I posted a blog a few days ago talking about the importance of listening to your body as a form of self-care. I realized that there are essential things that our body craves and I want to address those things in this blog today. I started tracking my self-care when I was recovering from a Lupus diagnosis, now I am fully recovered (praise break- all glory be to God) but my true breakthrough came when my desire to be well was learning that love and care was a priority. Below are 7 things to track for your self-care:
1) Drinking Water
Often times we don't drink enough water but water has many health benefits. When you drink enough water you are clearing out toxins, and you are giving your body what is necessary to function at its best. Many of us walk around dehydrated and wonder why we have headaches.
Here are some tips to support in drinking more water:
Carry water around with you at all times.
Put water right where you can see it -if you are a visual person like me you won't forget what is right in front of you.
Place water next to your nightstand or on your dresser drawer -then you can reach over first thing in the morning.
Set time intervals where you will drink water like morning, afternoon, evening - if you eat at least three times a day make sure to drink at least a tall glass of water.
Drink water after you go to the bathroom- take at least 10 sips or half a cup.
Use your phone alarm or an app to monitor your water intake.
Set a reward at the end of the week if you reach your recommended amount of water for your body type.
Oh boy do we need sleep. I don't know about you but if you become more dependent on coffee because you're struggling to get up every morning then that is a sign your body needs more rest.
I started to realize when taking my kids to school every morning that I was sluggish and that's not the type of mother I wanted to be. When I started to track my sleep I was only getting about 5 hours and was neglecting to get the recommended 8 hours of sleep. Now I listen to my body, actually I need 8.5 to feel functional, energized, and alert.
Here are tips to get more sleep:
Assess how much sleep your body needs- can you naturally wake up without an alarm clock?
Go to bed earlier.
Take a nap during the day- I aim for 30 minutes.
Sleep in an extra hour or two if possible on the weekends.
Give yourself an hour to transition before going to bed -do soothing/relaxing activities during this transition.
Set a bedtime- mine is 10:30 pm I often push it to 11:30 pm but try and have a shut down time like 9:30 pm if possible.
When it comes to exercise there are happy endorphins released and its proven that people who exercise sleep better and drink more water. So you actually get 3 in 1 when you focus on moving your body.
Here are some simple ways to get the recommended exercise:
Take the stairs or if you have stairs around your house go up and down extra times.
Move your arms to stretch to wake up first thing in the morning.
Lift your legs while sitting down- I aim for my age.
Park the car and bicycle instead.
Go to a gym class to get group support.
Go on a nature walk- I love wellness walks- or walk a dog- aim for at least 20 minutes.
If you can afford it get a personal trainer to push and motivate you.
4) Vegetable Intake
Now unless you're vegan a lot of us or not intentional about the amount of vegetables we eat. Why is it so easy to eat french fries and ice cream but when it comes to eating our veggies we don't monitor? Nowadays the easiest way to get a lot of vegetables in is with juicing. I personally love the green juice done for you at Trader Joe's but it's up to you what you buy.
Here are some tips:
Make sure veggies are always on the dinner plate.
Drink a vegetable juice in the morning or mid day snack.
Try going organic for healthier eating.
Track healthy eating if your meal does not include veggies then it's a daily habit you get to practice more of.
5) Time Spent Overall On Your Self-Care
Do you know how much time you prioritize for self-care? Have you ever taken the time to really think about it?
How many hours a week do you work?
You probably know its between 40 to 60 if you work full-time or 15 to 25 if part-time. Knowing your self-care is just as important because you get to put you on the agenda.
Here are some tips:
Be intentional, every week write down a self care goal, the day and time you will do it in your planner..
Become an expert at listening to your body.
Let go of false myths of being super woman and guilt- understanding that the more you take care of you the better your able to care for others.
Consider getting a wellness coach like myself for extra accountability and to help you with strategies to win at your self-care.
6) Time Spent on Leisure and Laughter
Are you having a good laugh daily? Laughter releases tension and I believe keeps you in good health. I love Steve Harvey and get a laugh watching shows like Family Feud or Wheel of Fortune ( I love to see people win) or I like to watch hidden camera TV. Whatever is your pleasure the point is to enjoy.
Here are some tips:
Watch your favorite comedian- there are many good ones out there.
If you are naturally serious find some easy going and carefree friends.
Have a tickle contest- I always win at this because both my kids are easily tickled
Take 30 minutes to leisure (busyness all the time is extra stress)
You have permission to enjoy life and have healthy fun.
7) Time Spent with God
My all-time favorite is one not necessarily considered as self-care but I believe that you need to spend time with the creator of your Mind, Body, and Spirit. You have an unconditionally loving God who cares about your well-being. He is going to be the best one to walk out this self-love journey with you.
Here are some tips:
Spend time with God in the word.
Give thanks for health, strength, and wisdom to treat yourself well.
Bring your worries and cares to him on a routine basis.
Ask for support especially if tired but on a mission to serve others and live your purpose.
These are the 7 things that I recommend. Which of the above do you struggle to implement consistently? For me, it's number 1 and 4 but because I am committed to my heath and well-being and have a tool I'm quickly able to get back on track.
No worries if you are just starting out on an intentional self-love journey remember to practice self-compassion and get support. You can do it! The wonderful thing is I have created a book with a great tool to track your self-care. If you would like support to practice and maintain self-care consider joining my free Be a W.E.L.L Facebook group.
Thanks for reading!
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