With the myriad of things that demand our attention in our daily lives, it is difficult to find the time to spend on keeping ourselves a priority. We end up running our physical bodies on empty and often our minds get even less attention.
Some simple yet effective steps can work together to build a strong foundation to supporting your wellbeing and limiting risk to illness and burnout. Many we already know but just need to make a priority.
This can be difficult for many of us. Before starting any self-care, you need to understand how you are feeling, what you want to achieve and what you enjoy. It takes time to build up a practice of checking in, but once you start your journey of self-reflection and understand your boundaries of giving yourself time for self-care, you can then begin those small adjustments to your habits. Keep a dedicated notebook or journal close by and start making notes – even if it is a few minutes a day – and you will start to see patterns to work on.
We are consuming more processed food without a second thought of the impact it can have on our health. Gut health impacts not only our energy levels but also our mental health. Even a ‘healthy’ diet, can still lack the appropriate nutrients. To get the same amount of Vitamin C from an apple in the 1950’s you would need to consume 15 organic apples today.
One small dietary change a week is a great way to prevent feeling overwhelmed and makes sticking to it easier. A piece of fruit in your handbag to start, then next week work to increase your water intake etc.
In our modern world, supplements are not to be considered as lazy but valuable to our health. Research first and purchase the best your budget can afford. Those that contain natural ingredients and work at a cellular level will provide the most benefits. One of the reasons I love the dōTERRA range is because they are in vegetable capsules and so fully safe and digestible. Many are in plasticised capsules meaning you are ingesting plastic on a daily basis.
Exercise helps to renew our cells. If our cells are not fully supported then they are unable to support our organs to the max and can leave us physically depleted and vulnerable to disease. Exercise releases natural chemicals in the brain – endorphins and serotonin – which have a direct impact on our mental health.
If time truly is limited, try to implement one small change. Squats when washing up, knee raises when ironing, conference calls whilst going for a walk – every little helps.
It’s imperative to support your physical body before and after exercise. Do a gently warm up (marching on the spot, for example) before stretching or doing any impact-based exercise. I like to support my muscles with a natural muscle rub after exercise, helping them repair and recover quicker.
Rest reduces stress and provides your body and mind the chance to be quiet and heal. So if you’re on the go all day (even at your desk), taking a rest every hour will give you a break. You could take a few moments of meditation or mindfulness in that time, taking time to connect with your surroundings and notice the small things.
Sleep plays a huge part in your wellbeing. Did you know, for instance, that your brain builds up toxins while you’re awake that can only be flushed away during sleep? The amount of sleep any one person needs varies, but do all you can to ensure you get a restful night. Try a lavender or patchouli pillow mist, block out all light and turn your phone off an hour before bed when you can.
Starting 2021 the right way
2020 has not been a conventional year and as we all look forward, this is the time to review, refresh and recharge.
We all want to make 2021 a better year for us all and starting with ourselves is the most valuable gift we can give to others.
Self-care is not selfish, it is a priority. It is giving the rest of the world the best of you, not the rest of you.