Self-care is all the rage these days. But what does self-care really mean and does it have to be as extravagant as vacations, massages and spa days? In my opinion, no. Self-care can truly be anything- small or grandiose.
Just like diet, healthy habits and even mindset self-care has to work for YOU.
There’s absolutely no need to compare yourself to what others are doing or let outside noise make you feel like that’s what you’ve got to do for it to be self-care. For example, a lot of people love baths but it’s just not for me! I’d rather go on a walk, watch my favorite show or foam roll - but those might not be your thing, either and that’s OK.
Self care can be as small as a few deep breaths, cooking a home-cooked meal, date night or walk with the dog. Be YOU and do YOU. It’s all about finding your own way of doing things, and as long as it feels good - you’re doing it right.
Why is self-care so important? In this crazy world we live in, we’ve got to look out for ourselves and tune inward every once and a while, slow down and rejuvenate. A lot of us don’t feel like we’re worthy of taking that time, but unless you take care of yourself first, how can you show up each day, fulfill your purpose and take care of everyone else?
The more you do it, the easier it becomes and the more you see the huge payoff and reward which can be motivation to continue and discover new things to do, too.
To me, self-care is self-love…claiming your worth and taking care of yourself. It’s so important!
Even though there’s no right or wrong or roadmap to self-care… today I’m sharing 3 of my favorite forms that can be done daily (and aren’t probably what you think!) that I hope you’ll love. Share what you think with me in the comments below!
1. Resist Restriction
Releasing the need to control, count and obsess IS self-care. Especially when everyone around us is dieting, beating themselves up and focusing on the "shouldn'ts".
The stress of restriction, dieting and a disordered relationship with food our bodies is stressful and puts our bodies into fight or flight (aka the sympathetic state.) Working with your body vs. against is a daily form of self-care.
Focus on quality over quantity, real whole foods and a mindset of abundance. The more you do this the less you’ll feel connected to dieting, restriction and deprivation and this is a huge way to show yourself major love.
2. Show compassion
Being kind to and showing compassion to others is actually a form of SELF-care too.
Compassion and connection does just as much for others as it does for yourself. I've talked about this a lot - you've been through what you've been through for a reason and sharing your story (in whatever way you're comfortable) not only allows others to see they're not alone but you feel purpose and also peace and understanding for having gone through all you have.
*Reminder, you do not have to have been through an intense health struggle to deserve to share your story - big or small you are entitled to share, connected and express compassion for others who may have or are currently going through something too.
3. Choose high-quality food
Be intentional about choosing pastured/grass-fed/wild meats vs. conventional, healthy fats vs. damaged fats, organic produce, and newer, smaller brands with pure ingredients and a big initiative to change the food industry.
The more we invest in quality food, the less expensive it will eventually become because it's all about voting with our dollars and showing there is a demand. We're saying that we want to feed ourselves high-quality food so we can feel our best!
Your body is your most-prized commodity so it is important to do your best when you can (of course there's always exceptions) and get high-quality ingredients. Utilize things like trader joes, costco, local farmers, CSA's and farmers markets and websites like thrive market! I really saw a HUGE improvement in my immunity and mental health (like depression) when I focused on the quality of my food - and THAT'S self-care!
Some of my favorite smaller brands on a big initiative with real whole ingredients:
- Vital Proteins (Collagen, Protein Powders, Collagen Creamers, etc.)
- Primal Kitchen Foods (bars, sauces, mayos, dressings, etc.)
- Siete Foods (chips and tortillas)
- Kite Hills foods (dairy-free yogurts and cheeses)
- Epic (grass-fed bars and bites)
- MALK (gum-free sprouted nut milks)
- Simple Mills (cookies, crackers, baking mixes)
- imperfectproduce.com (save 30-50% on fruits & veggies that would otherwise be thrown out because they don't meet grocery store standards.) I personally use this service and love it, nothing I've ever gotten appears "imperfect!" Use code NUTRITIONWITHCHELSEA for 10% off your first box!
- thrivemarket.com (save 25-50% on organic healthy food, beauty & home products)
- vitalchoice.com (wild seafood delivered right to your door)
- uswellnessmeats.com (grass-fed, pastured & high quality meats delivered right to your door)