When it comes to self care, the usual areas for improvement are diet and exercise which, for me, tend to eb and flow. I start off super motivated, go out and run and eat right, then I get stressed or a little lazy and it’s vegan pizza and binge watching Netflix. Anyone out there feel me on this one? So, exercise and eating right is basically always at the top of my resolution list…it never really goes off. In addition to this though, is the idea that I need to allow myself the time and energy towards other areas of self care. All too often I don’t engage in self care because, well, it kinda feels selfish. But, we all know that there is a reason on airplanes they tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before helping others…if you aren’t taking care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else! So, I am trying to be more mindful about self care and making in a priority in my life every day. Here are just a few of the things that I am doing.
Meditation – We live in a busy world that just seems to keep on getting busier. We are constantly on the go, filling our lives with “to do” lists and overextending ourselves as we try to do everything to please everyone. All of this activity can make a mind crazy and what better remedy than meditation. I’ve been making it a practice of mine to set aside just 10 minutes each morning to sit in a quiet space and meditate. To help me, I’ve been using this great app, Headspace.
This is a guided meditation app that uses techniques that
…have been refined and developed over many centuries, passed down from teacher to student. The intention of these techniques is to cultivate awareness and compassion so that we might better understand the mind, as well as our relationship with the world around us. With this as our focus, we view any kind of health benefit beyond the development of awareness and compassion as a helpful byproduct or positive side-effect of regular meditation.
Sounds pretty good, right? So far I’ve been sticking to it and I find that when I get a bit crazed during the day, I am better able to calm myself through relaxing and breathing that I’ve been developing more through my daily meditation. Headspace has a free trial if you are interested in checking it out.
Tumeric Shots – Sometime last year I started experiencing strange pain in my right hip. I had no idea what was causing this pain, but it was so uncomfortable it would sometimes keep me up at night. Now I know you’re going to tell me that I should’ve gone to a doctor to get it checked out, but in my experience with most doctors, the usually want to give me some kind of drug to deal with the pain rather than addressing the underlying cause and holistically treating that. So, I set off to try and figure out a natural way to treat this pain. I stretched. I did yoga. I took Epsom salt baths. I went to acupuncture. I used ice. I used heat. Some of it worked occasionally, but the pain would always come back. Then one day I was looking into natural ways to treat Bella’s arthritis, she is my senior Saint Bernard. Here’s a gratuitous Bella pic, just in case you haven’t met her yet and because I think she is just the cutest.
One of the things that I read about that was good for treating arthritis in dogs was turmeric because it helps reduce inflammation. A light bulb went off and I thought, hmmm, why not give it a try and see if it might work on me for my hip pain. I went online and did some research and discovered Synchro Gold.
Image Source and Credit: Synchro Gold
This is a turmeric elixir made from organic turmeric root extract and organic black pepper fruit extract. They tell you to mix two tablespoons with warm non-dairy milk and honey (or agave for us vegans), but I decided that for the sake of saving time in the morning, I would take it as a straight shot. Let me tell you, this stuff has quite a distinctive taste that is not my favorite. However, within two weeks of taking these shots, my hip pain completely disappeared. I kid you not. So, the rough taste is totally worth it in my book.
Treat Myself – There are lots of areas of self care that seem like an extravagance to me, but in reality they aren’t all that excessive and are really beneficial to one’s physical and metal well being. Things like massages, facials and my new personal favorite, floating. What is floating you ask? Well, it is a form of sensory deprivation where you float in a private floatation tank in a concentrated Epsom salt bath. You put in ear plugs, close the tank door and are left floating with no light, no sound and no gravity. I was a bit hesitant to try it at first, but I absolutely loved it. It allows for complete mental and physical relaxation. My plan is to integrate floating into my self care routine every few months.
It is now several weeks into the new year and I’ve been pretty good about sticking to this resolution. So let me ask you, what are some areas of self care that you practice and what strategies do you employ to make them a priority? I’d love to hear from you to know what tips and tricks you use to make sure that you are always putting yourself first!