Thursday, December 7, 2017

How to Take Better Care of Yourself

The holidays are in full swing, and so are a lot of stress and busyness for so many of us. If you are like me, then your to-do list and planner are necessary evils. I couldn't organize my days without mine...but the stress of getting every thing done is always lingering on my mind. So I thought we could all use some easy tips of how to take better care of ourselves. And in case you think about this in the same way that I used to...Self-care is not selfish! It's important to take care of yourself so you can be the best you that you need to be for the others in your life.

None of these ideas are revolutionary. They're all fairly simple. Fairly cheap. And all beneficial and rejuvenating. With just a little time and effort, each of these ideas can help you take care of yourself while healing your mind and body and promoting wellness. 

Without further ado, here's how I've been intentional lately about self-care and 7 ideas for you...
1. Yoga
Listen, you don't have to be an advanced yogi to enjoy the benefits of yoga! I am a beginner by all means. I haven't even made the leap yet of going to group classes. I bought a yoga mat and have been doing it by myself in the comfort of my home. 

I use YouTube videos and just search for whatever I am looking for at that particular time of day. For example, if I'm starting my day off I will search for "morning yoga" to wake me up and get my body ready & focused for the day ahead.

If my day is crazy busy and bedtime is the first chance I've had to do yoga or stretch during my day, then I will search for that. A lot of my days end now with "bedtime yoga" - and it helps my mind & body slow down and get ready for a good night's sleep.

2. Drinks
This goes two ways. I have been intentional lately about drinks that are comfort for me. I enjoy cappuccino and sweet tea. But then I have also been making myself drink things that are healthier for me.

So I have been drinking more and more water (flavored and plain), green tea, detox tea, etc. Drinking at least 64 ounces of water is my daily goal.

I have also almost completely cut out soft drinks. I still enjoy a Spite every now and then, but dark sodas are a no go. They are so harmful to us and I can tell the havoc wreaked on my body just from one Dr. Pepper or Coke. This was a hard adjustment for me, but I'm finally getting there!

3. Masks and Salts
One of my favorite things to do at night now while I'm getting ready for bed is a face or hair mask. Not only does my skin and hair benefit, but it's just fun and relaxing! Treat yourself to some at-home spa and facial masks. I have a couple of different bottles that I use, but I also buy the individually-packaged masks at the store when I am looking for a specific outcome (exfoliation, shine, detox, etc.)

Also: bath salts! Take a relaxing bath with a candle burning and some music playing. For me, I burn a Stress Relief candle from Bath & Body Works and listen to Michael Buble radio while using Stress Away bath bombs from Young Living.

4. Aromatherapy
This goes along with the masks and salts sort of, but aromatherapy is so beneficial for self-care. I use a variety of essential oils from Young Living for different things. Some of my favorites lately include Release, Progressence Plus, Panaway, Christmas Spirit, Joy, Gentle Baby, and En-R-Gee. I typically diffuse my oils and sometimes apply them topically. I especially like to put Stress Away on my wrists when I'm heading in for a long day of work at the hospital.

Side note: One of my favorites to diffuse at bedtime is lavender to promote relaxation for better sleep.

5. Detox Foods
I have been trying to eat more fresh and organic foods. It's hard to completely cut out processed and fried foods...but I'm working on it.

I've been cooking a lot of anti-inflammatory recipes that I find online.

So we've been eating a lot of turmeric, garlic, ginger, lemons, spinach, kale, etc. Fruit is also recommended, but I don't really like fruit, so this is a hard area for me. Like before...I'm a work in progress!

6. Naturopath
Find you a homeopathic doctor! I have started going to see one, and it has changed my life. No exaggeration. Mine has helped me so much on my path to wellness and healing my body. 

I have been getting acupuncture for some issues I was having for a long while, and in just a couple of sessions, I felt SO. Much. Better. My body is healing (and my mind is too), and it feels amazing. I seriously feel better than I have in years, and I am probably healthier than I have ever been in my life. 

 I also take a couple of supplements from my naturopath along with daily vitamins. I typically drink an Advocare Spark daily, take a multi-vitamin pack, liquid B12, and a probiotic. But tailor it to you and take what's best for you and your body's needs (and of course consult your physician)!

7. Skincare
In addition to the masks I mentioned before, I have completely revolutionized my skincare routine. I used to not take care of my body like I should, and my skin suffered. Our skin is our largest organ and our primary defense against disease and germs. It's important to take good care of it! 

I have a strict skincare routine that I force myself to stick to and one of the most important aspects is take off your makeup! I used to let myself fall asleep with my makeup still on, but no more...and my skin thanks me for it. Now that I have enforced my skincare routine, I am actually enjoying it since it helps me to take such better care of myself. I use a variety of skin care products and take a couple of medications for my skin...and the results (after just a little bit of effort) are insane.

Another important aspect is using moisturizer and SPF. Even if you have oily skin to begin with, using moisturizer is so important. I have combination skin and I used to think that my face didn't need moisturizer. I was so wrong! Now I apply moisturizer at least twice a day and my skin soaks it up. I also am making a habit of applying SPF daily, even if I don't have plans to be outside that day. UV rays can damage your skin even while you're driving in your car or even if it's cloudy outside. Protect it while you can...and the younger you start, the better!

One last thing about skin care...find you a good dermatologist. Mine is out of town, but so worth the drive. See one regularly for skin checks and also for skin care consulting. One of the easiest ways to prevent or detect skin disease/cancer is through these easy checks. I promise it won't be a waste of time, and you will be glad you invested this time in yourself. 

What do you do for self-care???

I am always looking for more ideas! Nothing about this post is sponsored in any way. I just honestly believe in all of it! 

I have found that in taking better care of myself, I have become a better person, wife, nurse, etc.! I am happier and healthier...and simply have more energy for meeting all of my life's busy demands. I have been more intentional about my time than ever, and managing my time well has made a world of difference.

Do I do all of these things all the time? No. It's a learning curve, and achievement is always something that I'm working towards. But at the end of the day, if I can lay my head down and feel a little bit better than I did the day before because I did something to take care of myself, then I've reached my goal. 

I challenge you to do at least one thing today to take care of yourself...and I promise you will start noticing little improvements in your life and how you feel in general. 

Wishing you healing and wellness this holiday season!


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