How to Make Self-Care Work for You
By Sandy Schroeder
How do you define self-care? When you make time to exercise, eat right and relax, self-care may work just fine. Or when you have a glass of wine or a dark chocolate brownie as you watch your favorite show, that may be good too.
We are all different, but most of us need to make more room for healthy self-care, and we have to figure out what that means individually.
The dictionary defines self-care as "the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health." That can be hard to do when every day is packed with tasks, pressures, and time commitments. Finding ways to squeeze in self-care may seem impossible, but when you do, everything else may come together better.
RealSimple.com health experts say self-care means renewing the spirit by selecting whatever helps you feel relaxed and refreshed. When you do, you may feel happier, healthier and stronger.
Picking the Best Options for You
Self-care is a very individual matter. What works for you physically or mentally may be totally different than the options that work for your partner, colleague or best friend.
Whatever choices you choose, be sure they make you feel energized, nourished and stronger. If that morning run, afternoon stretching break or vegan dinner is not working, keep going and make new choices. You may just sit and contemplate the world over coffee when you get up. Or you may use a yoga session in the evening to relax and become more limber and just gradually increase the number of fruits and vegetables in your diet.
You will know it when you find choices that suit you. Life steps up and everything runs a little smoother. Your mind may be quicker. Your body may feel stronger. Your relationships may work better. Your hope for the future may be more positive.
Make a list of healthy choices that you want to explore.
- Start cooking at home more with whole fresh foods
- Try a new sport by yourself or with your family
- Perfect a simple breathing exercise that you can use to relieve tension wherever you are
- Review your schedule and insert new breaks before breakfast, after dinner, or on the weekend
- Start planning weekend escapes, trips and family gatherings
Whatever you do, never use self-care as an excuse to overindulge as you spend too much, eat all the wrong things, or drink your way through the evening. Those choices may feel great at the time, but they tend to leave you in worse shape, while healthier self-care choices move you ahead, building a platform for the very best results.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Brea, Calif.