You are a busy woman and you probably don’t take much time to sit down and specifically think, “How did I do today with my self-care?” It’s not something we naturally gravitate to, especially with the demands of family, jobs and the never ending to-do list! When was the last time you gave yourself the gift of pausing long enough to think about YOU? Self-care is a verb, it’s an intentional act of self-love. It’s honoring to the body and promotes a tremendous amount of positivity in which you can approach life. As an expert in the industry of nutrition and fitness I find time and again than none of us can outwork a bad diet or mindset. By practicing regular self-care you can still be content through the roadblocks of lifelike burnout, lack of willpower, vacation, stress, illness, the holidays or an unsupportive family member. The problem is ladies; these road blocks are often enough to cause us to veer off course too long, get discouraged and ditch any hard work and effort we did prior to it. We have control over our actions, habits and mindsets and it’s time to get back to a natural rhythm of self-care that will take us to the next level in our health, business, finances or whatever you are looking to improve.
A pillar is defined as a person or thing regarded as reliable, providing essential support for something. Why build a foundation of essential support? I have found in my coaching practice that women who don’t find their essential structural support from the four pillars will look for it elsewhere. That void or gap between full support and rock bottom is often filled with things like food, drugs, alcohol, screen time, or an unhealthy fixation on body image just to name a few. When your life feels off balance and you wonder “what is wrong with me?” turn to the four pillars as a source of energy and vitality.
The 4 Pillars
- Mental- this is a big one and intimately connected with two other pillars. When Spiritual and Physical is on point, it’s hard not to feel better mentally. Intentionally seeking mental self-care will look something like this:
- Hiring a coach or counselor- starting here may help give you tools didn’t know existed. A coach and counselor will help you stay accountable to your goals.
- Daily journaling- I like to combine this with spiritual self-care. I have a bible study I’m currently doing with other women and I’m in reflection daily because of it. The study keeps me accountable to myself because I have to have it done weekly.
- Affirmations- Speak to yourself positively every day! (try an app)
- Meditations (if new at this, try the calm app)- Try to carve out 5-10 min of your day to calm the mind and re-focus. This will help to decrease cortisol in your body and re-fill the willpower you need for the rest of the day.
- Try Tapping (the Tapping Solution app is awesome)- All negative emotions are felt through a disruption of the body’s energy. By physically tapping on the meridian points throughout your body you can release negative energy stored up. I cried the first time a therapist did this to me!
- Biofeedback- Along with tapping this helped me overcome a debilitating bladder spasm problem that was brought on by an early childhood abuse situation.
- Make a date with your significant other or friend
- Make a fun playlist on your phone that you can sing to in the car or shower
- Make a cozy place in your home that is your go-to for reading or just relaxing
- Post positivity on your social media
- Take a break from scrolling social media or set boundaries
- Intellectual- Our brains need stimulus and mental exercising. Intellectual self-care is about being curious and having a strong desire to learn from the world around you. Here are some ways to boost your intellect:
- Say yes to be a leader or speaker for anything you love or feel called to do- I find when I’m leading a group through something I have to be on point with my knowledge. By teaching I’m also learning and staying one step ahead of everyone else. As a speaker, you have to prepare and that requires investigation and learning about your topic.
- Listen to books on your phone (I use Audible or get free downloads on Overdrive from your library)
- Read or listen to a book at least once a month (Rachel Hollis’s book “Girl, wash your face” is a great one)
- Play games with your family (Pente and Drawful are favorites)
- Attend a musical, theatre, concert or ballet
- Organize your life and environment- this will allow you to free up the mental space you need to be creative.
- Spiritual-Your divine self has a longing to connect to your creator. Whatever or whomever you believe to be your creator, the belief that there is something of a higher power brings hope. You have the power to access an unlimited resource for love, peace, strength, answers and guidance. Here are some examples of how you might tap into your spiritual side:
- Prayer (you can start a prayer with gratitude if you don’t know how to pray)
- Meditation (See mental self-care)
- Spend time in nature and just be in awe of its beauty (take a hike, go on a vacation, drive to a new location on the weekend with a friend or significant other)
- Connect with a community- this has been one of the best ways I’ve grown spiritually and found my true authentic self. It’s helped me strip away masks and chains I’ve been holding onto far too long. My favorite community is within my church. You might find community with women groups in your area. Search FB or ask around for suggestions.
- Physical- Without the physical body nothing else would exist. Being that it’s the most important, what I will list below are really more non-negotiable everyday items you must do if you want a better quality of life:
- Get more sleep- If you aren’t regularly getting 7-9 hours of sleep you need help. Maybe your self-care is finding resources and help to make that happen.
- Eating food that builds your body on a cellular level- That means getting more quality fats and proteins in your diet every day. Take important vitamins and supplements as well to promote well-being. Like Vitamin D and Omega 3’s.
- Move your body every day- find a way to get exercising or moving. Not only will this promote more mental well-being but will help your body metabolize your food better and get you better sleep at night. Oh and it might help you shed some unwanted fat!
Think of each pillar as a hollow cylinder that needs filling and visualize how full each one would be if you had to rate it right now. Now you know where you need to give more emphasis. Don’t let one overflow and neglect another. You want balance in your life so you will need to fill each one every day! Be intentional and practice your self-care every day, you’ve got this.
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