Make Self-Care Happen in 3 Steps
By now, you’ve probably heard about self-care and that it’s important, but what exactly does all that mean and why? Self-care is such an important part of feeling good and can have a significant impact on your quality of life. Keep reading for my top tips for self-care and how you can make it happen in your own life so you can reap all the benefits.
So what is self-care? My favorite way to describe it is: any activity that you enjoy and that recharges your energy. It can be something like going for a run or cooking a meal. It can also be something like clearing out an obligation from your calendar, or taking a social media break. Make sure not to confuse self-care with personal care. Personal care activities like getting your hair or nails done can be self-care but only if they are things that recharge your energy. If it feels like one more thing on your to-do list, or if you find yourself multitasking through it, it’s probably not self-care.
So why is self-care important? In this day and age, working, producing and being busy are celebrated. We feel like we have to be go-go-go all the time, and that can get exhausting. Have you ever found yourself completely depleted after a long stretch of work? This can lead to burnout and can affect your mental and physical health. Add in other responsibilities with family, kids, parties, school and you’ve probably made it a habit to put yourself on the back burner.
You’ve probably also been working on listening to your body and becoming more intuitive with your food. The more depleted you are, the less likely you are to make choices in support of your body. Being tired is also a common trigger for eating when you’re not actually hungry and can trigger other emotional eating, since being tired and burnt out brings up a whole range of emotions.
So how can you make self-care happen? I’m sharing my 3-step process that I use in my own life and share with my clients.
My first tip is to make a list of all the things that boost your energy. Some of my favorites are:
Taking a walk outside in the fresh air
Sitting in direct sunlight for a few minutes
Playing with my dog
Taking a Barre3 class
Meeting up with a friend
Calling a friend or family member
Now that you have your list, my next tip is to schedule this into your week. If you are used to being busy, you likely use a calendar or plan your week in some way. Intentionally add time for self-care. Some things might take longer than others, but if you have a particularly busy day, start with things that take less time. Think: a 5-minute meditation, or a quick walk around the block.
One thing to note, just like we can be intuitive eaters, we can also be more intuitive with our self-care. For example, sometimes you might need social time with friends, and sometimes you might need a night in by yourself.
Next up: track your progress. Take some time at the end of each week to see how you feel. Are you noticing less emotional eating? Do you have more energy? Are you happier? Are you less anxious? Do you feel lighter? All of this is great feedback and you’ll start to learn what works for you and what doesn’t.
Now that you know what to do, it’s time to actually follow through. Chances are you’ll keep up with it for a couple weeks but will eventually fall back into old habits. When I work with clients, we go from knowing what to do, to actually doing it and making it a habit, so it’s effortless. If you’d like some support, click here to book a free Food Freedom Breakthrough Session. We’ll see if working together is on your pathway to your healthiest self.
A common misconception with self-care is that it takes too much time, or there’s guilt involved because it takes away from time with family. I often hear, “but I don’t have enough time as it is! How am I supposed to make time for self-care?” My clients find that taking time for self-care makes them more productive at home, at work, and more present with their families. As I mentioned before, it doesn’t even have to take long!
Self-care is such an important part of intuitive eating and healing your relationship to food and your body, no matter where you are in your journey. If you do nothing more, choose one self care activity that you can add in this week. If you’d like some accountability, just leave a comment below or send me an email to let me know what you’re adding in.