By Jermaine Richter
Recently, I heard that Don Henley song The Heart of the Matter and it brought up a memory (as songs often do) of a time that I went through a very painful break up. Since that breakup though, I’ve learned about self care.
For weeks I could think of nothing else and cried myself to sleep many nights wondering if I’d ever find true love. As Valentine’s Day approaches, many of us brace ourselves for the onslaught of love songs, greeting card commercials and eye-catching magazine headlines reminding us that we need someone else to ‘complete us’.
Whether we’re married or single, in a relationship or not, we all do need love. It’s what makes us human. The best lesson I learned from that break-up was that in order to find love, true-lasting love, is that I needed to love myself first. I know, it sounds cliché but it absolutely holds true in my life and so I want to share a few tidbits about loving yourself through Self Care.
Self Care is a practice. It is a conscious action done habitually to care for our spiritual, emotional, mental and physical health¹. Self-care is listening to those gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) signals our bodies send us that it is out of balance and lovingly taking action to bring ourselves back into alignment. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
5 Ways To Practice Self Care
- Get quiet and listen – Give yourself permission to unplug from the noise. Pray, meditate, go on a nature walk. Your body will send you signals. Don’t just brush it of off, get quiet and listen. The more you listen, the easier it becomes to understand what your body needs.
- Eat mindfully – Choose nutrient dense whole foods, stay present and enjoy your meals. Read about some excellent dishes for your self-care practice.
- Shake your groove thing – Get your heart rate up and move your body. It could be dancing, running, roller skating. Be consistent and have fun!
- Rest is best – We often push ourselves to the limit, burning the candle at both ends. Rewarding your body with restful sleep is vital for rejuvenation.
- Get gratitude – Take a couple of minutes each day to write down a few things that you’re grateful for, you’ll be amazed what a positive effect it has on your mood.
Think of Self-Care as a beautifully wrapped gift of love that you give yourself every day. So when your will gets weak and your thoughts seem scatter, ask yourself, did I open the gift of Self-Care today?
About The Writer
Jermaine Richter is a Food Scientist and IIN trained Health & Wellness Coach. She is the Owner and Founder of JAR Health & Wellness Coaching.
¹The Institute for Integrative Nutrition Workbook (2nd Edition): Your Guide to a Successful Health Coaching Career, by Joshua Rosenthal. Integrative Nutrition, 2013.