The words Self Care get tossed around a lot these days. Do you know what Self Care is? Are you practicing it? What's your favorite way to practice? Have you made it a priority in your life? Earlier this week I had not one but three people ask me to share my self care routine and practices. I try to honor and listen to those signs so I thought I'd share it here as well! Self care has been a journey for me and it's something I still really work on. You know how getting sick is your sign to SLOW DOWN and take better care of you? Yeah. Self care started off like that in my life. I learned the hard way at first via overwhelm and burn out. Raise your hand if you're a recovering people pleaser too!
It's been years of systematic changes in my work and lifestyle to take better care of me. Learning the hard practice of saying NO has been key. Letting go of self judgement and stories around slowing down has been huge too. I used to think busy meant successful and that somehow working all the time made me more worthy of success. Those were some BIG stories that 1) weren't serving me and 2) just aren't true. Allowing myself to lay down if I need it or to sit in quiet and meditate have been massive shifts in my life. These days my self care has been taking a turn to mirror my food life... it's all about healing, what feels good and prevention.
Here's what I've laid out for myself. As you read notice what resonates with you and what makes you feel light. Perhaps those are the practices to try on, modify and put to work in your self care routines.
Weekly I schedule 1 date with myself reserved for fun. I take myself to the movies. I swim. I take myself to lunch or for a drive. I do whatever feels really good in my body. During that time I UNPLUG from all technology (A MUST). Some weeks it's just an hour. Others it's an entire day. It all depends on what I'm feeling that I need. If I'm super busy and the week is wearing on me then I take m o r e time for myself to go and remember what fun is. I block off the time in my calendar and treat it like a client appointment. That means I always show up! Cliff always says, "no one is shooting at us" and I take it to heart. He's right. This is not a life or death situation. It's my life and I get to choose how to LIVE IT each moment of each day and the more fun the better!
WATER + BREAKFAST:
I drink water daily upon waking. And eat within an hour of waking. So key. On days when I allow myself to get sucked into technology too quickly I can easily skip breakfast or wait way too long to eat and I feel it. After all this time I'm still in awe that I'm the boss of my food life and however I feel is a direct reflection of how well I did or did not prioritize taking care of my needs.
EATING CUT OFF:
I've recently added no eating after 6 or 7 at night. So far that's feeling really good. I'm not crazy strict about it... if we go to dinner I enjoy dinner without looking at the clock. I'd say at the moment I'm sticking to it a good 5 or 6 days a week. The circadian rhythm of our bodies dictates that we are to eat when the sun is out and rest when the moon is out. Practicing an eating cut off time is my way of trying to honor that a little more each day. Eating late at night is a sure fire way to pack on lb's and as a recovering sugar addict/ emotional eater night time eating was a particularly tender time for me. You know you better than anyone... set some safe boundaries for yourself within your routines and honor them.
KEEP IT FRESH + GREEN:
I make sure to eat something green everyday. A green juice, a green smoothie, steamed veggies, salad... doesn't matter I just make sure to get in green veggies. I tell every single one of my clients about the importance of greens and anyone who knows me knows that veggies are way more than just a food preference... it's a lifestyle. My lifestyle. If I'm traveling and can't access greens like usual I use a green powder in the mornings with breakfast. I also try to eat 50% + of my daily food raw to invite the most nutrients possible into my body. That's part of why I love green juices and green smoothies so much.
Creating my day is always the goal. The way to create your day is through meditation. When I approach meditation from a creation stand point knowing that it has the power to change my day and my life I show up every time without fail. It's pretty hard to argue with facts like these. When I forget how rich and deep meditation is I remember to keep it on the list because it's "good for me" and honestly some weeks that is enough. This week has been exceptional, so far I've meditated everyday and I'm aiming to do a long one this afternoon. Last week I think I meditated 3x so it definitely ebbs and flows over here. Some days are 10 minutes via a short and sweet Deepak Chopra mediation. Others are long up to an hour or just over via a Joe Dispenza mediation. I almost always use a guided meditation. I'd say about 1 out of every 10 times I will sit and meditate on my breath alone in silence. I don't have any rules on guided or not... I just go with what feels good and most often I go with how much time I want to spend.
MOVEMENT + REST:
I live in an RV and happily work from home. I sit on my booty in a small space most of the day. No doubt about it that's a sedentary lifestyle. Lately I'm light on movement and heavy on rest at the urging (and near begging) of my Ayurvedic doc and team of healers. It's been a tough adjustment for me to SLOW DOWN and follow the advice to not "exert" myself. I run/walk a few times a week. I have also been swimming when the mood strikes (I've been twice this week). Lately I'm feeling the calling back to yoga so it's me and my yoga mat it the RV which is pretty comical actually.
Giving myself permission to nap and rest has been earth shattering. I'm not kidding I used to be an ALL GO, ALL THE TIME kind of gal. The more work I do on healing my body the more I can feel the subtle calls from within. When I start to feel a little frayed, weak or small I go lay down for a bit. Naps are an amazing reset button and immune booster.
Daily I wake and take all my Ayurvedic herbs to support the healing of my body. I'm over half way through 30 days of daily sesame oil enemas (TMI? Sorry.) to help lubricate and restore health to my internal body. The Ayurveda perspective on Tracheal Stenosis is that we have one long tube from mouth to anus and mine is dried out so... I'm taking oil on both ends and also oiling my skin. Oil-a-palooza over here and I have to tell you the oil enemas though not the most comfortable thing I've ever experienced feel like they are totally working.
I share all this to tell you that healing is an all in endeavor. If you're negotiating some kind of sickness or imbalance in your body it can be all consuming. It's been really soothing to add these practices to my daily rituals. I do each from a place of gratitude that each day I get to take actions with a pure intention of easy breathing and believing in healing possibility. My sister reminds me to ask the Universe to wow me in regards to my health. Isn't that a beautiful image to think of! How many times have you been in awe of something that unfolded before you without you having to effort in that direction? Just this past weekend I won tickets to a truly transformational Oprah weekend and I didn't even register to win. My Aunt registered me. I was WOW-ed for sure and so now I ask the Universe to wow me in regards to my healthy and healed body.
Daily I read something that I'm trying to learn. It's usually really quick around 5 - 10 minutes.
SAY WHAT YOU NEED:
I tell Cliff what's happening with me daily. Turns out he's not a mind reader so it's helpful for him to know what I'm negotiating. I ask for what I need... some days it's for him to read/ edit something I've written, some days it's help rubbing oil all over me as part of my healing ritual, some days it's for some space to move through something I'm working on. That practice adds to the ease of our relationship and helps us both feel really supported.
The sun + earths energy are crucial for vibrant health. I spend time barefoot in the grass or with my hands in the dirt weekly. Ideally we'd come into contact with the earth daily. I joke (but I'm totally serious) that one day when we have a yard again I want a dirt and sand garden where I can go lay naked with the sun on my face. This is the part where my dad thinks I've totally lost my mind (ha!) but it's so elemental to be in contact with our earth! I think it's one of the reasons why so many of us love the beach. It's one of the rare times we are barefoot and covered in sand! When is the last time you physically touched the earth?
I hope you found one or a few things that are resonating in you. Remember that just like food self care is completely individual. While I'm over here taking it easy and embracing naps you may need to run as hard and as fast as you can! There are some things, too, like saying what you need and taking yourself on a weekly date that I think we could all benefit from.
To caring for your beautiful self in the way that only you can! Lacy