5 Ways To Simplify Your Self Care Routine
Self Care is all about taking care of yourself, without reliance on outside intervention as much as you can.
You and your body are intelligent.
And your ability to experience a healthy, happy, dis-ease free life is very much linked to your willingness to embrace the 7 principles of health on a consistent basis.
Remember, these principles are: Air, Water, Sunshine, Whole Foods, Movement, Passion & Healthy Relationships.
The problem is that due to the demands and pressures of a ‘time poor’ society, these simple principles are often overlooked due to more important ‘priorities’...and over time, this usually comes at the cost of robust, vibrant health and emotional wellbeing.
If you find it challenging to embrace a consistent Self Care routine, there are simple approaches to practicing it on a daily basis that won't place too many extra demands on your busy lifestyle.
The trick is to start from the ground up and to choose a level that you can stay consistent with.
So, let's start by focussing on the key foundations of good physical and emotional health, and then as these things become habit and you feel better, you can add layers on top from there:
1. Add More Plant-Food
You probably already know that there are great benefits associated with embracing a plant-based, wholefood lifestyle.
But if you're not there yet, the next best thing is to concentrate on adding MORE raw plant food into your diet than you currently do.
Try to work towards at least 80% of your daily food intake being in the form of fresh fruits, raw and cooked vegetables, salads, nuts, seeds and legumes.
Do this and you’ll be getting all the vitamins and nutrients that your body needs to function at it's best, whilst leaving space for you to enjoy other food groups and providing a little room for some cheat days and treats as well.
Here are some simple, practical tips that can help you get to work towards that 80% plant food level:
- Start each day with a fresh fruit and vegetable juice or a green smoothie;
- At lunch time, have a big green salad and throw in some chopped avocados, organic cheese, sprinkled with walnuts and chickpeas;
- For dinner, have a soup, stir fry, or bake a sweet potato and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, chopped chives and sea salt;
- In between meals, snack of raw nuts, dried fruit or wholegrain 'real' peanut butter sandwiches;
- When you go out for dinner, always start with a raw salad of some kind before you dive into the 'fun' stuff!
Learn more in What Are Whole Foods? 7 Benefits Of A Whole Food Diet
Avoid processed packaged foods and check labels for preservatives, stop counting calories and buy food that's as close as possible to its natural, unprocessed state and grown organically whenever you can (use your local Farmer's Markets!)
When it comes to juicing, it's best to prepare a few days worth of juice at a time so that it doesn't become a daily chore.
Experiment with juice recipes that yield plenty of juice, are simple and don't take much time to make e.g.
- Watermelon, Mint and Lime
- Pineapple, Apple and Ginger
- Apple, Carrot, Beetroot and Lemon
- Apple, Spinach, Cucumber, Celery and Lime.
Store your juice in glass jars and keep it refrigerated, it’ll last up to 3 days meaning you can make it in bulk without having to spend too much on preparation and then take your ‘living juice’ with you on the go.
Learn more in Fruit & Vegetable Juicing: What You Should Know
A discussion about plant food also needs to extent to the personal care items that you're using on a daily basis because your skin basically 'eats' whatever you put on it.
Avoid the plethora of toxic substances that are standard in commercial skin care and beauty products in the form of chemically-based moisturisers, deodorants, makeup, sunscreen, body washes, lotions, shaving aids and more.
Learn more in The Ugly Truth About Synthetic Skincare Products
Simplify your bathroom product routine and use pure essential oils for fragrance as a substitute for perfume or cologne as well as a host of emotional and physical self care benefits.
Here's a simple list of tox-free items that should have most of your daily personal care needs covered:
- Pure Castille Liquid Soap
- Plant-Based Face & Body Butter
- Salt Scrub Exfoliate
- Organic Deodorant
- Chemical-Free Sunscreen
- Organic Face & Beard Oil
Not only will you save time and money by consolidating but your body and health will thank you for it!
Our bodies are designed to move and need to be moved in order to keep our muscles and cardiovascular system in good shape and our joints and bones strong.
Regardless of what other forms of exercise you do, walking is number one.
Commit to a 30-45 minute walk outdoors in the fresh air, every single day.
Ideally, do it first thing in the morning, which not only gets your daily walk out of the way, but also helps to stimulate healthy thoughts and emotional balance, putting you in a great frame of mind before you go about your day.
Whenever you can, add extra walking in to your day by walking to the shops, gym or work if it’s not so far. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
To take things up a notch, choose a low impact form of exercise that you enjoy and can stay consistent with e.g. yoga, pilates, swimming, cycling, hiking or circuit training.
Finally, practice "Earthing" regularly where you connect your bare feet to the earth e.g. by walking on the sand at the beach or barefooted on the grass at the park. The earth is like a giant battery which delivers electric energy into your body when you connect with it directly, helping to attack free-radicals, reduce stress and inflammation and support emotional wellbeing.
3. Nurture Your Creativity & Passions
Having fun and devoting time and energy to the things you love and feeling like you're in tune with some form of purpose are essential components of Self Care.
Even if you feel that your life is not where you want it to be, or lacks meaning, it's important to practice self love by fuelling your passions and feeding your mind with positive information, which both contribute greatly to the formation of creative ideas and your sense of self worth.
- Set aside 30 minutes a day or a few hours a week to doing something that you love to do and stick with it
- Write in a journal or diary a list of goals or a ‘wish list’
- Write down creative ideas that come to you as you're going about your day
- Find a passion project that you can spend some time on without any expectations or pressure attached to the outcome (just do it as a creative pursuit)
- Create a vision board full of photos & images of things you love or would like to have in your life
As long as you’re persistent and consistent, whatever seeds you sow and nurture, will eventually grow and reap rewards in areas of your life even if you’re only taking tiny steps on a regular basis.
4. Take Time For Yourself
If you find yourself constantly serving others from the time you wake up until you go to sleep, it's time to prioritise some time for yourself.
It is difficult to show up as the best version of yourself for others if you never have any time to just be with yourself to recharge the batteries.
It can be as simple as getting up 30 minutes earlier than everyone else first thing in the morning and walking down to the park to breathe, reflect and set intentions for your day.
During this time it's a good idea to leave your cell phone at home so that you can not be distracted, focus on yourself and completely disconnect to the outside world for this short time.
‘Monkey mind’ is a term often used to describe the constant ‘chatter’ going on inside of us but quite often a lot of it does not even belong to us, it’s just conversations and thoughts being replayed like a stuck record as a result of constant exposure to sensory overload.
In order to put some ‘space’ between you and the rest of the world, it’s vital to have some time to yourself each day when you can be still to calm down your mind and body, reflect, feel your own emotions and contemplate what you’d like to be, experience and have.
The following are great ways to have time and space for yourself:
- Sit in a garden, park, beach or forest
- Walk barefoot in nature (Earthing)
This will not only serve mentally, but also physically and emotionally.
Learn more in 7 Ways To Deal With Anxiety & Find Inner Peace
5. Schedule Family, Friends & Fun
A schedule that is all work and no play, will eventually take it's toll on your physical and emotional health.
So, no matter what, it's important to make time to have 'fun' with friends and family as well.
Go ten pin bowling together, have picnic in the park, play monopoly, organise a game of basketball, football or beach cricket, or go boating or mountain biking. These types of activities are not only fun, but they're also great for bonding with those who are close to you.
Healthy relationships are one of the most vital foundations of Self Care and will impact your true level of happiness in life.
So instead of scheduling in work, meetings, gym and appointments and then fitting family, friends and fun activities with them around it, if you can, flip it around to give your people connections priority.
Always remember that complexity is the enemy of execution.
So keep things simple, stay consistent and be willing to open your heart and mind to ongoing growth. This is the true art of Self Care and the art of taking extra special care of yourself and your life.
Tolman Self Care.