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Include Physical Self-Care this New Year!

It’s a new year and I am looking forward to adding physical self-care as well as some emotional and spiritual self-care. I am excited to look ahead to what the new year has in store for me, but I also want to be living in the moment and enjoying life. And not dwelling on the “what ifs” of the past.

What is self-care?

First of all, I want to mention that self-care is not selfish or extravagant, but it is a way to cope. Or consider it a survival skill to include to help heal yourself inside and out. Taking care of yourself helps prevent burnout so you can take care of others and continue to help you do other things that need to get done.

Self-care is one of the ways that you can care for your health and bring you happiness!

I like this article and how it describes what are some of the misconceptions of self-care. It also has some good information on what short term and long term goals of self-care may look like. What Is Self-Care and Why is It Important? (verywellhealth.com)

 I have put together an action for happiness Calendar for the month that you can download with ideas to take care of you at the end of this blog post. We will also discuss self-care goals and ways to make a self-care plan.

First, let’s talk about some of the aspects of self-care.

Areas of Self Care

I love how this article on Every Day Health breaks down the aspect of self-care What Is Self-Care, and Why Is It So Important for Your Health? (everydayhealth.com)

It divides self-care into physical, emotional and spiritual health needs. Let’s talk briefly about some of these and I have included some examples.

Learning more about these three sides of health will help define take care of yourself. After we discuss these self-care areas, we are going to talk about some self-care goals.

Physical Self Care

Physical self-care includes the necessary things in order for our body to be healthy. This includes exercise, sleep, eating healthy foods and going for preventive care. As I registered dietitian nutritionist, this is the area that I work most often with my clients. However, we also talk about our whole self in order to be healthy and this includes our emotional and spiritual side.

Emotional Self Care

Here are some examples of emotional self-care saying no when it is not good for your well-being, spending enjoyable time with family and friends, taking a needed break from work and taking care of yourself and including positive self-talk instead of negative self-talk (that internal voice in our head that can wear us down).

I don’t have to tell you that often our worst critic is our very own self! I don’t understand why we want to put ourselves down when we can be the one person at any moment to build ourselves in a whole, healthy person is one of life’s most mysterious questions. I had a client who used to set a goal to “Be her own best friend”.  I love this concept so much; it was my inspiration for this post. 

 Recently, another client shared with me that her new year’s goal was to embrace herself with healthy hugs and be good to herself. I absolutely loved this and told her that I was going to share it! So, as we unwrap this brand-new year and make it ours, let’s sprinkle it with bits of self-care and love!

Spiritual Self Care

Taking care of our spiritual side can include being in nature, meditation and embracing our faith/spiritual practice. I love hiking in the forest and looking across the mountains and waterfalls. When I am there, I am transformed. The science of forest bathing: 5 ways it can boost health and lower stress : Life Kit : NPR

 Taking care of our own physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs and it plays a big role in helping us stay healthy and also helps manage our stress!

This article further breaks down self-care into 5 areas so in addition to physical, emotional and spiritual, it adds social and mental as separate categories. 5 Self-Care Practices for Every Area of Your Life (verywellmind.com)

candles and incense can be great ways to relax
Find the best way for you to decrease stress!

10 Ways to Take Care of Yourself

Make the commitment to get started on self-care. Can you guess which ones are physical, emotional or spiritual self-care? Feel free to comment at the end of the post. It would also be wonderful to hear which ones that you are going to add this year.

 

Implement Self-Care Self-Love

Here Are Some More Details How You Can Add Some of These Self-Care Self-Love Ideas

  1. Make a Self-Nurturing Box

    I love my “self-care box”. What to put in it? Put in what brings you joy and provides self-care for your health and stress management. Your box may look different than mine (see the above link on making one). Some of my musts are a pair of fuzzy socks, hand lotion, my latest knitting project and a good book. I can take my box with me too!
  2. Exploring the Health Benefits of Tea

    Drinking tea instead of alcohol and other high calorie beverages can be beneficial to helping you give yourself some self-love. It also can be a nurturing thing to do instead of eating when you are really hungry but are yearning for something to comfort yourself. I like to keep a variety of teas and drink my tea out of a handmade mug.
  3. Adding Mindful Moments

    Being in the present instead of thinking about things in the past that went wrong or worrying about the “what ifs” in the future can be less helpful especially if we are dwelling on them. Being in the moment and really paying attention can help ground you. Writing in a journal can be a good exercise in staying present
  4. Getting adequate Sleep

    Staying on a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time can help you keep your circadian rhythm healthy and also it helps also with your habits. Staying away from televisions and screens at least 30-60 minutes also helps.
  5. Listening to Relaxing Music

    Listening to the news can be very stressful at times. Treat yourself to some relaxing music every day to calm and soothe you.
  6. Being Physically Active

    Get to moving to keep your body healthy and feel your best! Walking is always a great choice. Talk with your doctor to see if you need to take special precautions.
  7. Reducing Stress

    I hope that all of the things on list help reduce stress for you. Managing our stress is an important part of our health. Self-care is an important part of stress management.
  8. Self-nurture yourself with healthy eating

    Being a nutritionist here in Asheville, I always encourage healthy, delicious foods as part of your healthy lifestyle.
  9. Develop Healthy Relationships

    Making sure that the people who you are spending time with are caring and not self-destructive is important. If they are harmful to you, change the relationship with therapy and self-help or find new relationships.
  10. Being Grateful for the Things You Have

    Instead of worrying what everyone else has focus on all the things in your life that you are grateful for in your life. Things don’t always make us happy but gratitude for the most important things will. I am happy for my family and fruits, having food and shelter and being able to move my body and do some things that I love.

Next, we will talk more about how you can make your own self-care plan and set some self-care goals.

Setting Self-Care Goals

When setting self-care goals, make them ones that make you feel good and restore your health. It is also a good idea to choose one for physical, emotional and spiritual health.

However, don’t start with too many all at once. It can be overwhelming. You may want to try one thing for a whole week and then add another so you can build on your success.

How to Make A Self-Care Plan

  1. Making a commitment to get started on self-care

    Working towards commitment and making a plan to implement self-care is the start of the process. Setting goals to get started and creating a plan along with finding a support person to discuss what you plan to do and share how it is going can be helpful.
  2. Begin setting some individualized self-care goals

    See above for tips. You may want to do a needs assessment before you start your plan. Then you can set some weekly self-care goals instead of my doing something special each day like I have done on the feeling good calendar. Do what works best for you! This article from a previous blog post may be helpful for you setting goals.
    smart goals for nutrition (vineripenutrition.com)
  3. Take into consideration how you are feeling.

    Do the goals that you have set help reduce stress, help you feel healthy and happy? If not, adjust your goals to have your goals work for you! You also want to think about your stressors and challenges. In addition, you want to put time in your schedule to include self-care.
  4. Reach out for support if needed.

    A family, friend or health care provider like a registered dietitian nutritionist can help you talk through your self-care goals that you would like to achieve and provide support.

This Self Care Calendar is a Help Tool to Take Care of You!

Here are 30 ideas to help add more health and happiness each month! This action for happiness calendar is a self-care plan pdf to help get you started to taking care of you.

Use this for ideas to get started and get a blank calendar to include additional ideas to take better care of yourself.

Additional Resources for Self-Care for a Healthier You

Taking care of ourselves is an important part of our health care. Here are some “take care of you” resources.

 1. Here are some resources from a TED Talk and Bustle that also have some great ways to take care of yourself! 

https://www.ted.com/playlists/299/the

http://Bustle Self Care Post 

2. Here are some other articles on Vine Ripe Nutrition that you may also find helpful creating your self-care journey:

self-nurture (vineripenutrition.com)

importance of healthy habits (vineripenutrition.com)

https://vineripenutrition.com/finding-the-joy-this-winter/

Your Action Plan for Self-Care Self-Love

I will be sharing lots of ideas throughout the month to inspire you on the Vine Ripe Nutrition blog and social media. I hope that you will try some of these along with me and share some of your suggestions too! It is so important to add self-care for health and stress management. Self-care helps keep our entire bodies healthy!

 Add a little self-care and self-love to your life! Self-nourish more!

As an Asheville nutritionist, I love helping my clients live healthier lives and providing support for self-care is part of this. If there is a way that I can help encourage you, here are some of the ways that I can help here.

In addition, if you are interested here is more information on our women’s nutrition program.

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