Losing weight is a journey that I am re-learning to embrace. With all of the moving parts (planning, cooking, eating healthy, exercising, tracking…rinse and repeat), there’s one very critical component that can get lost if I’m not careful…and that is the act of self-care.
It has taken me some time to really connect to and understand that practicing self-care is not an act of selfishness. On the contrary, self-care is simply an act of love towards yourself. Looking at it and approaching it from that standpoint helps me to see that self-care is not an act of self-indulgence or a luxury that only few can afford…it is an absolute necessity for us all. Especially for those of us who have full-time jobs, part-time hobbies, children, aging parents, spouses, etc. etc. etc. to take care of. My question to you is where do you land on your to-do list? If you’re anything like me, at the end…if at all. We are constantly, going, giving and doing for everyone else accept ourselves.
There was a time I was adamant about not having time for self-care. I would only consider doing something special for myself when everything else was done or when everyone else was taken care of. Here’s the thing, when I take the time to care for myself, I am happier, more confident, more relaxed and less stressed. I’m motivated and more focused and less likely to look for comfort, joy or peace in food. Self-care is simply another way to keep me healthy. That is why I have begun to make self-care a routine practice as I continue on my weight loss journey.
Because I am very clear on my needs, I’ve been able to come up with a self-care formula that works for me. It’s important to know that everyone’s approach and needs for self-care is different. It is also important to understand that self-care should be done on a regular basis and not done as a second thought. The bottom line is this…it’s important to do nice things for yourself. Plain and simple. We do them for everyone else, why not for ourselves?
As I continue on my weight-loss journey my goal is to feel good NOW and to feel good along the way as I work towards accomplishing my goal. I have made it my goal to do small acts of kindness towards myself on a regular basis. Here is a short list of some of my self-care practices.
- Monthly massages
- Quiet time every morning
- Eating my meals with no distraction
- Getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night
- Connecting with friends (face to face and not on Facebook) for uplifting conversation
- Weekend road trips
- Lots of water
- Eating on pretty plates and drinking from pretty glasses
- Giving myself flowers each pay day
4 Things To Keep In Mind About Practicing Self-care
- Self-care should be practiced on a regular if not daily basis.
- Self-care should be planned and scheduled. That’s the only way you are going to make it happen!
- Study yourself and learn what your needs are. Figure out how to give them to yourself regularly.
- As you begin to practice self-care, ask yourself what can I put into my week that will satisfy one of my needs?
7 Questions To Ask Yourself To Help Identify What Your Needs Are
- What do I need to do for comfort?
- What do I need to do to show myself some love?
- What do I need for pampering?
- What do I need to be healthy and feel healthy?
- What do I need to start paying attention to that I haven’t been?
- What do I need in order to connect with others?
- What do I miss doing? Do I miss reading? Listening to music? Painting? Swimming?
The point here is to get in tuned with yourself and know when you need some alone time. Know when you need time to think and process. Know when you need to move your body.
Here’s what I know for sure. When I ignore my need for self-care, I unconsciously try to find comfort in food and other things that are not good for me. I now think about what my needs are and plan to meet them in planned acts of kindness towards myself and I like this approach so much better!
Your Turn To Share
I challenge you to commit to one tiny thing daily and one bigger thing every week that you will do just for you! Do it just for your own pleasure and share what your self-care plans are in the comments below.