Yes, I know, it’s been a while…since last December to be exact that I sent out a newsletter or blog. Well, I’m back!
Before I jump into the tips on self-care and recipes that I’m excited to share with you, it’s confession time. Truth is, I just didn’t have it in me. You see, my elderly father became very, very ill last October. I spent five days with him at the hospital helping him move out of critical care due to malnutrition, dehydration, inability to swallow, pneumonia and MRSA, a highly contagious and antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria. Just being there made a difference. Giving him a shave, making sure he had his glasses and his teeth (he’s worn dentures since I was a kid), and working daily on his swollen feet and hands with essential oils, and taking walks down memory lane and laughing a lot helped him turn the corner on the road back to wellness. The doctor who had intended to prescribe hospice for my dad was amazed.
Try as he did, my dad was on a seesaw with his health over the next three months though and never did get his strength back. He was 88. He was tired of the battle. He was tired of life. My dad passed away the end of January and I never could have imagined how difficult it would be. The day he died, I felt like the wind had been knocked right out of me. Grieving is real and very important when you lose someone you love. Being able to “handle” the grief often feels unbearable. What’s important to allow yourself to feel the grief and practice self-care and self-love through the healing process.
I realized a few weeks ago just how much the habit of practicing self care matters.
It hit me one morning after meditation and yoga stretches that it was my regular practice of self-care that allowed me to feel great, even during the times I was faced sadness and fatigue. Practicing yoga in the morning is almost as much a habit as brushing my teeth. Self-care is what helped fueled me through a difficult time, what aided me in making choices on what I could and couldn’t handle, and what sustained me as I finish the certification I had started just before my dad passed way. Self care helps me stay well when I start to feel run down or feel down. Self care is what allows me to push myself to meet deadlines and stay balanced. The practice of self care is what helps me stay balanced so I have more to give.
So, today I first want to encourage you to start the practice of daily self-care
Not soon, but beginning today. When daily self-care become a lifestyle habit, it will be there when you need it the most.
I have lots of regular self-care practices. These 12 are my top favorites I recommend to start with:
- Start your day first with a glass of pure, fresh water – before you put anything into your stomach. You’ll feel awake more quickly, think more clearly, and feel more refreshed when you hydrate your brain. You see there are only three things that cross the stomach walls immediately into your blood stream: water, alcohol and some drugs.
- Have a lemon elixir next to help support your liver! Here’s my recipe: mix the juice of half a lemon and 1 tsp. Bragg’s apple cider vinegar into a glass of water. If desired, you can stir in 1 tsp. raw honey and a dash of cinnamon.
- Eat breakfast – a healthy one. It can be as simple as a smoothie. Having breakfast helps fuel our bodies for the morning so we have more energy…not just being stimulated by a cup of coffee.
- Drink enough water for your body size: rule of thumb is half your body weight in ounces. So for example, if you weigh 160 pounds, your body requires 80 ounces of water. You’ll be surprised how good you feel just by drinking the right amount of water.
- Move your body! Movement supports so many functions in the body. Jump on a rebounder for 10-15 minutes will get your lymph system going (it’s our body’s natural sewage system). Take a 20 minute brisk walk which supports bone health, respiration, lymph, and helps you get some Vitamin D.
- Turn off all electronics one hour before bed so your mind can unwind.
- Practice meditation daily – five minutes of quiet time daily is amazing.
- Practice yoga stretches – practicing simple yoga stretches on a regular basis will do your body wonders. Start with 3 times a week … pretty soon you’ll be craving it every day. DVDs for beginners with AM PM yoga stretches are available for less than $10 on Amazon.com. AM PM Yoga for Beginners by Rodney Yee and Patricia Walding is my favorite to recommend for newbies to Yoga. You don’t need to go to a studio and a short 5 minute meditation is included!
- Take a detox bath once a week – Pour 1 cup Epsome salts per each 50 pounds you weigh into a hot bath. Add lavender essential oil, if desired. Relax for 20 minutes, adding hot water as needed….leave the soap aside for now. After 20 minutes, towel off and wrap yourself in a robe or blanket and relax to sweat for 15 minutes or so. Rinse the salt from your body in a warm to tepid shower. Get in your jammies and hop into bed for a good night’s sleep.
- Give yourself a foot massage each night. To a little bit of coconut oil add 1 drop of lavender essential oil and apply to the soles of your feet. Then give your entire foot a rub. You’ve been walking on them all day and they deserve some attention!
- Start a Gratitude Journal – write down at least 3 things for which you’re grateful each day. It can be something as simple as noticing a lady bug on a leaf.
- Smile at yourself in the mirror every day and say “I love you.”
Take time to develop the art of your self care. It matters.
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