Nourishing your body does not stop with eating a healthy diet. All too often many people do tend to stop at food though. That nagging voice reminding you that you need to take it easy, relieve stress, move more, and take some time for yourself is ignored, or put on hold.
Self-care is an important topic when it comes to improving your health and is a necessary part of your Paleo lifestyle. Unfortunately, it is something that is rarely made a priority by most people. Self-care may often seem selfish, silly, and downright luxurious when you have a full-time job, a family, responsibilities and personal and health goals and challenges. For these reasons and more it is an even more important practice in today’s world.
When thinking of self-care, many assume the term implies as spa-days, peaceful bubble baths, massages, and weekend get-aways (and that’s certainly is portrayed most on social media), but in reality, most people rarely get the opportunity to make those a reality. If you can, that’s fantastic but those moments are probably rare in occurrence. What you truly need is to connect to, and establish, everyday self-care practices for your long-term health.
It is important to understand that there is no need for a self-care practice to be extravagant, outlandish, expensive or time consuming to make a difference. It is those small actions you incorporate into each day that make the biggest impact.
Daily Ways To Incorporate Self Care
Follow A Paleo diet – Eat Real Food
Nourishing your body with the most nutrient dense food you can buy is the best self-care you can practice. This will ensure you are well equipped with all the elements you need to function optimally.
Depending on what your body can tolerate, and any food sensitivities you may have, stock your fridge and pantry with Paleo friendly, nutrient dense, health-supportive food. Take advantage of online grocery shopping with easy pickup or delivery, online markets, and meal planning or meal delivery services (check out our online menu right here). Making this primary task simple and easy to accomplish can take a large amount of stress off your shoulders.
Healthy digestion is key to good health and supporting your body functioning at its best. In order for your body to make use of the nutrients you are eating, you need to break them down and absorb them properly. What you do before, during, and after your meals can make a huge difference.
Slow the process of eating down. Sit down for each meal, and before you eat, take a few deep breaths to relax your body; chew each bite slowly until it’s almost liquid; put your fork down between bites; focus on your meal and really savor the tastes and flavor as well as your environment and the company you are with. Pay attention to your body and stop when you feel satisfied. After your meal, take a light walk if you can or drink a cup of ginger tea to aid digestion. The creates an environment in which your body relax and properly digest your food.
Each day, in between the hustle and bustle of daily living, find at least 15 minutes for yourself that is non-negotiable. Go for a walk and listen to your favorite podcast or audiobook; do an at-home face mask made from ingredients in your kitchen; make a smoothie and read your favorite blog; color or journal; or simply sit with your eyes closed doing some deep breathing. Whatever you choose to do with your time, make it part of your routine every single day. Schedule this as non-negotiable.
If social media, TV shows, or even the magazines you subscribe to are a space of negativity for you, then unplug, turn it off, and unsubscribe from it all. This can be challenging but there is great emotional freedom to be found in ditching the stuff and people that leave you feeling anything but good about yourself. If you are on social media, then seek out a supportive network. Connect with the people who inspire you, spread a good message, make you smile and laugh. An even better option would be to find an in-person group who can relate to your challenges and goals, lift you up, and support you (and in return, you support them). Having a positive, uplifting support network is key to achieving your wellness goals.
This can be yet another tough challenge but it is important to prioritize yourself – you can first. Stop saying yes to things you really don’t want to do. As social beings, it is hard not to struggle with people-pleasing. We all want to fit in and be liked. Trust me, a simple “no” once in a while can be a huge part of maintaining healthy boundaries and should become an integral part of your self-care routine. It is not always easy, but with practice, it might just become your secret self-care weapon.
Learn to ask for help when you need to. Whether that be from friends, family, your spouse, older children, your church group, a local support group, etc., think about those in your life who can lend a hand and ask for help. You’ll find that people like to and want to help, so ask.
Not only is taking a walk a simple and effective way of coping with stress and taking a little time for yourself, it combines the benefits of exercise and spending time in nature. Walk mindfully. Stay in the present, focus on your surroundings, maybe listen to some music that makes you feel relaxed. Listen to your body as you walk, and breathe deeply.
Read a book, watch a movie, or read a blog that really makes you laugh out loud. Laughter releases feel-good hormones in the brain called endorphins. The more endorphins your brain releases, the more relaxed you feel, and the less cortisol you produce. Laughter is strong medicine. It draws people together in ways that trigger healthy physical and emotional changes in the body. Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hope, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. It also helps you release anger and forgive sooner.
Journaling/ Practicing Gratitude
Write down your feelings daily in a book. Often expressing yourself on paper can release tension building in your body that you may be holding on to. It can help you reset your thinking and perspective on things. writing on paper has a different effect than simply thinking about it. Drawing and expressing yourself with artwork, watercolors, pastels can provide insight and healing where words fall short. Acknowledging and noting down what you are grateful for each day can really shift your way of thinking and is wonderful for your mental health
Sometimes it simply feels good to sit back and have someone else take care of some of your less-than-favorite chores or duties. As an occasional treat or a regular occurrence, it can be the perfect day to gift yourself more time and less stress.
This could include:
- Getting chef-inspired, Paleo meals delivered right to your door – no shopping, prepping, chopping or apron required. Order this week’s menu here>>>
- Grocery delivery services or monthly subscription boxes – Butcher Box delivers delicious, grass-finished beef to your door every month
- Recruiting a neighbourhood young entrepreneur for low-skill yard work like raking leaves and shoveling snow
- Ordering some non-toxic beauty products and treat yourself to a spa night, alone or with friends
In the realm of self-care, the options are limitless. The key is to identify which areas of your life need attention and engage in activities that support you on a regular basis. You may find that what works for you changes over time. You must give yourself permission to practice self-care to have a fulfilling life. Engaging in regular, high quality self-care, no matter what form it takes for you, is crucial; it has a positive ripple effect on your overall success and happiness.
Michal Ofer is a wellness and digestion expert and nutrition coach. She is focused on assisting clients to take control of their health and happiness through the sustainable food and lifestyle choices that best support them. Through strengthening the body from the inside out, her clients are able to reach new heights of health, happiness and wellness. Michal obtained her Professional Training and Certificate from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York. She has a further studied through the University of Colorado (Boulder) and Stanford University and is a Certified 21 Day Sugar Detox Coach. Michal has also received a Bachelor’s Degree in Life Sciences and a Master Life Coach Certification. For further information and to connect with Michal visit her website at www.michalofer.com