The following post was written by Susan Treadway. Susan is an addict in recovery. She uses a holistic approach to sobriety to stay on a successful path and believes adopting even a few holistic methods can help anyone struggling with addiction. She wants everyone to know that you don’t have to be a hippie to embrace holistic wellness – this concept is simply about focusing on your entire sense of well-being rather than just one part. She hopes her website, www.rehabholistics.com, will inspire anyone who has struggled with addiction to incorporate holistic practices into their own self-care routine.
Work, school, kids, family, church, and community. Being pulled in so many directions, it’s understandable that many people put themselves at the bottom of the priorities list. But it shouldn’t be that way. Keep reading for a few tips on why you should put yourself first and how you can achieve a trifecta of health, happiness, and harmony without sacrificing any of the things you love.
Integrating self-care into your day
There’s nothing you can do to increase the number of hours in the day. But you can integrate self-care methods including relaxation and physical fitness into your schedule. Start by planning a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day. Food Network serves up plenty of ideas for whipping up a daily menu of healthy food fast instead of letting fast food take away your health.
Fitness is also an important part of living a healthy lifestyle. The best time to exercise is first thing in the morning before you’ve had your coffee and begin to experience the stress of the day. As soon as you wake up, stretch for a few minutes to limber up your muscles and put yourself in a positive state of mind. If you don’t have time for an extensive routine, Self recommends popping into the gym for a quick workout that includes squats and crunches. If you’d rather stay home, consider working out while watching TV. You can do push-ups, sit-ups, or squats or grab a weighted hula hoop and work your core without missing a single moment of your favorite show.
Self-care also means focusing on your mental health, a topic uncomfortable for many people. But stress, anxiety, and the pressure to be perfect can take its toll on your mind and body. One of the best things you can do for yourself is meditate. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health explains that meditation can improve the symptoms of anxiety and reduce blood pressure. There is even some evidence to suggest that mindful meditation may also help quell the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, which is a common issue among people suffering with stress and anxiety. Create a comfortable space in your home where you can meditate a few minutes each day without distraction.
Your day should also include a few habits that encourage relaxation. Spend half an hour each day focused on your favorite hobby. If you don’t have one, consider grabbing an adult coloring book for a few minutes of mindful coloring at home. You should also take steps to ensure that you have a comfortable and relaxing sleep space. This should include supportive pillows and be void of disruptions, such as television or excessive light. If outside noise is a problem, invest in a noise machine to drown out sounds that could potentially interfere with sleep.
Trimming the fat
Perhaps the most critical thing you can do for your self-care routine is to learn to let go of the things that don’t make you happy. If clutter causes stress, spend a weekend and purge your home of items you don’t want or need. Self-doubt, anger, toxic friends, and worries about the future are also unnecessary bits of “fat” that can be trimmed from your life. Removing these things can help you create a more harmonious existence where you aren’t weighed down by negatives. Consider giving yourself the same advice you would give your friends or family when it comes to aspects of your life that you’re not sure about.
Self-care is different than selfishness. When you practice self-care, you are doing both yourself and the world around you a favor. You will be happier and healthier and enjoy a more harmonious way of life. But you’ll also be more effective and attentive to the people and priorities in your life that make you you.