The Importance of Self Care

What the heck is self-care anyway? I feel like the word “self-care” has become the buzzword of my generation (re: millennials) to justify treating ourselves to everything from manicures to staycations. I’ve also can’t help but notice that it is also largely used as a term within the realm of “wellness” activities such as the use of medicinal herbs, juicing, etc. I’m mostly taken self care to simply mean prioritizing our own health before other tasks, deadlines,etc. This can often be easier said than done in our society. For example, in my own life, my day-to-day activities involve me scrambling from one activity to the next with barely a moment to slow down.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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I wake up at 5, walk the dogs, prepare myself for work, commute to work, work for 9 hours, commute home and get ready for the climbing gym, climb/workout for 2-3 hours, drive home and make a quick dinner (maybeee watch some Netflix) before getting in bed by 9:30/10. I intentionally bought a planner for this year to document my yearly, monthly, and weekly goals for 2019. So far, I’ve noticed I’ve worked a great deal towards achieving my climbing-related goals, however other goals, including those that related towards cultivating my mental health, have been barely touched.

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Likewise, starting this week, I’m vowing to intentionally slowing myself down for a few hours each year. And treat myself. Here’s how:

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1) Make reading a habit. I always list this as a goal, but somehow I suck at doing it. I love reading, but I feel like I never make the time for it. However, considering the amount of literal hours I spend each week scrolling through Instagram, I am quite positive that I do in fact have the time to read a chapter or two each week. I believe most of my peers can relate with spending way too much time on social media, as it can be inescapable at times depending on your line of work. In general, it’s probably safe to say that reading a paper book is a whole lot better for our mental health and we need to do it more.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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2) Yoga once a week. I’ve actually been okay at carrying through with this goal. It helps that Dustin is also very committed to his newly blossomed yoga practice as well. However, I am also very good at talking myself out of going as well, but I’m always glad I went. I feel like yoga is often trumpeted for all of its benefits like flexibility, core strength, and shoulder strength (which there are way better methods to getting better at all those components than just doing yoga), but I personally am pursuing a yoga practice to help me hone a mental flow through breathing as well as working on improving some bodily imbalances.

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3) Various cooking challenges. Sometimes self care can just mean taking time to do something that gives you joy. There are some things (like climbing) that give me joy, and I’m very good at making time to include it in my life. There are other things that aren’t as easy, like challenging myself in the kitchen. It can be time consuming, but I love it and need to do it more.

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4) Focus on my nutrition. I used to not really track what I ate, as I generally adhered to a well-rounded “healthy” diet (whole grain goldfish are healthy, right?) However, after dealing with some issues related to anxiety and low energy, I recently made a few diet tweaks. And let me tell you- it’s incredible how much better I feel (and no, I did not do #keto). I simply reduced my caffeine and alcohol intake, starting incorporating a lot more greens into my daily diet aka salads every day for lunch, and focused on incorporating more protein into my diet, which is something that has helped me a lot with recovery. I primarily eat vegetarian meals, but also eat occasionally eat sustainably caught seafood- I love putting Wild Planet Tuna on my salads at lunch, for example. I also have been supplementing with plant protein powder post climbing workouts as well.

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5) Make time for loved ones. This is important. I can get caught up in my weekly grind that I can forget to make social time. This can be taking a day to drive 2 hours to catch up with my old college friend, grabbing a glass of wine with my sister, or having a date night with Dustin. Nourishing these relationships always does wonders for my psychological health, no matter what.

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What are some methods you use to care for yourself?

One thought on “The Importance of Self Care

  1. These also are some of my favorite self care tactics! My yoga practice has dropped of recently but I’ve seen lots of dips and rebounds in how I practice. I’m all about what work/life balance. It’s so crucial. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

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