There are some people out there that eat all the right things, find time in their schedule to run five miles and meditate to manage stress. I envy them. Some days, I wonder where the day went and why am I hungry? One of the things I have learned is that regardless of whether you are a CEO or running a household with active children, there are still things that all of us can do to stay healthier.
First and foremost, eat things that are nature made. Even if you are at your goal weight, this is just good advice. So many foods in society today taste amazing, but they leave you with breakouts, fatigue and crashes. Many of our modern-day illnesses were rare until we started messing with nature’s food supply.
One of the things you can do is shop only the outside of the grocery store except for staples such as spices or grains. If you think about it, most grocery stores are laid out in such a manner that if you go around the outside wall you have produce, meat, dairy, fish and bakery. Avoid man made products such as sugared cereal, box mixes and sugared juices. All most all are found in the inner isles.
Exercise if you are able when you are able. There are many articles out there on 5-minute workouts, office workouts or exercises you can do between calls and clients. If you are not able, move. There are movement exercises out there that even available to people in wheelchairs. Even just standing up regularly and doing some simple stretches is better than sitting all day. Of course, you should always check with a doctor and remain within their parameters.
Movement helps with fatigue and mental health. There are now studies that show that regular body movement is helpful to mental health and stability. This makes movement doubly important to self-care as it targets two important factors, body and mind.
Self-care should target your mental health from other angles as well. Reading to keep comprehension and your ability to analyze sharp. Quiet moments, whether meditation or just breathing deeply, are necessary to lower stress and re-center. Learning is important as well. The mind has a desire for knowledge; read up on your latest project, hobby or interest.
You also need to practice self-care spiritually. I am speaking beyond religious practices. We all have an inner sense of “I” that is not there when a person is deceased. You can’t do an autopsy and find it. It doesn’t matter what you call it: neurons firing, soul, spirit or sense of being, it needs self-care as well. It is so important that I offer a course on the benefits and roadblocks to spiritual self-care in my coaching program.
The bottom line is, however, that spiritual self-care is any ritual or practice that you do to take care of that inner you. Not your ego or your personality, but the true you behind fear or doubt. It can include rituals and religious practices, but not everyone has a belief system around religion.
Here are some ideas in addition or instead of religious practices. Meditation is not only good for mental health but spiritual health as well. Contemplation of life beyond our own daily existence is also a good activity. Finding your purpose and living in accordance with it also brings a great deal of joy and inner peace. Connecting with something larger than you. This could be as simple as nature or as large as your identified higher power.
The goal in self-care is to achieve a sense of being balanced. Feeling good in your own body and mind so that you can take on the challenges that life throws your way. Take time for yourself, it will payoff in the long run. I hope you have a great day!