If you’ve been following me on Facebook and Instagram then you’ll know that my theme is to Love Yourself. After I was diagnosed with Cancer, I changed my approach to healthcare to a proactive one, putting emphasis on taking care of your SELF. Don’t wait for illness or disease to come knocking in order to make a lifestyle change, you need to protect your health and invest in your self-care.
Self-care promotes self-love, which allows you to invite ownership and power into your life. It allows you to accept yourself and feel at peace, to realize that you are the source of your happiness, that you have the power to change your future, your career or your relationships etc. When you love yourself, you are kind towards yourself (and others!).
The high self-esteem that comes with self-love doesn’t just feel amazing, it actually has health benefits as well! Researchers from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand discovered that self-esteem may protect the heart and the immune system.
Taking better care of yourself isn’t a one-time thing you check off your to-do list. Self-care is a repetition of many little habits, which make sure you’re physically, emotionally and mentally optimal. By implementing self-care habits every single day you will help prevent illness and dis-ease from running you down.
Treating yourself is not selfish or over-indulgent. You should not feel guilty for taking a break to do something that makes you feel better. Most people do not do it enough, and often put “me time” on the back burner, which leads to feeling run-down and overwhelmed. For example, when you’re out of balance and feeling stressed out, your risk for heart problems increases.
When you take care of yourself, you will likely see an improvement in your physical health, your relationships and maybe even your income.
Self-care is very individual, but mental health professionals recommend taking at least 20 minutes per day to do something for yourself.
Here are some simple ideas and behaviours that will help you boost your happiness and improve your self-care routine:
- Declutter and purge whatever is crowding your life
- Do one thing per day that makes you happy
- Unplug for one hour per day
- Unfollow negative people on social media
- Practice deep breathing techniques (bonus points for including aromatherapy!)
- Dance it out
- Listen to music
- Have more sex
- Play with baby animals
- Get enough sleep
- Get a massage
- Cuddle with a loved one
- Stretch (especially important if you sit at a desk or behind the wheel all day)
- Make one small, positive change to your diet every week such as drinking an extra glass of water or eating an additional portion of vegetables
- Get 15 minutes in the sun
- Meditate or sit in silence
- Practice yoga
- Have a spa day
- Surround yourself with supportive friends or family
- Spend more time outside in nature
- Take a weekend vacation
My self care routine involves many nutritional habits such as lemon water first thing in the morning – over and above the nutritional aspect, I also include, daily walks (actually speed walks as I am walking a young adolescent male German Shepherd), as much nature time as I can up north, and meditation a few times per week (sometimes morning, sometimes before bed). And the family vacation is an all important one, as we have one coming up the first week of April this year (into the sun for much needed vitamin D).
How do you practice self-care and show yourself love?