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Category: Self Care

What are the fundamentals of self-care?

yoga as self care

I’ve been talking a lot recently about self care: how it’s in my view, not a trend, but a sustainable way to listen to and have respect for your body.

 

Self care means different things to different people, which is where some of the confusion comes from. In essence, it’s about taking the time to do the things that refresh and recharge YOU.  For me, this is about making sure I get enough sleep, spend quality time with friends (and not just texting them), eating enough veg every day and making sure to practice yoga and deep breathing every day.

 

For you, it could be something completely different.

 

As with everything, there are some fundamentals to self care: eating well, maintaining good personal hygiene, moving your body everyday, finally quitting smoking and being in nature.

 

Everything in your body is connected and a daily self care practice tends to your mind, body and spirit. Which is one of the reasons I called my business Eat Love Move: a lifelong journey of health addresses all of these areas.

 

Of course, I’m not perfect and I need to take my own advice. I pulled back from a lot this past week as I was feeling drained, down and generally a bit out of sorts. I blamed it on needing a slow start to 2018, but really, I wasn’t taking care of myself properly. Not sleeping enough, skipping meals and feeling a bit overwhelmed.

 

I went back to basics and focused on eating almost all of my meals at home, sticking to a daily yoga practice, going to bed earlier and doing my alternate nostril breathing when anxious feelings started to creep up.

 

So tell me. What do you think about self care?

The 2017 Eat Love Move Holiday Gift Guide: For Self-Care (For You or A Loved One)

Self-care has been a big topic this year and rightly so. It’s a nice way to do little things to take care yourself to reset amidst hectic lives and uncertainty.

 

Self-care doesn’t have to cost anything and I worry about the commercialisation of this term. Sleep,  positive self-talk and eating well are the best forms of self-care and the first two are free!

 

Here are some ideas if you want to give a self-care themed gift to a loved one.

P.S. Check out my gift guide for the foodie in your life.

 

daylesford organic candle

I’m obsessed with these Daylesford Organic candles. They’re paraffin and GM wax free and smell amazing.  Perfect to light just before a yoga or mediation session.

 

diffuser

A wood and ceramic diffuser is a brilliant way to clean the air and can be very calming, especially when you add in a few essential oils. And your house will smell amazing too!

 

yoga with adriene

A subscription to the Yoga with Adriene Find What Feels Good app. A daily yoga practice can create an amazing sense of health and wellbeing. For me personally, it grounds and calms me, whilst being an incredible workout that has sorted out my dodgy back and right knee.

 

eat love move holiday gift certificate

A health & wellbeing consultation with me! Give yourself or your loved one the best start to 2018 with a personalised gift certificate for a consultation or value towards a package.

 

sister and co coconut scrub

I love this body scrub. It’s such a beautiful product that makes the shower feel like a spa. So rejuvenating and the matcha in it helps to give you a healthy glow.

 

plyopic yoga mat

A colourful yoga mat (that can go in the washing machine).  There is something nice about having your own yoga mat when you take yoga classes, isn’t there?

 

weighted blanket

A weighted blanket. These are amazing – they ‘trick’ the nervous system into thinking you’re receiving a hug or some form of touch and can help you relax and fall asleep more easily. Perfect for those times when you’re struggling to switch your brain off.

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Life with anxiety.

spring flowers at kew gardens

I’ve written a bit about anxiety on the blog before, but never really told my own story. Since it’s Mental Health Awareness Week, here in the UK, it’s time for me to share.

I recently ‘outed’ myself in a consultation with a friend at nutrition school.

She asked to describe how I felt when I felt anxious.

I described a fist clenching, gut wrenching experience, at its worst. A feeling that makes it necessary to prep myself for everyday situations, such as meeting new people, meeting new friends of friends. A feeling that makes it necessary to give myself pep talks to get through situations I would ordinarily be able to manage. A feeling that makes everyday situations seem insurmountable.

I don’t have anxiety, everyday, all day.  It’s at its worst when I’m not taking care of myself, when I’m drinking too much, not getting enough sleep, indulging in all of my food cravings. It’s during these times, my anxiety gets better of me and I go into crisis mode.

Over the years, I’ve learnt how to manage it. Eating well and getting enough sleep are key. Eating well to me, means eating at least 7 servings a day of vegetables (especially green leafy and cruciferous veg!) and fruit, adding in some nuts and seeds in different forms, getting good quality protein, mainly meat and some fish. It also means not having much sugar and drinking lots of water, some kombucha and lovely, warming  herbal teas.

I’ve discovered recently that alcohol exacerbates my anxiety. Which makes sense, knowing that alcohol depletes vitamin B6, a key vitamin for the production of serotonin, the feel good hormone. I was sad to say goodbye to my evening glass of red wine, but even happier to spend the day on an even keen mentally.

How you manage your anxiety? The more I research, the more I discover. There are so many different tools that folks tend to use, from deep breathing techniques, to CBT, to adding and subtracting food to and from their diet, to taking various supplements.

I supplement with a good women’s multivitamin, an omega-3 fish oil with a good DHA to EPA ratio and magnesium, which helps me relax and ‘unclench’ a little. On the advice of a collegue at school, I’ve recently started supplementing with inositol, a substance produced by plants and animals, that belongs in the B family of vitamins. It helps mood regulation and can reduce anxiety.

Fingers crossed, my cobbled together approach seems to be working well so far. What do you do to manage your anxiety on a day to day basis?

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