When I first started working with a health coach — desperate to lose weight and figure this whole “food thing” out, I was asked a question that made me completely draw a blank.
Sitting in a cozy coffee shop across from each other, my coach said to me “so what do you do for self-care?”
I, being a straight A student and someone who always has an answer for everything (for better or worse), just stared at her blankly. She stumped me.
“huh? what do you mean ‘self-care’”?
She had to give me examples (“well, I do x y and z to really take care of myself”) and even with her examples, I couldn’t come up with anything.
I just didn’t take care of myself. It was a really sad realization, and I’ll never forget that day.
I was so focused on weight loss, figuring out how to eat less calories, and how to get my butt on the treadmill, that I neglected to care for so many other parts of myself.
There are tons of reasons why self care is important, but here’s the main one that I want you to know:
Self Care helps you feel how you want to feel – beautiful, taken care of, loved, relaxed, and nourished.
Without Self Care, we feel overwhelmed, neglected, not a priority, unloved, and stressed.
And when we feel this way, we eat to feel better.
Imagine if you took care of yourself impeccably throughout the day so that you felt all of these amazing feelings. Do you think you’d feel less of an urge to eat cookies at 3pm and raid your fridge when you walked in the door?
Since that day with my coach, I’ve made it my mission to start taking care of myself better. That means my body, my emotions, my creativity, my soul, everything. I am forever a work in progress and continue to try to get better and better at this.
To get you thinking about how to take care of yourself, here are some things that I do now to take care of myself:
- I eat whole, natural foods 80% of the time and I watch my sugar intake because I’m really sensitive to it (ie. I eat it every day, but in smaller amounts).
- I eat tons of vegetables. Like, tons. I’ve found ways to make them delicious so that it never, ever feels forced.
- I move my bones only if it’s fun. I never push myself to do movement that feels like a chore.
- I wear clothes that feel comfy and cozy on my skin. Nothing’s too tight or rough material.
- I hardly ever wear heels – not worth it 🙂
- I wear makeup maybe once or twice a week. Otherwise, I let my skin breathe.
- I invest in really great face moisturizer and body lotion. I have dry skin so this is really important for me
- I keep my apartment clean and have come up with ways for my boyfriend to help out so that we work as a team to keep it feeling spacious and inviting
- If I feel that I need rest, I always listen. It may not be that second (I wish we could just take naps wherever, ya know?) but I always try to honor that whenever possible
- I create a lot of time in my schedule to be lazy and 100% unproductive. This is crucial for me to unwind and gives me the brain space to work as hard as I do
- I see my girlfriends as often as possible. This is a huge priority – a two hour lunch with a girlfriend nourishes my soul more than working an extra hour will
- I drink wine / beer frequently but not in large portions – this lets me have fun but keeps me feeling great as much as possible
- I let out my feelings — I keep very few things in to myself. This one is huge. Although I am in introvert, I have a strong need to communicate and need to get my thoughts and feelings out. I write, I talk to myself outloud (seriously, all the time), but most importantly, I talk to friends, family, or my boyfriend. This is one of the best ways I take care of myself from an emotional perspective.
- I go for aimless walks around the city, especially when I need to de-stress.
- I work on developing creative hobbies, as creativity is really important for all of us. I’ve developed a knack for cooking, photography, home decor, and getting more adventurous with fashion.
- I chat with my siblings and parents often. Sometimes a girl just needs her mom, needs to vent to her sister, guidance from her older brother, or a rational conversation with her Dad. Opening up to these people (this was a very hard one for me) continues to be one of the best things I do for myself.
- I take tons of breaks when working and listen to the natural flows of my productivity. Some days are for cranking out tons of work, and some days are harder. I work with this instead of against it.
- I try to get plenty of sleep.
It’s not always this peachy. There are weeks where I am a total stress – case, snapping at everyone and utterly exhausted. These are red flags to me to up my self-care and try to get back to the way I want to feel. I work on this every day and hope to “feel the way I want to feel” more and more as I keep learning.
I’m curious – in what ways do you take care of yourself? And I’d like to challenge you. In the comments below, can you come up with 3 things you want to start doing to UP your own self-care so that you can feel the way you want to feel even more?
I can’t wait to hear from you on this one!