There was something about 2017 that made it one of the most intense years I've personally experienced. From further conversations and observations, I don't believe I was alone in this. Thankfully, we have officially turned the corner and 2018 is looking up and up.
If there's one lesson I learned from last year, it is the importance of making intentional time and space for self-care — to be proactive
about your mental, emotional and physical well-being, rather than reactive
For many, this may seem like a fruitless endeavor. Sure, life throws each of us curveballs every day. This is simply part of the human experience.
However, there's something to be said for the daily practice of self-care...
Natural Self-Care Tips To Help Keep You Grounded
The purpose of a self-care practice isn't to say hide away from the world or lock yourself in a cabin in the woods where you are completely removed from reality. It's also not about trips to the spa for a mani/pedi.
Self-care is about integrating simple practices that help you feel grounded into your daily life. Then, when the proverbial hurricane of life tries to sweep you up, you have some degree of semblance within yourself.
When the world around you is in chaos, it's all too easy to be swept up by the chaos. If you have, at the very least, some strong internal foundations, you are less likely to be swayed by the chaos of the storm brewing around you.
This isn't to say you are to become an apathetic statue either.
Think of finding your own little place of zen, not in some garden, but within yourself.
Here are some of my favorite natural self-care tips that aren't too cheesy, too woo-woo, or too outrageous.
#1 — Journal
I love starting or ending my day by writing in my journal. It's where I keep record of all my biggest dreams (those ones I'm too afraid to speak of out loud), where my prayer petitions are kept, where the dribble of mini-rants from a long day in the office is written but never spoken, and where I make sense of the ups and downs of living as a human being on planet earth.
You don't need to be a Nobel Prize winner to scribble a few thoughts onto paper. The mere act of taking the thoughts from your head and laying them before you is a very therapeutic act. No one's going to judge what you write down. The sacred journal is for your eyes only.
#2 — Real Comfort Food
Always, always, always! Eating a nutrient-dense diet is key to a life of wellness, both physically and emotionally.
For those times where you are craving an extra level of comfort, there are few things in life more grounding than a big bowl of comfort food from your childhood.
I'm not talking about a bowl of sugary ice cream or mac & cheese (although if you're craving something sweet, there are always healthier alternatives
!). The more nourishing, the better.
For me, it's childhood memories of mom's lamb chops, Sunday roasts, or shepherd's pie. But there's always room for homemade apple pie, right?
If you're looking for healthier comfort food, try our Hearty Paleo Beef & Mushroom Stew
, Grain-Free Turkey Pot Pie
, White Hot Chocolate
, or Nourishing Pumpkin Custard Pie
#3 — Go Outside
This should almost go without saying, but in the midst of a busy, urban sprawl, it's all too easy to forget the vital role of nature in our lives.
If there is one self-care tip that should really not be called a self-care tip, but rather, an essential part to being human
, it would be this one — to spend more time outside.
Being outside and getting some fresh air and sunshine is so crucial to our mental well-being. Whether it's a simple walk around the neighborhood, taking the dog or kids to the park, or just sitting out in the sun for a few minutes with your bare feet planted on the ground, your mind and body will thank you for time spent in nature.
#4 — Date Yourself
While it may not sound as romantic as being swept off your feet by your significant other, there's something special about treating yourself to date all on your own.
Whether it's for something as simple as coffee or something more elaborate like a night in a hotel all alone, a solo date can be a wonderful time to slow down, sit with your thoughts, and just be present on your own. The best part is, you don't need to appease to the taste of other fussy eaters. Your choice!
#5 — Treat Yourself
Treating yourself is about doing something you've always wanted to do or intentionally spending money on something you've always wanted, without any guilt.
For example, I went skydiving earlier this year because it's been on my bucket list forever. It was one of those things I felt like I would never do unless I just did it. So I did.
And I didn't even think twice about it. It was the best ever!
Now, your idea of treating yourself doesn't have to be as extreme as that... but it could be!
Maybe your one true wish is a long, hot, uninterrupted bath (why not make a bath scrub
while you're at it?). ;)
Do you practice self-care? What are your favorite, natural ways to show yourself some love?