Intentional Self-Care

Walking on the beach recently, I was deep in thought about how to effect change for my own well-being.  You could ask me how to help or support a friend or family member and I would be full of ideas, but when it comes to myself, for some reason a fog sets in and I quickly lose sight & focus.

Yes, I know. This screams denial on many levels, which is on my list as well.  “How to face the things I’m in denial about.” LOL!!

Being healthy means so many different things to all of us.  For some it’s making good food choices.  For others, it’s cutting back on the cocktails or only eating meat once a week. Some think about exercise or how much sleep or meditation/spiritual health is appropriate/necessary.  It’s only when I started pondering all the different components of what good health means to me that I finally threw my hands up and yelled, “NO WONDER!!  No wonder I fall short in taking care of myself, which after a full time job, caring for family, pets, loved ones and friends, household duties…yadda, yadda, yadda….where exactly do I fit in and find the time to care for me?  As it stands right now, if I have time for a shower and make it in to see my colorist, I’m feeling pretty damn happy.  (Again, Queen of Denial)

So, here’s a thought for the New Year:

Let’s make a list of what we will do in 2017 that will effect change in our health & well-being.

I’m going to make my own needs list that is all about what is the ideal for me finding and maintaining my best health.  Instead of an afterthought, I’m going to start 2017 with PURPOSE!!

Then I’m going to put that list on my phone, fridge, office, closet, and medicine cabinet and anywhere else I may look to remind myself that I am going to live 2017 with the highest form of intention possible, all around me.  HOW CRAZY IS THAT??  All about me.  Little ol’ me.  (My toes just started to tingle. Ha!)

The list starts with the basics.  Basics care items are:

  1. Dental Cleanings & Check Ups
  2. Annual checkups appt.
  3. Mammogram
  4. Eye / Optometry appt.

I’m embarrassed to say how far behind I am in my own basic self-care.  Care that I would insist on for any loved one, but tend to forget, put off and avoid for myself.  So, for 2017 to start off on good footing, I’m making my appointments this month…DECEMBER of 2016, so that for the New Year, I am off and running.

Next on my list, is Elevated Self Care.  Elevated meaning care that lifts you up. I want, need and know that adding these items into my life on a consistant basis will lift me up. Here are a few examples. :

  1. Meditation / Yoga
  2. Massage / Chiropractic care
  3. Manicures / Pedicures
  4. Facials
  5. Counseling (Mental Health tune ups are fantastic!!)

Intentional Self Care comes up next and intentional Self Care means listening to your body.  Having the connection with yourself that starts with both Basic & Elevated Care and ultimately hearing the voice in your head that often we choose to ignore.  Here are some examples:

  1. Rest. Go to sleep when tired.  Create a space that is free of TV noise or distractions and rather have a place that promotes peaceful sleep.
  2. Provide high nutrition. Increase your intake of high nutritional foods as a priority first and foremost.  Let go of focusing on what you “can’t have.”  Focus on what your body needs for optimal output.
  3. Exercise. From simple stretching and walking to going to the gym or taking a class….make time.  If it means getting up earlier to walk or take a class, do it.  If it means getting a work out buddy to be accountable, then do it.  Exercise is the key to your best health and longevity here on earth.
  4. Understand stressors in your life and draw boundaries. Perhaps it’s the TV or social media?  Maybe it’s a family member or friend that depletes you and doesn’t add any value to your life.  Maybe it’s grocery shopping at Costco during peak hours. Whatever it is that adds to the stress of your day-to-day life, create boundaries to limit those interactions.
  5. Invest in you. What makes you happy?  What hobbies do you have?  What have you always wanted to try?  Perhaps it’s taking up knitting?  Learning how to cook vegetarian food?  Volunteering for a favorite charity? Getting a new pet?  Whatever makes you happy and fills your cup, should be a priority.

The bottom line is that self-care takes thought, intention and action. How do we truly embrace our own beauty, if we don’t start with caring for our bodies & minds?

The first task is to start and build your list. Make copies and put them up everywhere as a reminder that you count in this world.  You’re worth the time and attention and truly, you were put on this earth for a reason, so embrace all of who you are and be your own best friend by practicing self-care with intention.

 

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