Creating a Self-Care Routine
There is a huge difference between being selfish and taking care of yourself. The two aren't even correlated, and they never should be.
As I've been on my wellness and self-development journey, I've been able to create little habits that have affected me long term. This relates to the food that I eat, physical habits, mindfulness, my outlook on life and every situation, and so much more. It's been over a year now since I decided it was time for a lifestyle change. I've had fall backs, but each day it gets easier and I feel strong. Looking back at who I was in comparison to who I am now is motivation to keep loving myself and practice self care.
I recently had a few months where my stress levels were skyrocketing, my mood was consistently down, my thyroid was thrown off, and the list goes on. I was eventually able to get out of this funk when I willingly stepped back into my self care routine.
I want to share some personal things that have shaped my routine and what really helps me. It will be different for everyone, but these are huge factors in my life.
Let me start out with this: what you put in your body is going to affect everything. Until I went plant based, a lot of my mental and physical issues weren't resolved to the full extent that they are now. I encourage everyone to do research on food: where what you consume is coming from and what it is going to do for your body. This is, in full honesty, my largest form of self care. After doing my own personal research on food and what I need to give my body in order for it to receive the full care that it needs, I realized that there's so much more to food than just fulfilling hunger.
It brings personal peace knowing I'm benefiting my body and eating with a purpose. I can't tell you what to eat, because my diet/needs/body is different than others. Find what works for you and nourish yourself.
JOURNALING & WRITING
Something that's helped me grow and shape myself has been writing. When I'm able to write what I'm feeling, what happened during the day, and what made me feel certain ways, it's easier to look back and reflect on it. I can easily pin point certain issues and make connections.
I also have found that it's healthy for me to acknowledge what is happening inside of me and put it onto paper, whether that's creatively or as realistic as I can get it.
I try to set aside some time every night to write in my journal. Good day or bad day, it's an effective way for me to find gratefulness and also find what needs work in my life.
MEDITATION & EXERCISE
This is something I am still working on, but it's such a helpful practice.
Setting aside a few minutes during your day to meditate is such a positive and calming experience. Breathing and repeating positive and uplifting words to yourself and letting that run through your body is so beneficial. It opens up your mind and heart, helping each day go a little bit smoother.
When I say exercise, I just mean getting out and walking or doing some sort of physical activity each day. I'm not one for intense exercise and reaching certain fitness goals, I mainly focus on getting the exercise I need to stay healthy.
After reading so many studies on the negative health effects of not getting enough sleep, I've been making a point to sleep for at least 7-9 hours each night.
For some reason, I can get pretty energized at night time. Not enough for me to go out and do something, but enough for me to not be able to keep my eyes shut. Since sleep is such an important thing to help the body, I started doing a couple of nightly rituals so I can fall asleep easier and also stay asleep through the night.
Something my friend showed me was a playlist on Spotify that helps you relax. This has had a a tremendous effect on when I'm able to fall asleep and how good my sleep is. The album is called "Weightless" created by Marconi Union. I plug my phone into my charger and play this next to my bed before I fall asleep and let it go throughout the night. (It also helps me when I'm consistently having uncomfortable dreams.) I never thought something like this could effect me as much as it has, but wow.
I also started putting lavender essential oil on the bottom of my feet and on my wrists. The lavender helps me relax which can often times contribute to having less trouble falling asleep and sleeping deeper throughout the night.
After doing all of these things for myself I've become more positive and feel a lot better overall. These are personal tips that have helped me tremendously, so I encourage you all to test the waters and see what fuels your passion for life and feeling good.