m reading, or simply my day to day life, mindful is my word of 2018.