by Marzena Wojcik, January 2019
With it being New Years resolution time I thought this topic on self care is something everyone should be incorporating into their routines and/or resolutions on a regular.
Your self care practices may look different than mine, but that’s okay, for self care to work for you, YOU have to decide what you need.
To inspire you to make self care a priority I share below what I do to keep sane (my other phrase I use for “self care”), as when we take care of ourselves first, we end up showing up better at our jobs, to the ones we love, to friends, our kids, co-workers and even to those that cut us off in traffic.
For example if we aren’t nourishing our bodies or minds, and resting when we should be, it’s easier to snap or lose our patience with others when we are tired, over worked, over committed and bordering on exhaustion and burn out from the poor choices we make day to day, away from self care. And by choices I’m talking about too much social media, skipping lunch breaks or workouts, not eating nourishing food to keep you going and feeling even more tired, getting home after work and binging on Netflix (I’m so guilty for this one sometimes), or even choosing to talk to a toxic friend, family memeber or co-worker that brings you down. I could go on but I think you get the idea…
Put your mask on first!
We all know when we don’t take proper care of ourselves we end up feeling crappy, right?! But why do we continue to put ourselves last. Our priority #1 (I think) should always be self care. Think of when you fly how the flight attendants go through the safety videos and how they tell us to put our masks on first when or if an emergency arises, before you help another! I believe the same principle should apply to our life choices and habits we form. Put your mask on first!
I admire the world with curiosity. I admire the beauty.
My top five self care practices I do to keep sane, balanced and centred may seem simply, but yet if I allow myself to get caught up in the busy life western society dictates, and not make myself priority #1, it’s so easy to fall into the “easier auto pilot life”, but quickly it leaves me feeling depleted, physical pain amplifies from old injuries and I get headaches.
Self care needs to become a habit, otherwise I fall out of balance fairly quickly. Here are my top 5 self care practices:
A walk in NATURE. I make sure I connect with nature daily. Even escaping on your lunch break to go outside and enjoy fresher air and some sunshine can make a huge impact on your day. I do this routinely and feel good after, I’m left recharged for the afternoon to continue working.
EXERCISE!! Yes this is a must for my body not to be achy and when bun bldynis achy I get cranky. I run and do group fitness. From time to time I also try new fitness classes. Anything from HIIT, versa climber, spin classes, barre, to different yoga styles. This keeps me motivated, interested, and body and mind challenged.
YOGA, deep breathing and meditation help me most.
Yin yoga along with meditation incorporated, specifically for me is the best way I find stillness, balance and time to devote for mental and physical pause, a connection to me, as yin yoga (well meditation too) is quite introspective. I do yin yoga before I go to bed most nights. Even if it’s just one posture, like reclined butterfly (easy one to do in bed).
Yoga no matter what form (meditation, breath work, physical asana practice) is a way to become aware of how the body and mind feel (more on this in future posts).
MASSAGE! There is nothing better than getting any massage, but my favorite is a 90mins therapeutic massage. Having someone take care of your body, and let you know where some imbalances, tightness is in your body, helps bring awareness to you that you may not even know you have. I find massage is a great compliment to my exercising and desk jockey life, awareness to a whole other degree.
MINDFULNESS. I practice mindfulness as much as I can. For example when I’m walking I try to notice the beauty around, I work downtown Calgary so I pay attention to buildings I walk by and their architecture, watch how construction projects I walk by progress. When in nature I am that person that always stops and smells the flowers or when there is a fresh snow fall I find untouched snow to step in to see my foot prints. Simply I pay attention, I practice presence with all that is around me. I admire the world with curiosity. I admire the beauty.
Doing any sort of self care is key. I think it’s the key to find and maintain balance in our lives. Self care I think is simply, finding coping mechanisms that help us find our true happiness and balance in our day to day lives.
Find something that works for you and your life. Even if it’s just for a half hour or hour. Hope the above ways I practice self care help you adopt a habit that brings you back to feeling good, happier and overall balanced. The key is to find what works for you.
I will leave you with one more tip, how can I make time for all this self care. I know the only way the above happens for me is to schedule time to do it! I literally have planned out my next weeks exercise times (booked it in Mindbody app and calendar), bonding time with friends and down time for me to be still.
Schedule time for self care!
So to start off the new year right, what self care practices can you start to incorporate into your week? Month? Year?
Even if it’s just for 15 mins or an hour each day. Or an evening once a month just for you! Share in the comments I would love to hear what you’ll start to incorporate.
This blog is a piece of my heart…
If you’re still reading this, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I look forward to sharing more.
Until next time my yogis…