When you think about living a healthy lifestyle, what comes to mind? For most people, diet and exercise are the first two things that pop up. The reality is that living a healthy lifestyle means focusing on self-care in ALL areas of our being, not just on our bodies. Self-care includes taking care of our bodies, minds, and spirits in many dimensions. Enter: the self-care series.
Over the next five weeks, I challenge you, the reader, to do one thing for your self-care every day. Each Sunday, I will publish a new blog post describing the theme of the week and I challenge you to do at least one thing from the list to focus on that dimension of self-care. I will be participating, too! Follow me on Instagram (@uncharted_territory_counseling) or Facebook (@unchARTedTerritoryCounseling) to see how I'm taking care of myself over the next five weeks! Use the hashtag #selfcareseries to share your progress.
We are going to start easy this week with physical self-care. What do you currently do to take care of yourself physically? Do you exercise, eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, and stay in comfortable environments? See the list below, borrowed from the self-care inventory published by NAMI (National Association of Mental Illness), and choose a few things to focus on this week:
1. Eat regularly (e.g. breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
2. Eat healthy foods
3. Exercise consistently
4. Get regular medical care for prevention
5. Take time off when sick
6. Dance, swim, walk, run, play sports, sing, or do some other physical activity that is enjoyable to self
7. Take time to be sexual
8. Get enough sleep
9. Take vacations
10. Wear clothes you like
11. Take day trips or mini-vacations
12. Make time away from telephones
How often are you doing these things currently? Were you surprised by anything on this list? What would you add to this list? One thing I would add is focusing on your environment. Physical self-care, for me, includes the safety and comfort of my environment. I know that I tend to be far more comfortable with less clutter around me, so cleaning my house is part of my physical self-care.
Which of the things on this list will you try this week? Don't forget to share your progress on social media with the hashtag #selfcareseries. Good luck and have fun!
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