What is Self-Care?
Self-care is something we do to benefit our physical, emotional and mental health. Self-care is essential to our mood and helps us maintain relationships with ourselves and others to stay balanced. In the hustle and bustle of life, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of putting others’ needs ahead of ours, but it’s critical to carve out time for ourselves. For those of you learning to let go of diets, self-care is an essential tool that will help you stay the course.
Simple Ideas for Self-Care:
- Practice Mindfulness: Sometimes it just feels good to get out of our heads. Our thoughts can be overwhelming and prevent us taking positive actions. For those of you learning to make peace with food and your bodies, mindful meditation is a way of calming the negative thoughts that judge your food intake, exercise habits, or body image. If you are new to mindfulness, start small; it can be anything where you pay full attention and are present in a nonjudgemental way. For example, feel the warm water on your body as you shower or wash the dishes, notice your feet touching the ground as you walk, really listen to your friend as they talk.
- Schedule Important Medical Appointments: If you are fortunate enough to have access to medical services, make a list of all the important doctor appointments you need and schedule them now, even if the times are inconvenient or you are worried about going to the doctor. Prevention is worth a pound of cure; Remember to put on your oxygen mask first so that you will have the energy to take care of others.
- Take a Social Media Break: Remember that comparison is the thief of joy! Sometimes it is important to get off all social media so you will have less chance of comparing yourself to unrealistic standards of beauty – pictures and stories other people tell to make it seem like they’re having a good time.
- Find a Creative Outlet: The simple act of creation can be very healing. Find a hobby — whether it is playing an instrument, listening to music, painting, coloring, knitting, crafting, baking, reading, etc. The possibilities are endless!
- Move Your Body Because it Feels Good: Think of new ways to move your body! If you absolutely love going on a treadmill or elliptical, go for it! But if that is a daunting thought, try something new such as yoga, rock climbing, hula hooping, walking, dancing to music in your living room, gentle stretching or more.
- Connect with a Friend: Reach out to a friend or relative whose relationship you value. This simple act of bonding can be very powerful.
- Simple Self-Care: For anyone suffering with physical or mental health issues, self-care can be as simple as getting out of bed and getting dressed. Please do not be hard on yourselves; instead congratulate yourself and give yourself full permission to just “BE.” We don’t always have to “DO.”
For 2018, make the effort to turn your brain off and recharge your batteries. Give yourself full permission to take care of yourself, whether that means letting go of diets, seeing a physician or other health care provider, learning a new skill or changing up your exercise routine. You are deserving and have no cause for guilt. What will you do for self-care in the New Year? How will you be kind to your body and soul?
If you want to explore more on self-care, gentle nutrition and intuitive eating, the best way is to join my free online course, “Dip your Toes into Intuitive Eating.”
This is a free program and in it you will learn:
- Why diets don’t work (Hint: it’s not YOUR fault, but the fault of diets and diet culture).
- How using mindfulness can help you become more aware of your body’s innate sensations of hunger and fullness.
- How satisfaction is the missing key to discovering authentic nutrition.
- Start to recognize that you’re so much more than the shape and size of your body!
- See that you have many wonderful qualities on the inside, as we focus on becoming whole from the inside out.
Erica Leon is a Registered Dietitian and practices from a Health at Every Size (HAES®) lens. She is certified as an eating disorder specialist and is passionate about helping women at midlife, menopause and beyond to make peace with food and body image.
Erica is a highly sensitive nutrition therapist who takes the time to learn where you or your family are in the pursuit of health. Respectful of your individual needs and lifestyle, she will provide an honest assessment of whether or not you are a good fit to work together. Click here to schedule a 15-minute Discovery Call with Erica to let us know about your needs, and to see which of our Dietitians is the best fit for you!
Download our Free Intuitive Eating Guide and get off that Diet Roller Coaster for good!