Health and wellness has changed so much over the past decade. I remember wanting to be skinny. That’s all. I thought skinny was healthy. There was a time in the history of health and fitness where we were being told to choose this or that diet. I remember doing crazy $8 “cleanses” from CVS and thinking that’s what I should do to be healthy. Because healthy was skinny and that’s what that cleanse would help me to become. Fast forward 10 years and what is healthy now has changed so much for me. I finally understand what it truly means to eat mindfully. I understand how to listen to what my body needs and what it doesn’t need. And I’ve got my fitness plan all in check. It took a lot of patience with myself and a lot of “healthy mistakes” to get me here. But wellness goes well beyond eating and being fit. Wellness is taking care of yourself as a whole. Its your mind, body and spirit. Its how you live your life.
Over the past few years Ive had many life changes that caused so much stress in my body. While I thought I was taking care of myself, I had so many signs telling me I wasn’t truly taking care of myself. I stuck to my routine of working out and eating good. But then I began noticing over time that my hair was starting to fall out. My skin looked dull. And I thought how could this possibly happen when I eat so healthy. But your body will show you when it’s in a state of stress. Sometimes we don’t realize we’re stressed. Sometimes it’s subconscious. Sometimes it’s work, family, friends, money etc. Sometimes its just a messy home that needs a little “Marie Kondo” love. Stress was something I thought would go away on its own. I thought time heals stress. But while that may be partly true, you also need to deal with it head on. And that is where taking care of your mind comes in. Self care is so important for the healing process. Self care is wellness. And everyone’s selfcare is different. How you protect your energy and how you nourish your mind is going to be different than the person next door. For one it might be a shopping spree, for another it’s meditation. For me it’s getting out in nature or a DIY spa day. Self care isn’t just a one and done thing. Its a practice. Wellness is a practice. It takes patience with yourself. And for it to truly help you heal, you need to practice it often. Like how yoga is a practice. The more often you practice that crow pose, the better you’ll be. The more you take care of yourself, the happier you will be. And your body will thank you for it.
Here’s some of my tips for practicing selfcare most of which can be practiced in the comfort of your home
Meditation (there is a reason you hear this word so much)
Workout, try a new class youve never tried before (getting out of your comfort zone and releasing those endorphins sounds like a win win to me)
Reading (not only can you discover something new but there are so many benefits to reading, it can be very relaxing)
Take a walk (sometimes getting out of the house is all i need to feel relaxed. Get away from all the household duties and get out into nature)
If walking in nature isnt your thing then Hit up a local store (and this could be anything from going to the grocery store and finally taking time to browse the aisles for products youve never tried, check out a local boutique youve been dying to check out, to going to a farmers market or the mall for a shopping spree)
Quiet (There are so many benefits to silencing your phone, tv, music. We don’t realize how much stimulation we have going on constantly. Take a few minutes to shut down everything and simply just be there in the moment)
Pamper yourself (this one is my favorite. I love to just put on a hair mask, exfoliate, shave, face mask, and hang in my robe for a bit. For me, it makes me feel so good when I take care of myself this way. Feeling clean and beautiful can bring such a calming mind. Added plus, try this on a day you clean your bedding and it will feel so good after a pampering shesh and jumping in some fresh sheets, trust me on this one)
Spa Day (this one requires money if you want to level up the pampering. Book a facial or a massage or whatever sounds appealing. Spas offer SO many different services and I myself am always intrigued to try something new but never want to spend the money on it, but just GO FOR IT. Try the pumpkin facial or the bamboo massage. Just do it!)
Plan a trip (this one can cost as much as you decide. It can be an hour away and camping for $20, or it can be a yoga retreat in Costa Rica. But having something to look forward to is the goal. Wherever you’ve been dreaming to go or maybe you just want to get away from home, book it. If you do want to go somewhere that might be out of your price range, there are always deals on so many sites including Groupon and sites like Airbnb. Airbnb is also a great one for finding things to do also, not just for booking stays)
Get Creative (One of my favorite past times is making beaded bracelets. I love going to the local bead store and finding beautiful hand crafted beads and making something. maybe for you its painting or drawing, or making a scrapbook. This is for you and it can be however creative as you want it to be)
Clean out your closet (It can feel so refreshing cleaning out your space. I know when i toss old clothes and items from my home I feel lighter and happier. This wont just help in the moment either, it will feel so nice everyday going in to your closet or pantry and being able to find what you need faster. Plus its nice having a cleaner home. My mom used to tell me a messy room makes for a messy life and I am still a huge believer in that)
Watch a Movie (someone recently just told me that when they are stressed, they love to go see a funny movie at the movies and just laugh alone. At first I thought “I could never go see a funny movie alone and laugh by myself, never mind go to the movies alone” But on second thought this could totally be relaxing. When you go to the movies you’re forced to stay off your phone, which is the biggest stress inducer. You get to enjoy a special treat and just watch a movie with no distractions. The movies are quieter during the day if you want to escape the big crowds and its cheaper during the day as well! and make sure you bring your own water bottle to fill up as well!)
Be one with nature (I love to hike. Hiking for me is like therapy. Seriously though. An 18 mile hike sounds so relaxing to me. I love to be out in nature. Even if its just a local park with my dog or camping, being in nature is so powerful and healing. It allows you to be present and discover yourself. I one heard on the radio a few years ago about this group that went out in the woods to camp with no phones. The idea was to help heal the group of stress, anxiety, and depression. And the group came back totally different than when they went in. Maybe it was the no internet access, or maybe it was simply sleeping under the stars. I am a huge believer in the power of nature to heal us. So get outside even if its 5 minutes today and just notice the sway of the trees and the birds and just feel the air and breathe. I promise it works)
These are just a few of the many ways to relax and heal the mind.
Wellness to me is truly taking care of you as a whole. And that means spiritually, mindfully, what you put in your body, and how you move. If you aren’t truly taking care of yourself, it will reflect how you look and feel and it might even affect relationships and work. Sometimes in order to have the space to do something for yourself you might need to turn your phone off and put others second for a bit. It can be so important to put yourself first, and as a result you might find how good you feel by truly taking care of you.
How do you you guys take care of yourselves? Let me know in the comments!