Self-Care 101

With the advent of a shifting medical model – towards a functional medicine based, patient-centered (rather than symptom) care – the state of your health lands more squarely on YOUR shoulders.  An educated directive from a qualified health professional is often needed, but the entire picture of your health really starts to depend on your daily routines, rhythms, and overall awareness.  Beyond any specific diet regimen, supplement or prescription drug – a personalized “self-care” model is something that we could all benefit from.

How to start implementing self-care into your every day:

  1. Get outside every day.  Even in the winter.  Even when it is cold, windy and rainy.  Every day.
  2. Take a meditative moment (1 minute, 30 seconds, 10 minutes) as the first thing you do when you get up in the morning and the last thing you do before bed.  Try not to think too hard about this – just take a comfortable seat, or lie in bed awake, close your eyes, and take a pause.  Perhaps create an intention/aim for your day.
  3. Bring an aspect of ritual to your meals.  Light a candle.  Sit down at a table.  Take a brief pause (alone or with your family) before beginning to eat.
  4. Build in small routines that make you HAPPY and do them regularly.  A little of your favorite essential oil in the morning, sitting outside with your tea, self-massage, practicing something creative – really anything that brings you joy.
  5. Practice balance in everything you do.  Even in wellness.  The trick here is that nothing is black and white, 100% of the time.  Allow yourself some room when it comes to developing a new routine, or beginning a new diet regime.  Life happens, regardless of our best intentions sometimes —- learn and practice more fluidity and less reactivity.  You will be happy and succeed in what you do.
  6. Know that self-care is quite the opposite of indulgent – it is necessary.  Taking care of yourself should not be used as a reward – it truly is an essential practice that sets your foundation for happiness AND health.

Finally – when you have a routine or guideline set up for yourself, be PROUD!  Talk about it, share it with loved ones – thereby, maybe, encouraging them to commit to their own self-care.