For many people, taking care of their health and well-being is not always a top priority. However, imagine how the quality of your life could change if you maintained a strong sense of self-love. If you practiced giving yourself unconditional love every day, you might not beat yourself up if you are not perfect, or sabotage a good diet with binge eating, or deplete your spirit with too much work and no play.
If self-care was your new priority, it’s quite possible that you would be happier, you’d have more energy, you would feel great about yourself, and your optimism would be contagious. Now that’s an extreme habit worth cultivating!
Practicing Extreme Self-Care
- Anticipate your needs: take care of yourself like you would your child or your dog. Instead of skipping meals or water breaks, have a snack and water bottle always available. Don’t let yourself get so hungry and tired that you’ll eat or buy anything regardless of its nutritional value.
- Get your beauty sleep: it will protect you from getting run down or sick and you will be more productive during the day. There is plenty of research to prove the link between sleep deprivation and weight gain. So try going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night until you can ensure that you will get at least seven hours of sleep, or whatever is ideal for you.
- Carve out time to move. Your body will thank you and your mood will be uplifted after every work-out, gentle ones included. Figure out what kind of exercise you like and put it on your calendar like any other firm appointment.
- Can you spell f-u-n? Yes, consume it like (instead of) candy! Plan a lunch date, read an engrossing book, go out in the evening to volunteer or to Zumba dance. Join a meet-up.com group and find new interests. It will enrich your life.
- Get rid of the temptation. Remove all the unhealthy food in your cupboards and freezer, or wherever you keep your stash. Find some healthier replacements. Just do it. Surround yourself with food that your body will truly love.
- Here’s the hardest one: lose the negative thoughts. I know, I know—it’s not easy. But, start by catching yourself when you beat yourself up, feel guilty or ashamed of your bad habits. Ask yourself instead, what is one small step I could take to improve myself? Or, count all the good you have accomplished in the past 24 hours. Feel good about all that you do.
- Seek the support and guidance of a health counselor or health coach to help you maintain these and other habits that will make your life the best it’s ever been.
Sharon Goldner, Certified Health Counselor & Professional Chef, recently formed the Wellness Group with three other health practitioners at 36 S. Martine Ave, 2nd Flr, Fanwood. To learn more, please visit www.RecipeforaHealthyLife.com or www.FanwoodWellness.wordpress.com.