If you are like most women, you are swamped from the time you drag yourself out of bed in the morning until you crawl back in at night. For thousands of women who live a hectic lifestyle, being tired and feeling ill all the time becomes a way of life. The last thing frazzled women need is someone lecturing them on “one more thing” they should be doing — yet often, that crucial and overlooked piece of the puzzle is self-care.
Self-care is the first thing to go in women’s priorities. This stems from prioritizing the needs of family, work, and other responsibilities over oneself. Functional medicine coach Kate Motz of Integrative Wellness Advisors has seen this happen repeatedly throughout her years working with clients. Her coaching services help women develop and realize their self-care goals in a practical, supportive way. Indeed, self-care doesn’t need to be a major drag on time and money. There are many ways to participate in self-care that are affordable and time-saving.
Self-care is priceless, but often, other areas of your life demand your resources of time and money. Free self-care options can include simple ideas like increasing your intake of water to ensure that your body is properly hydrated or setting aside a half-hour each day to be alone and enjoy your own company without doing a chore or task. Carving out time for solitude is an excellent way to reset your mind and reconnect with your true self.
Taking a brisk walk, playing active Wii games with your kids, or doing step-exercises are inexpensive fitness activities you can do at home, while going to the gym or joining an aerobics class may work best for those who prefer it. Incorporating more movement into your daily routine can help boost your energy and mood. Older women can enjoy low-impact fitness routines at home if making time for the gym feels out of reach. Stretching, indoor walking, tai chi, and yoga are ideal choices for any age group and can make a big difference in the way your body and mind feel. Emotional wellness is an important aspect of self-care that can sometimes be overlooked.
When you think about the number of responsibilities you attend to during the average day, is it any wonder your stress levels are high? Try to establish emotional self-care in your daily routine to reduce your stress levels. Find a balance between paying attention to the sources of your distress and finding healthy distractions. For some people, journaling helps them better process thoughts and feelings, while others find that making time to talk to friends and confidants is best. Coaching can be another useful option to cope with challenging issues and learn new ways to live life.
Sometimes the best emotional self-care is allowing your feelings to emerge. Busy women may resist allowing their emotions to show for fear of being overwhelmed by them or wanting to spare others from their feelings. Burying emotions can lead to unhealthy physical symptoms, though, such as headaches, stomach problems, and weight gain (if one uses food to mask feelings). Rather than protecting others from your emotions, try to be more open about how you feel. When people disappoint you or hurt your feelings, gently let them know. Being open to your own needs and checking in with your mind and body regularly can help you reduce stress and take better care of yourself.
A simple self-check-in strategy can include a one-minute body scan to identify areas of tension within the body. Pay attention to each area of your body from your feet to your head. As you focus on each region, consciously release the tension in that area by taking a slow, deep breath in through your nose; envision blowing out the tension as you exhale slowly through your mouth.
Create a space within your home that is only yours. Establish a comfy seating arrangement and peaceful lighting to reduce external stress. Make it a point to go to your space each day, by yourself, for at least fifteen minutes to check in with yourself, reset your mind, and reduce your stress levels.
For more tips on self-care, reducing stress, and living a more satisfying life, check out the Integrative Wellness Advisors blog and schedule a consultation with Kate Motz today.
Emma Grace Brown is on a mission to share her “My Life. My Rules.” philosophy with others who are facing the same day-to-day doubt she did. Learn more at My Life, My Rules.
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