We work hard. We’re photographers, marketers, entrepreneurs, mothers, wives, chefs, caregivers, animal wranglers, friends, confidants, etc., etc. Our list of jobs is literally never ending. And I get it; there aren’t enough hours in the day. Between work, family and everything else- those hours go by fast. Self-care is self-love and it’s essential to surviving this wild ride with your sanity intact. You must make time to care for yourself both mentally and physically, and I don’t just mean a vacation once or twice a year, you should be doing these things regularly – like every day.
1. Make Time For Meditation
I saw that eye roll. I know, I know, everyone says it. But it’s true, and there’s plenty of research to prove it. The benefits of daily meditation include increased focus and stamina, clearer thoughts and heightened creativity, just to name a few. In fact, the busier we get, the more important meditation becomes. Don’t believe me?
Studies from Harvard University found that people who practice meditation regularly have increased amounts of gray matter in the insula and sensory regions, and the auditory and sensory cortex. That’s right; meditation literally changes your brain! Physically, meditation is proven to lower blood pressure, decreased anxiety and increased serotonin. Mental benefits include increased clarity and intuition as well as less tension and frustration; I’d say all of these things are super beneficial.
Try to meditate daily, even 10-15 minutes has amazing benefits.
2. Sneak In A Sweat Session
If you do no other exercise, do some yoga! When I need to clear my my mind and get the creative juices flowing, I head outside for a brisk walk with my dog but I’ll be honest here; I’m not a fan of the gym. People, judgment, it’s just not my thing. I also don’t like cardio, and I’ve got all kinds of excuses about why I can’t lift weights today. I know both of these things have amazing benefits, they just aren’t my favorite activities, and I’ll sometimes go to great lengths to avoid them. (seriously.)
I can do yoga in my living room, in the shower, in my backyard, and in my kitchen. Why is this important? Because I can do it wherever I want, whenever I want, with absolutely no tools or equipment needed. Apps like DownDog and YouTube channels like Yoga With Adriene help me keep my routine mixed up, so I don’t get bored. According to the American Osteopathic Association, the benefits of yoga include a balanced metabolism, increased flexibility, and muscle strength as well as vitality. Celebs like Kate Hudson and entrepreneurs like Julia Pimsleur even credit yoga as the driving force behind their creativity, innovation, and success.
Aim for 25-30 minutes a day. It doesn’t really matter when, just do it. If you need some help getting motivated, check out these six tips!
3. Eat Healthy
A balanced diet gives your body the nutrients it needs to function correctly and keep the brain from fatigue. In order to get proper nutrition from your diet, you should obtain the majority of your daily calories from fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and lean protein.
Eating healthy isn’t always easy, but it’s one of the best things you can do for your body. I mean trust me if I could have tacos for three meals a day, I totally would, but it just isn’t feasible. Not a fan of veggies? Visit Whole Foods or your local organic juicer for a freshly squeezed dose of vitamins and minerals, or sneak them into your meal via delicious recipes.
My body genuinely feels better when I am eating good, wholesome foods and my head feels less foggy, I’d say that’s reason enough to keep munching on carrots!
4. Go The F*ck To Sleep!
Have you read the book?! It’s adorable! (also this!) But seriously though, a good night’s sleep is perhaps the most important piece of self-care that you can give yourself. We get so caught up in everything we do every single day that we let those tasks, worries, fears and tomorrow’s to-do list keep us up late at night! I know I’m at my best after a good nights sleep, and without it, I’m close to worthless.
You already do it, so make sure you do it enough! Sleep plays a vital role in our physical health. Sleep is involved in the healing and repair of vital organs, rejuvenating the body. It spurs creativity, improves performance and curbs inflammation. Lack of sleep has severe consequences including an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.
Everyone requires different amounts of sleep, and many people don’t have a typical sleeping schedule. Aim for at least 6-8 hours of solid sleep to allow your body and mind the rest and rejuvenation it needs.
Bonus Tip: Make time to enjoy a nice, hot bath.
I realize everyone can’t do this every day; I certainly don’t have time to. But a long soak in the tub filled with Epsom salts, accented with essential oils, and a little candlelight does wonders. I try to move my meditation time to the tub at least twice a week, it relieves sore muscles and allows me to clear my head and just be.