10 Easy Steps to Self-Care
In my last post, I talked about the role self-care is playing in my overall health and wellness. Getting through cancer is tough enough with everything involved. The degree to which we truly take care of ourselves makes a huge difference in the outcome when getting through serious illness. You can read my last article here.
Today, I want to talk about 10 easy steps to self-care. In no particular order, these 10 steps are:
1. Get enough rest. Our bodies need a solid 8-10 hours of sleep a night. Some experts say 6-7 hours is adequate and if you feel completely rested on 6-7 hours of sleep, more power to you! I suspect most of us really need closer to 8 hours of sleep a night. It’s important to get to bed no later than midnight as research shows our bodies miss out on the type of sleep needed when we get to bed after this time. Getting to bed between 10pm – 11:30pm is best but this depends on what time you get up each morning.
2. Meditate. There are endless meditation cd’s, you tube channels and the like offering guided meditation or meditation sounds for you to meditate with. I personally like Kelly Howell’s meditation and guided imagery products. I started with The Secret Universal Mind Meditation and have since branched out to many other CD’s. You can’t go wrong with her stuff! Brainsync meditation CDs and guided imagery techniques are proven to significantly improve mental performance. In two decades, nearly 3 million Brain Sync users have experienced the powerful benefits of deep meditation to accelerate healing, learning, recovery and personal growth and Kelly has led the way. Whether you meditate alone, with Kelly or someone else, I encourage you to do some form of meditation daily… even 10 minutes makes a difference!
3. Enjoy a hobby. Whether you enjoy reading, watching movies, doing art, playing an instrument, dancing, etc… spend time each week doing something you love. One of my goals this year is to read at least one book a month. I’ve met my goal for January! I also love watching movies and dancing. I’m making it a priority to do one thing for me each week.
4. Speak kindly to yourself. Practice affirmations and positive self-talk. With more than 16,000 thoughts going through our minds each day, we have the power to help these thoughts be more positive. The more positive we speak to ourselves, the more our subconscious mind will get the memo. If you’d like my top 25 go to affirmations, go here for my quick-start guide to conquer overwhelm. There are affirmations and a few other tips to help you with self-care.
5. Make time to prioritize your day. Whether you take a few minutes each morning or the evening before, it’s important to keep focused on your most critical things. One thing I do is plan out my week on Sundays, ensuring appointments and to do’s are accounted for. Then, each evening, I review the day and make any changes to the next days’ schedule. Another tip is to schedule appointments with yourself throughout each week for all your self-care action steps. Put it in writing and it has a much better chance of getting done!
6. Have a gratitude practice. I’ve written lots of articles about gratitude and believe gratitude is the foundation for developing our greatness and is key to living a live filled with passion, peace, and joy. Having a daily gratitude practice that involves saying silently, out loud or in writing at least three things you are grateful for is an important step that will infuse more things in your life to be grateful for.
7. Eat the right foods.Eating the right foods and in the right moderation is so so so important. I’ve started juicing, eating more fresh fruits and vegetables and have eliminated fried foods and many carbs from my diet. I’m also taking a hard look at what has salt and sugar in it (and various versions of these nasty things) and eliminating it from my diet. There are so many ways to go about eating right and this is what I’ve decided is right for me. I think these changes will dramatically help my physical body heal and release weight in the process.
8. Drink lots of water. Drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day is important to maintain hydration and helps our skin and so many other things! I drink between 1/2 gallon and a gallon of water a day to help flush out my system. Other than juicing and drinking green tea, water is the only thing I’m drinking nowadays.
9. Spend quality time with family and friends. Having a strong support system is vital to our overall well-being. I encourage you to only spend time with people that help lift you up and bring positivity to you.
10. Take a walk. Whether you take a walk, get more ‘steps’ in each day (to the recommended 10,000 steps) or have some other form of exercise, this is an awesome way to take care of yourself. Start with just walking around the block. It takes 5 minutes and you’ll feel better; even with a little bit of exercise. You’ll sleep better too…as long as you don’t exercise right before bedtime! You might be up a little longer than you want to be as your body comes down from the exercise.
It’s YOUR turn: What self-care tip above do you most resonate with? What is your favorite self-care tip or strategy to share with others? Please comment below.