The Art of Self-Care
If there is one thing that I have learned over the years as a mother, healthcare practitioner, entrepreneur and now author, it is that you must take time to nurture yourself each and every day. I hate to be the one to tell you this, but no one else is going to do this for you.
You need to be the one to make the decision and take action to make your health the priority. There are nine everyday ways to practice self-care for better health. We all need to make it a priority to take care of ourselves so we can care for others.
We all feel that we have an overabundance of demands placed on us. Work, family, social obligations and philanthropy efforts all tend to take precedence over our individual needs.
We put off eating intentional and delicious food in favor of convenience. We put off the exercise that we know we need in favor of the unexpected requests from the people we love or because we are just too damn tired.
We don’t want to disappoint or inconvenience those people in our lives that matter to us. In general, we procrastinate and lower the priority on the things that will keep us healthy and vibrant.
In that light I want to remind you that there is a reason that the airlines instruct you to put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others. If you don’t take care of yourself first, you will not be in a position to help others.
Making Health Your Top Priority Serves Two Purposes:
- It positions you to be able to care for others
- This leadership sets an example for everyone else in your life, making a commitment to healthy habits contagious.
When we give ourselves some grace and dedicate time daily to nourish our bodies and souls, we cultivate a deep respect and love for ourselves. This is the source of natural beauty – radiant self-love.
Sure, we all have a daily routine of some sort. Most often we fly by the seat of our pants going through the motions, rarely spending these moments really being present with ourselves or practicing gratitude. These little daily rituals are really meditations on self-love.
What is the point of all the label-reading, organic food, green drinks, exercise classes, creams, serums and masks, if at the end of the day we don’t love ourselves?
There is no one-size that fits all when it comes to a morning routine. It will take some trial and error to figure out what works best for you and your unique situation.
The Top 9 Everyday Ways To Practice Self Love For Better Health
1. Daily Intention
Before you race out of bed, take a few moments to set an intention or affirmation for your day. This will help to keep your mind “right” when chaos ensues.
I suggest drinking at least 16 ounces of water first thing. Drinking an ample amount of water is the single most important thing you can do on a daily basis to influence better health.
Strive to drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water every day. You may require more if you consume sugar, caffeine, alcohol or certain medications. Pregnancy, altitude and age can also increase requirements.
What goes in must come out. Elimination is the key to optimal health. The body loves routine, give it that in the mornings. You should have a full elimination at least once per day.
If this is not happening, you should have a conversation with a healthcare practitioner that specializes in gut health. One who will partner with you to get to the root cause of your imbalance.
4. Tongue Scraping
Using a stainless steel or copper tongue scraper, scrape the tongue 7-14 times to remove the buildup of plaque and bacteria from the tongue before brushing the teeth or oil pulling.
5. Oil Pulling
This is a powerful practice of swishing oil around the mouth to remove bacteria from the teeth and improve gum health. Cold-pressed coconut oil is recommended because it is effective at killing bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Take 1-2 tablespoons, and without swallowing, circulate around the mouth for 5-20 minutes. The full practice is 20 minutes, but it takes a few weeks to build up to this. Brush your teeth well after spitting the oil out (DO NOT SWALLOW).
6. Dry Brushing
This is the practice of brushing your skin with a natural bristle brush to remove dead skin and stimulate lymph drainage in the body. Start at your feet and work your way towards the heart with a gentle pressure.
After scrubbing the dry body for 5-10 minutes, apply a very liberal amount of coconut oil, untoasted sesame oil or sunflower oil. Oiling the skin before you shower protects your body’s natural oils.
7. Cold Shower
A mindful shower cleanses impurities from both the mind and body. Finishing your shower with cold water for 30-60 seconds helps to stimulate your Vagus Nerve, calm down your nervous system and boost your resilience.
Take at least 5 minutes to be still. Sit with yourself and observe what is present today. If you prefer a moving meditation (yoga, tai chi, running), do this and try to approach it with a still and clear mind.
9. Morning Green Drink
This recipe is a fan favorite! It is easy to double or triple, and the green drink will keep for up to two days in the refrigerator.
These daily practices may sound overwhelming to start with. If you’re worried about not having enough time in the morning, pick two activities to start with and add from there. Side note…Don’t forget to take care of your eyes too.
Most importantly, create a space of self-love as you move through any practice. When you make your morning routine a sacred ritual of self-love, you will cultivate true beauty, radiate love and fully embrace the miracle that you are.
Don’t forget to take care of your mouth and teeth. For whiter brighter teeth, read more here.