This is a little remix on my blog from earlier this year on self care. I was reminded of this when I took some time two weeks ago, to stop, unplug and look after myself. With what many call the silly season approaching, it is so important to remember to take time for yourself and avoid the festive burnout.
For those who missed my earlier post, self care is the act of caring for oneself, to ensure you are cared for, be it physically, mentally or spiritually. It can be called "me time", "time out" or pampering - ultimately, it is time where one takes pause from the busyness of their life and spend time doing something that they love. For some it is yoga, others meditation, or even just time to sit still and contemplate!
You may ask why I care about self care? Well, I believe that in the world of healthy living, it is most important for the providers of care look after themselves first. That includes all mum's, dad's, aunties, uncles, and grandparents! At this time of year, with school finishing and the social calendar fuller than you ever thought possible, time to yourself is seriously restricted. What is meant to be a celebration time can be stressful for many. Put your oxygen mask on first, it will ensure that you get through Christmas happy, content and well balanced. This is particularly important when it comes to the deluge of sugar that comes with Christmas, if you look after yourself, you can ensure you are resilient in the face of adversity (uncles, aunties, grandparents who think sugar is a rite of passage for kids at Christmas time!) and be the best example for others on how you can enjoy Christmas without the rollercoaster of food emotions. The key to success at this time of year is to ensure YOU are at your best.
There are many forms of self care and is different for everyone, so my question to you is, what would your self care look like? What do you know you need to do for yourself but don't give time or space to do? Take some time today to write down your ideal self care on a piece of paper, put it on the mirror in your bathroom to remind yourself, and take the first step towards looking after yourself. Go on, don't just say "that's a great idea!", DO IT!
Many people ask me what I do for self care on a day to day basis, I thought to provide you all an insight to what I do, and how it benefits me. I would love to hear from you on your strategies!
My Daily Self Care Strategies + Bonus Christmas Self Care
These strategies keep me on top of things, I notice if I ever miss these through being "busy" or rushed, I feel off.
- 500ml of water on rising before anything else enters my mouth, hydrating the body first thing replace the lost fluids from a nights sleep. Make sure you keep this up this Christmas, particularly if you are indulging in some yuletide beverages;
- 20 minutes of exercise in the sunshine while consciously focusing on my breath, moving the body and getting a dose of vitamin D is a great mood booster;
- The cook doesn't clean in our house, a golden rule that ensures the provider of nutrition can rest after their awesome effort for dinner! Or even better, at Christmas, make it a team effort! Get everyone drying up and you'll have the decks clean in no time!
- We always try to have one night off cooking per week, that can be some healthy takeaway or cooking a double batch of something to freeze and eat later in the week! Christmas is the KING of leftovers, so be sure to squirrel some away for those lazy relaxing days;
- Christmas Food: with Christmas parties galore and rich (sugar/salt laden) foods everywhere, I make sure I "bring a plate" that I know will provide me (and others!) nourishment. The temptation to eat these rich foods has consequences that disrupt our well balanced gut biome as well as our hormones, throwing cortisol to deal with stress - which might present in the form of a melt down when you are trying to get everyone in the car for the trip to grandma's Christmas morning!
- A quiet Christmas - my favourite. With all the craziness, I love love love taking time to pause for at least one day near Christmas and spending time with my loved ones, just hanging out, simple food, no big plans or big trips. I know I will be doing that this year with my Dad coming from Canada for our first Christmas together for 6 years!
- Gratitude time - with this time of year having a level of excess to it, I love to take time and give gratitude, to the wonderful farmers who have toiled for our food, and the delightful seeds who have fought adversity to breakthrough the soil and grow into such beautiful nourishing foods. I will also pause to give gratitude to the year that has passed, the most amazing year where I have had the opportunity to connect with the most delightful people in the world.