Self-Care for Survival
I was walking down the street today drinking water, thinking about my to-do list and returning an email on my phone when I happened to almost run into someone who was, I assume from the phone in their hand, doing the same thing. At this moment I looked around and realized that more than half of the people around me were multitasking in their brains, on their phones and with their bodies. It occurred to me that this is our world right now; busy, rushed, bursting with activity, layered with tasks and not enough time. Not enough time especially for ourselves, being a massage therapist has placed the concept of self-care directly in the forefront of my world. I notice every time I work on someone just how important caring for yourself is and just how low on our priority list it has become.
How many people do you know that are affected by chronic stress, pain or just a general feeling of discomfort? Perhaps you can relate to some of these feelings? Lack of self-care in one’s life can lead to stress and pain, stress and pain can lead to disease, depression and an inability to fully function in one’s day to day life. You may be asking yourself how the heck you are suppose to work self-care into your already overly demanding schedule? My question is: How are you suppose to keep up with such a high intensity schedule without taking care of yourself?
Ask yourself these questions:
- What in your life is more important than you, your health and your well-being?
- What are you putting before your own health and well-being, where are you on your “to-do” list?
- Is the way that you are living your life right now sustainable from the age you are now until retirement? Do you already have aches and pains, imagine how those might become worse in 5/10/20 years.
- What will your body/mind/spirit look and feel like long term if you don’t make yourself a priority?
- Do you want to function at an optimal level in your life? Have more energy now and in the future? Live happy and healthy for many years to come?
Common excuses that might arise at this point are: lack of funds, no time, family/work comes first-or by giving to work and family I am giving to myself, I can rest when I retire
I challenge you to re-think these excuses and make yourself a priority now by realizing that you are as or more important than anyone or anything else in your life. The only way for you to be happily successful, functioning at an optimal level and to be healthy and full of energy for many years to come is to treat your body, mind and spirit with care and consideration beginning right now-no matter how young you may be.
Here are a few suggestions on how to treat yourself with the care that you deserve so that you can stay in the best condition possible for as long as possible:
- Do what you love and love what you doThis can be a difficult task because it is not always completely easy to accomplish or 100% within our control. My advise is if you do have the option to make a change into a profession or situation that is fulfilling DO IT even if you will be taking a risk. If you don’t have this option keep your eyes open for opportunities and make the best of your situation. Positivity attracts positivity and changing your perspective could change everything!
- Take time for yourself every single dayEven if you can only set aside ten minutes a day, make those ten minutes only about you. This means putting away the internet and distractions, getting quiet or loud, giving yourself space to breathe, grow and hear what your own internal self is saying.
- Take mini vacationsIf you find yourself with a busy schedule that doesn’t allow time or resources for regular vacations, take mini breaks instead. You need space from the demands of life to renew your commitment to your responsibilities and to regain energy for your life. Don’t underestimate the power of a weekend getaway or day trip-just remember to leave work and the to-do list at home.
- Laugh, dance, play Finding joy in the small things can make a big difference in your day. Notice the sound of the rain, the way someone smiled when you gave them a compliment or the sweetness of your pet when you first arrive home. Life is made of moments, don’t allow them to be wasted.
- Take care of your healthExercise regularly by finding something you enjoy such as dance classes, martial arts, gardening, boot camp, acrobatics, basketball, weight lifting etc… Get a friend to go, get in a routine, just do whatever it takes to get yourself in shape. Stretching is one of the most overlooked things that we should be doing for ourselves. Our muscles should be balanced and working together, this means strong AND flexible. Get massage and/or other forms of bodywork at least once per month and more if possible (I may be biased). I can assure you that adding massage into your health care routine will improve your quality of life, the quality of your skin and muscles and I am certain it will not be a decision that you soon regret. Eat Healthy, you will never hear me say that you should never eat anything sugary again, I love junk food and food in general, so my philosophy is everything in moderation. With that said, the majority of your meals should be healthy and well balanced. View the American Diabetes Association food guide here for more information.
*For an affordable way to get regular monthly massage sessions check out Written on the Body’s $50 VIP Monthly Membership here!