Self love is not always something we honour or always make time for. Most of us are guilty, from time to time, of neglecting ourselves and not putting ourselves first on the list (or anywhere on the list for that matter).

Self love and self care, encompass more than just shopping, pedicures and spa treatments. Although these can be examples of self care, they’re not the only ways to take care of yourself.

Here are some helpful (and healthy) tips on how to practice self care.

1. Eat Wholesome Food

Nothing screams self care more than nourishing your body (and soul) with some real good “wholesome” food.  Loading up on nutrients, rather than just empty calories, will not only energize you but also fuel your “feel good” hormones.  My favourite “feel good” meals are homemade warming soups like my Easy Squash Soup or Thai Curry Soup.  Reaching for healthy snacks like kale chips, smoothies or apples with nut butter are just some of the ways that I like to stay nourished.  Nourishing meals help me mitigate stress.

2. Take An Afternoon Nap

If you’re feeling run down and low on energy, consider taking an afternoon nap to help you recharge so you can get through the rest of your day.  Sometimes 10-20 minutes of shut eye is all you need to help you reset.  It’s no surprise that Europeans “siesta” daily.  The benefits are amazing!  Avoid napping for too long (less than 1 hour) for it may interrupt your nighttime sleep schedule.

3. Have A Tea Break

Make time for a tea break.  Adding breaks in your day can make all the difference between having a good day vs. a bad one.   Whether it be tea break in the afternoon, lunch with a friend or some light reading before bedtime.  Breaking up the day with some valuable “me time” allows me to be to stop, be present and reflect on how the day is going.  A little perspective time may be all you need to turn your day around.

4. Do Something You Love

Engage in joyful activities or hobbies that fuel and inspire you.  Take some time to think about what brings you joy.  Is it time spent in the garden, cooking in the kitchen or working on a craft?  Find the things you love and make time for them throughout the day or week.   Some of my favourite hobbies are time spent in the kitchen experimenting on new recipes, or reading a new book and even binge watching on some reality tv (ok, maybe not the healthiest pastime but it helps to me stop and decompress).

5. Just Say NO

Say “no” to things that don’t fuel or inspire you.  Sometimes we feel the need to say yes to commitments because we don’t know how to say no or that we just feel obligated to say yes.  In my experience, I’ve always found it better to say “no” to commitments that I don’t like so I can make room for things that I do like.   It may take some practice, but the rewards are plentiful.  

6. Ask For Help “Before” You Need It

Don’t wait until you’re overwhelmed and stressed to ask for help.  Look for ways to shoulder the load so that you don’t have to do everything on your own. Delegate household chores to your kids. If they’re old enough to operate an electronic device, they can assist with household chores.  Get someone to shovel the driveway, swap services with a neighbour to help babysit, get your groceries delivered, hire a house cleaner.  Don’t worry about perfection here. Done is better than perfect.   

7. Give Yourself Some Quiet Time

Allow yourself some quiet time to be still and shut out all the noise that surrounds you.  Now, more than ever, we are surrounded with so much external input that is taxing on our mental energy.  Adding in some quiet time at the start of your morning or at the end of the day can really set the tone for a good day and restful sleep. Spending some time in mindful meditation can help us to recenter and refocus.  I like to start my day by waking up fifteen minutes earlier so I can spend some time alone sipping on my morning lemon water.

 How do you practice self-care?

Created by Silvia Rocca, Registered Holistic Nutritionist @ SilviaRocca.com

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