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Self Care Is Not Selfish!

Self care isn’t selfish!

You cannot pour from an empty cup. How to fill your cup and THRIVE.

Life is freaking HARD! It can be stressful, emotional and downright exhausting! BUT, It can also be beautiful, blissful, energizing, and liberating IF you fill your cup FIRST.

On those hard days, it seems like all day, you are bombarded with messages telling you to “enjoy the journey” and “this too shall pass.” Let me be the first to say that I GET IT!! Not only have I been IN your shoes, but I see people daily that seem like they are just holding it together by a thin, wispy, ready-to-break-at-any-moment thread..

So its Monday morning and I always love asking my clients how their weekend was, and the conversation usually goes a little something like this:

Client: "Oh you know, I went for a walk and did some gardening, just had a couple days trying to relax because I am just so tired from life. How was yours?"

Me: "It was fantastic! I went for a hike with my dogs, played ice hockey, went skating with my family, did a bunch of meal prep, had a date night, and a few workouts!"

Client: "Oh to be in your 20’s! You have so much energy I don't know how you teach, workout, play sports, and find time for your relationship without burning out."

Well I'm here to tell you the big secret! (it's not coffee!) Drum roll please. . .

SELF CARE and ENERGY MANAGEMENT

Self care is a huge part of what’s missing in the life of someone who’s busy and stressed. So what is self care? Self care is taking time to pay attention to you, not in a narcissistic way, but in a way that guarantees that you are being cared for by you.

The Oxford Dictionary defines self-care as:

The practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.

The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.

Let me repeat that, SELF-CARE IS NOT SELFISH.

Taking care of ourselves allows us to thrive

So, now that I’ve hopefully convinced you that you don’t need the stress you carry and that you do NEED to fill your own cup, I have some tips and tasks for you to get you started!

#1 Answer these statements:

I experience relaxation when I…

I am rejuvenated by…

For ME:

I experience relaxation when I meditate, read, listen to music, ride my horses, have hot baths, and drink a cup of tea with my fluffy slippers on.

I am rejuvenated by MOVEMENT. For me, my workouts and sports make me feel energized, full, and just down right fantastic! This is how I can find so much energy to do them. They give me energy. This may be walking your dogs, dancing, singing, or any other awesome way that you practice self expression! But for me, it's all forms of movement.

#2 Identify your barriers to self-care

  • I don’t have time

  • I have no one to help me with my kids/family/work

  • I feel guilty spending time on me rather than X,Y,Z

Here is the thing, gang – you can find 10 minutes in the day to do something for yourself. Put down your phone, get up 10 minutes earlier or spend 10 minutes before bed doing something for YOU!! It doesn’t have to be huge – take 10 deep breaths, go for a short walk, reconnect with your partner or a friend – whatever works for YOU. And as for feeling guilty.. Well would you rather take 10 minutes for yourself a day, knowing that you can give more energy and more focus to the other things in your life, OR spend 10 more minutes feeling stressed, running on fumes, and living a non-fulfilling life. I know its harsh, but you NEED to hear this and make time for your health!

#3 Schedule time for self-care and practice energy management!

Maybe you need 10 minutes per day, maybe you need 1 hour per day or per week, maybe you need one full day per month or a solid 2 week retreat once a year with some added sprinkles of self care throughout the year. Whatever you NEED – prioritize yourself and SCHEDULE it in. Write it on the family calendar, set the boundaries you need, and let everyone know that this is YOUR time.

For me, I know that I do much better when I’m held accountable for something:

  • In order for me to fit sports into my routine, I sign myself up into an adult league so that I have an investment in the time and wille actually show up (SunFit classes anyone?)

  • I know that I love to read, but often have a hard time carving out time – so I belong to a book club that meets once per month which “forces” me to read at least one new book per month AND spend 2 hours with other women hanging out and discussing our latest selection.

  • I have a meditation app on my phone that keeps me accountable by keeping track of how many minutes/days-in-a-row that I’ve meditated – I’m motivated to keep my streak going so I sit down every day for 10 minutes to practice meditation (not to mention that this practice has really changed my life).

It may take some adjusting at first – especially if you are the type of person that rarely takes time for yourself, but stick with it. You will notice the difference, feel the difference, and those around you will love being around you while you have a full cup!

#4 Now.. Energy management starts with knowing your limits. Recognizing when you are doing too much at one time and prioritizing and taking steps to slowing down, without completely slamming on the breaks! When I say don't slam on the breaks, I don't mean that you can't stop for a mid-afternoon power nap, I mean don’t Yo-Yo with your life. Create balance. Which leads me to my next point.

#5 A part of self care and energy is making sure you are well rested! Do you get enough sleep for you? do you know how much sleep you need to be working at your most efficient capacity? If that means having a power nap then you schedule that time out and you go for it! I support your napping needs!

#6 As a fitness instructor I see so many people starving themselves of much needed calories and nutrients while trying to lose weight. Or there are those on the opposite side, those who eat too many calories but aren't getting the nutrients they need. So making sure you have a balanced diet that meets your activity and nutritional needs is extremely important! Make sure to track your energy levels when taking on any new dietary changes! You should not feel weak or depleted by a diet!!!

#7 Break time! finding a way to decompress throughout your day (not just when you leave work)! What do you do to rest your mind during and after a work day? What helps you tune out the noise? Most people tell me they don’t have the luxury of taking breaks during their work day, so try to integrate mini breaks throughout the day helps refresh your mind and body. For example: stretching or taking a brief walk even if it's only a few feet away, Meditating (more below) , drinking water, talking to a friend, getting in touch with a loved one even if it's just a text, or reading something inspirational. The brain needs those meaningful pauses. You deserve these meaningful pauses!

#8 Play! Identifying what you enjoy doing and what's fun for you and make a serious effort to integrate it into your day or, at the very least, your week. Make a habit to plan something to look forward to everyday. It can be as simple as planning to read a good book before bed, playing a sport, or planning to have dinner with someone special!

#9 Hippie time! If you don’t like spiritual talk then skip to the next point, no hard feelings! A big part of my energy comes from connecting to my spiritual self. This can come from meditation, taking a walk and emerging yourself in nature, journaling, practicing gratitude, or any religious practice you may have. Connecting to something bigger than yourself is a great way to open your heart to the world

#10 Lastly, Self care is loving yourself. Take the time to get to know you. learn your honest likes and dislikes. Favorite physical activities, Favorite healthy dishes, fun activities, topics of learning, and favorite ways to connect to your spiritual self. And if you don't know these things then have an absolute blast learning! Get to know yourself and try new things! You deserve the time and effort, you deserve to be feeling fresh and energetic, and you deserve to feel loved, not only by others, but by yourself.

I hope you have a wonderful day and remember, I support you , your napping needs, and your journey to an energetic balanced lifestyle.



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