Updated: Jan 2
I love the expression...you can't pour from an empty cup. It is the absolute truth. If you are used to giving, giving, giving and never receiving nor taking the time to take care of yourself, then eventually you will get to the point where you don't have anything left to give. This can result in stress and moodiness as well as physical manifestations and can even affect your relationships, your energy, your wellbeing and overall health.
Why is Self Care Important?
Focusing on taking care of your self regularly helps you to establish connection not only to your physical body, but also to your deepest soul desires. Many of us tend to live in our heads processing our to-do lists, conversations with others, and worries. It is so important to remember that your whole body is involved with every thing you do. We store our stress in our tissues and usually without even noticing it. Are you wearing your shoulders as earrings right now? Take a deep breath and let that go. Taking time to make that connection with your energy and your physical body on a regular basis will also allow you to connect in with your deep, inner knowledge of self.
The more you make self care a priority, slowing down and taking time to connect, the more you give yourself the ability to listen as well as to be heard. This gives you the awareness to notice when something may feel 'off', either physically, mentally or emotionally, and to be able to proactively take care of it.
Feel the feels. Taking the time to slow down and really feel and process your feelings is important. Otherwise, stuffing them away for a rainy day can really make that day unpleasant. Knowing how to deal in current time can help your relationships with others as well as your self.
How to Make Regular Self Care a Part of Your Life
Self care doesn't have to be a full week get away to a relaxing spa. Of course it is nice when you can. But, it helps keep you on track if it is doable and habitual. The non-negotiable, daily self care activity minimum should include optimizing your nutrition, sleep and exercise.
In addition, you can add in some other short activities to take it to the next level. Make these activities regular practices and slowly work up to include as many as you can. Maybe you come up with some self care activities that you enjoy on your own, as well.
Self Care Activities
5-minutes: Breathing exercise
5-minutes: Morning gratitude meditation
5-minutes: Stretching-do what feels good to you
5-minutes: Dry brushing before bath/shower
15-minutes Walk in nature
15-minutes Reading time before bed (find something inspirational, motivational or spiritual)
15-minutes Wind down bed time yoga
30-min to 1 hour: Make a healthy meal
1 hour: Soak in tub with essential oils
1-2 hours: Massage/Acupuncture/Bodywork
1-2 hours: Hot Springs
1-2 hours: Float tank
Restorative yoga class (in-person or online)
Meditation class (in-person or online)
Qi-gong or Tai Chi class (in-person or online)
Cooking class (in-person or online)
Take a Self Care Day
Taking a full day to yourself can be a day of pampering and spending time to rejuvenate. Schedule this day ahead of time, maybe even a month out, and think of it as you would if you are planning a special day with friends or family. If you are not used to taking a full day to yourself, it could be overwhelming to try to figure out what to do. So, make a plan for your day and think of what activities you would like to make a part of your day. The goal is to slow down, feel good in your body, connect, listen and bring awareness to your SELF.
Here is an example of what a self care day might look like:
No phone, computer, emails or texts
5-minute breathing exercise
Journal/Drawing/Painting/Adult coloring/Vision board
Massage/facial appointment or sauna, hot springs, hot tub
Alternative-Nature walk, soak in tub and home facial
Prepare Healthy dinner
Soak in the tub with lavender essential oil and chamomile tea
Wind down bedtime yoga
Read/Journal before bed
Life can be so much sweeter and pleasant when we take some time to recalibrate ourselves and then return to being in the flow going with the current instead of fighting upstream and causing ourselves even more stress. It is a practice and something that you must visit on a regular basis. Find what works for you and focus on making it a regular part of your lifestyle routine.
Instructions for: Restorative Breathing and Relaxing Stretching
Check out this 10-minute guided meditation: Cultivation of Self-Love
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About the Author
Kristi Ryan is the founder of Kristi Ryan Holistic Nutrition and the creator of the Abundant Energy Method for Busy Women. As a holistic nutrition and health coach specializing in energy wellness she supports, educates, motivates and empowers busy women with nutrition, mindset and lifestyle transformation using her proven methodology to bring abundant energy and vitality into their lives.
*Disclaimer: The information I share is for general information only and is not intended to replace medical advice. I do not diagnose, treat or cure disease, prescribe treatments or medications, or recommend medical treatment or surgery. You should speak to your physician prior to making any changes to your diet, lifestyle, exercise or medications or acting on anything you have read or discussed with me. If you don’t, you are doing so at your own risk.
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