18 Aug How to Use Self-care to Get More Energy
Self-care has been a common buzz word in the natural health world for quite some time now. It may seem like a vague term that doesn’t really have a clear and defined explanation (like the word “healthy”).
While, I’ve been coaching my clients for years on the importance of and how to’s of self-care, I’ve found that many women have a different definition of its meaning.
So, what exactly is self-care?
The best definition I can find to sum up the self-care version that I help my clients implement is “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own well-being”.
In short it means, taking good care of yourself – mind, body and soul.
It does not equate to self-soothing or self-indulgence as a distraction to escape from uncomfortable or painful situations or emotions. And it’s also far deeper than scheduling yourself a massage, pedicure or facial. While these activities may feel luxurious or like pampering and are important to maintenance, there are so many more ways you can nourish yourself.
It is my hope that I’ll remind you just how important it is to treat yourself well.
Not just in times of stress or when your life is full, but rather in an on-going way – similar to keeping gas in your car. The tank needs to be filled consistently, if you’re going to drive the car. If you add just small amounts of gas to your tank and you drive a lot, you’ll need to stop more often to fill the tank and you’ll notice you can’t get very far without fuel. Or conversely, you can fill the tank regularly, drive and stop a little more consistently for fuel.
Do you know what it feels like to be flirting with an empty gas tank, not sure if you’ll have enough gas to get home or even to the next gas station? It’s stressful and at the end of the day, it doesn’t eliminate the need to stop for more fuel. Self-care is the fuel in your tank. You get to decide how and when to fill it. It must be done or you can’t drive the car.
Benefits of self-care
Why is self-care so important, you may ask?
Your energy levels get a huge boost from this practice of self nurturing. Your heightened energy level then has a ripple effect to your mood, how you feel about yourself, others, your relationships, how you show up in the world and live your life, how you fulfill your mission here on this planet and help you live the life you’ve always dreamt was possible. So yes, it has everything to do with EVERYTHING!
When you have increased energy levels from self-care activities you are more:
- Healthy: you have stronger immunity and are more resilient to sickness and disease
- Focused: your cognition is heightened, allowing you to have clarity so you can stay focused on your mission or tasks at hand
- Motivated: your excitement levels are free to soar and fuel your joys and passions
- Self Aware: when you think about what you really love to do or are passionate about, you understand yourself a lot better
- Physically Active: making you feel stronger inside and out
- Able to Give: feeling good promotes you to have compassion for yourself first, which then allows you to give more to others – you can only give what you have
- Peaceful: you slow life down in a wonderful way when you are not distracted by over-extending yourself
- Optimistic: when you learn how to put yourself and time for things that matter to you first you are sending a clear message to your subconscious that you and your dreams are important
Prioritizing self-care is not selfish, just as rest is not laziness.
The most common resistance that I hear when coaching women about adding self-care activities to their lives is lack of time.
The good news is that you don’t need to book a month in an Italian villa to care for yourself (however that is a great strategy to fill your tank). There are many practices that don’t take a lot of time or money to implement on the regular. The trick to making self-care habits stick is to do find activities that you legitimately enjoy, that fit with your lifestyle and schedule.
Here are just a few ideas to help you think about what truly lights you up:
- Do yoga
- Stay hydrated
- Take a cold shower
- Dance to your favourite songs
- Go for a walk, preferably in nature
- Get 7-9 hours of good sleep every night
- Eat foods that are fuelling and nourish you
- Nap to restore your energy or just to feel enriched
- Join a class, learn a new sport or take up a new hobby
- Move your body everyday in a way that feels good to you (run, walk, cycle, paddle, tennis, SUP, pilates, weights, body weight movements, sway or do anything that feels good)
- Read a good book
- Do something fun
- Snuggle with your pet
- Soak up some sun rays
- Focus on your breathing
- Watch a sunset or sunrise
- Gaze at the stars and moon
- Cuddle up under a soft blanket
- Watch the flames of a fire or candle
- Take a hot bath or luxurious shower
- Having a massage with essential oils
- Get outside, smell the air or the roses
- Enjoy a hot drink in your favourite mug
- Walk barefoot in the grass or on the sand
- Lie down and listen to your favourite music
- Prepare your favourite meal or try a new recipe
- Do a mental scan of your body while laying down
- Organize and declutter your space, desk, home, office or car
- Cry – let it out when you need to
- Use positive affirmations to start of your day
- Forgive yourself for past and future mistakes
- Cut cords and energetic bonds with toxic people
- Treat others with kindness and you will feel good
- Write your true feelings and dreams in your journal
- Reach out to someone you like but haven’t seen in a while
- Look for and encourage humour in your days and in your life
- Spend time to be with supportive friends and/or family members
- Sing in the shower, in your car or anywhere to your favourite songs
- Do not hold grudges – you’ll will feel better once you choose to love instead
- Stop seeking approval from others – your approval is the only one that matters
- Be proud of how far you have come, no matter how big or small the accomplishment is
- Repeat meaningful mantras that resonate with you
- Go on a trip or adventure that makes your soul happy
- Give time, money or services to causes you care about
- Learn Ho’oponopono to forgive and let go of negativity
- Connect with your higher self, God, divine or the universe
- Walk in and appreciate nature and its beauty all around you
- Make a daily gratitude list of 5 things that make you feel appreciative
- Truly embrace who you are, love your body and being in your own skin
- Do something creative – write, sing, paint, draw, photograph, play music, or create your heart’s yearnings
Remember you are worthy of the best possible treatment and how you are treated starts with how you treat yourself.
I hope this summary empowers you to practice self-care activities regularly that make you feel rich, abundant and loved because you are!
Tell me, what is one simple thing that makes you feel rich?