Taking care of yourself first might sound selfish, and it is a little bit. But it’s the good kind of selfish.
There’s a saying I’ve heard a lot lately, “You can’t pour from an empty cup”.
If you’re working so very hard for other people and you’re not taking care of yourself, you start to get tired out, burned out, your immune system is lowered, your stress levels are higher, you grab quick foods that are unhealthy, don’t drink enough water, and forget to take extra nutritional supplements. Not making yourself a priority becomes a bad habit. Failing to take care of yourself may also lead to careless decisions that put the people who rely on you at risk.
We’ve all heard stories of medical students and residents who, after working two or three days without a break, made fatal or near-fatal mistakes. You can probably recall a time when a child in your care faced a serious risk because your attention was diverted, or you were preoccupied with other responsibilities.
“Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. In the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.” ~Max Ehrmann
We all need to make sure that we are putting ourselves first. Our nutritional needs, our alone time and self care time. By putting ourselves first, it will make us better to help our families in the best way possible. So, I urge you to keep your “cup” full! A few great ways to do that:
Aim for 30 minutes of activity on most days or if it’s easier, three 10-minute sessions can be just as, or even more effective.
Use relaxation techniques to relieve stress. Techniques such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing, or progressive muscle relaxation can put the brakes on stress and bring your mind and body back into a state of balance.
Eat a variety of foods that your body loves. Try these:
Fatty fish rich in Omega-3s such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, tuna
Nuts such as walnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts
Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts
Fresh fruit such as blueberries
Get a dose of sunlight. Sunlight lifts your mood, so try to get at least 10 to 15 minutes per day, or use a lightbox in winter.
Enjoy the beauty of nature or art. Simply walking through a garden can lower blood pressure and reduce stress. The same goes for strolling through a park or an art gallery, hiking, or sitting on a beach.
Engage in meaningful work. Do things that challenge your creativity and make you feel productive, whether or not you get paid for it—things like gardening, drawing, playing an instrument, or building something.
Get a pet. Yes, pets are a responsibility, but caring for one makes you feel needed and loved. Animals can also get you out of the house for exercise and expose you to new people and places.
Have fun. Do things for no other reason than that it feels good to do them. Go to a funny movie, take a walk on the beach, read a good book, or talk to a friend. Fun and play is not an indulgence but a necessity for emotional and mental health.
Take supplements to fill any nutritional gaps in your diet and keep your immune system running high. A few I am in love with are V100 Tropical Chews, they are so yummy and are a great source of vitamins and minerals!
Immuno Guard – Great for the immune system boost needed- especially if you have kids in school that bring EVERY sickness home!
Rehydrate is a little friend of mine…let’s face it, water gets boring.
One thing I found that helps me sleep is Oasis! I mix one stick pack of Oasis and a half scoop of Red Raspberry Rehydrate for a super delicious before bed drink. It helps your body adapt to physical and other sources of stress,contains a combination of super fruits known to contain antioxidants (Vitamins C, A, and E) and polyphenols,
provides immune and cognitive support, and
contains B vitamins for energy and immune support.