Self-Care Habits for Women
Women take the weight of the world on our shoulders. Whether we work from home or travel, whether we have family at-home or far away, we have a tendency to put others first, which means putting ourselves last. We lose sight of ourselves too. It's time to rest, recenter and re-balance our lives with self care rituals. If you don't take the time now, it will be decided for you.
You may also find that by taking time for yourself, you will be happier, healthier, have more energy, sleep better, make better choices and the list goes on
Nutrition is Foundational - Food and beverages need to convey the right messages to your body, so you need to start adding the good and subtracting the bad. Use your fork and knife responsibly. Quick changes you can make today include:
eating a rainbow of fruits and veggies
avoiding inflammatory foods
drinking more water
2. Move Your Body
Moving your body reduces stress, supports heart health, and allows key nutrients into the body, in addition to assisting chemical messages to transmit through the body.
Do what you love when exercising, whether it's bike riding, dancing, yoga, bike riding, walk/jog/run. Moving your body in any form or fashion is beneficial. Sign up for some salasa dances, try some hot yoga or a spin class to sweat away the toxins. Even playing with your kids or grandkids in the yard counts! So get your playlist ready for moving and dancing.
And don't underestimate the recharging power of nature Fresh air, sunlight and a natural environment all benefit our internal balance. Even doing yoga outdoors helps your cortisol levels and do wonders for your body and soul.
3. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.
Did you know that not drinking enough water can cause premature aging, inflammation and gut issues? 70 percent of adults experience chronic dehydration that can wreak havoc on their bodies. I recommend starting your day with a quart of water (16 oz), this can be in a smoothie or spiked with your favorite essential oil such as lemon, lime, orange. Always carry a bottle along with you and infuse it with berries or essential oils if your tastebuds need a little something,
4. Reduce Stress.
Women constantly allow stress to rule their days and nights, and barely take time to unwind or fully relax. This creates a cortisol overload in our systems causing our bodies to think we are always in survival mode. IN turn, the body shuts down unnecessary systems like our reproductive and digestive systems in favor of fueling our periphery for flight or fight response. And this can go on for years, until our bodies don't know which way is up and our hormones are out of whack.
Do yourself a huge favor and reduce stress levels today. Awareness is the first step. And don't just assume that you function well on stress. This is a lie we tell ourselves. Choose things that benefit your body, mind and spirit. Say no to the rest. Setting boundaries is also beneficial, so you aren't stretching yourself too thin.
5. Schedule Personal Time
The best way to reduce stress is to have time blocked out for you. This could be part of a morning routine, getting up early to stretch, exercise or walk, eating a healthy meal and not grabbing something on the go or worse, skipping breakfast. Planning your week ahead so you aren't rushed and allowing time in between appointments. Planning meals ahead of time (meal prep) and sometimes even your wardrobe, this saves a lot of time in the morning, fewer decisions when you're first waking up.
This is non-negotiable time for your health. Schedule time in every day/week such as reading a book, taking a walk, having lunch with a friend, go on a hike, get a massage, cook a new recipe, take a class in tai chi or pottery, something fun.
6. Essential Oils for Aromatherapy
Look no further than high-quality essential oils for a quick and sustaining way to reduce stress and increase your focus instantly. Essential oils can bridge the gap to creating healthy habits from eating to working out and getting a restful nights sleep while supporting the body's systems. The are the first thing I reach for in the morning and the last thing I do before going to bed at night.
All you have to do is breathe in the oils straight from the bottle and they instantly work their magic. Try aromatherapy jewelry for sustained balance, wear essential oils as a perfume over pulse points or utilize in a diffuser throughout the day for long lasting support.
My favorite oils to redice stress, boost confidence or my immune system include: Bergamot, Ylang Ylang and Melissa, to name a few. I also have some wonderful blends I like to create to wear or put in my diffuser.
7. Breathing, Pranayama - Life Force
I can not stress the importance of deep breathing. Most people are shallow breathers. As a yoga teacher, and someone who has anxiety, stress, panic attacks, etc., I know first hand the importance of learning to breath properly. Here is a link (https://youtu.be/pS0cmOCoEOs) to one of my videos showing you several different breathing techniques. They all offer wonderful benefits of calming the nervous system, helping us focus and so much more. And this is never more paramount than today during our health pandemic.
Train yourself to breathe through your diaphragm so that your belly goes out when you inhale and retracts when you exhale, bringing the navel towards the spine. Try not to move the shoulders and no shallow breathers. Your body calms itself when you breathe deeply, sending it the messages stress is low and you are in control. Slow your heart rate catch yourself in a deep-breathing moment when you feel yourself getting stressed or overwhelmed. Maybe set a timer on your watch, phone or computer to remind you to stop and breathe. Take 5-10 deep breaths every 3 hours. This is also a great way to start your day before you even get out of bed.
8. Heart Awareness
Women have more heart 💜 issues than men. Our symptoms are different. So it's also vital to take the time to monitor your heart rate and incorporate the above healthy habits from eating healthy to reducing stress and getting regular exercise. There are many apps available now where you can track your heart rate and more. Apps for calming, mindfulness, meditation, workouts and more. GPS for the Soul is one such app that measures your ear rate variability. It is Heart Math Technology proven to reset your cortisol levels and DHEA.
9. Spiritual Practice
One of the best differentiators between a woman who feels empowered and vital versus overwhelmed and cranky is a spiritual practice. Even 5 minutes of prayer or meditation can change your attitude, health and more. There are apps, as well as videos and in-person guided meditations you can join to learn how to be still and reset the mind. Using a calming essential oil during your meditation or prayer can also enhance your calming and grounding time.
Start with finding the things that bring joy to your life. Find wisdom, seek understanding, learn to love yourself and inspiration will be all around you. It may take some adjusting your world view to view life from a positive, powerful angle (usually starts with gratitude). From the tiniest bubble to amazing vacations, inspiration can drive us to move forward in our lives with a focus on self-love and self-care. You deserve it!
If you didn't know it, you were created to do great things. You inspire and change more peoples' lives than you know, whether it was a smile when someone was feeling down, or a compliment that made their day, or just asking them how they are and taking time to communicate. You're an influencer, whether its on a micro or nano-scale, you affect more people than you know. You are here for a reason. Find your talent(s) and share.