What I learned about emotional self care
The first thing I learned is that I struggle to feel well emotionally if I am not taking care of myself physically. If I am not exercising and eating well (more days than not), then I don't feel good.
Have you found the same thing?
I realized it's critical to take care of my physical needs first. It was a bit of a struggle at first, but now it has become a way of life. And no, I don't succeed every day. I'm human - I get off track sometimes.
Like a lot of people, it was hard to exercise consistently.
I learned that I just needed to develop a habit of exercising 3 times a week, first thing in the morning - whether I feel like it or not - and then it just becomes a way of life. I actually started to look forward to it (some days).
BUT I gave myself an out - if I absolutely hated exercising after 10 minutes, I could stop. But you know what happens - 10 minutes in and I'm starting to feel a little better so I keep going.
This can work for you too! I have learned that this works, so I now encourage you to try it.
Don't wait for the motivation to exercise to show up. If you're like me - it's not coming any time soon!
Just commit to 10 minutes and keep going - then guess what - you feel motivated AFTER you exercise. Remember how you feel after exercising and this can motivate you TO exercise.
I now exercise 4-5 times a week and it's just a part of my life (aka self-care). I always feel better afterwards, and that's what I try to remember. I don't pay any attention to if I want to exercise or feel like exercising - that's irrelevant now.
The second thing I learned is that I need to eat healthy foods to feel well physically and emotionally. I have learned from some of the best - Kris Carr (cookbook: Crazy Sexy Kitchen) and Cherie Calbom (book: The Juice Lady).
I went to an I Can Do It Conference in Florida almost 3 years ago and listened to Kris Carr speak. She is a vibrant woman who is living with a rare form of cancer (Stage 4 in remission for years). The #1 method of healing for her was nutrition - juicing, gluten-free, and vegetarian eating.
Her cancer inspired her to take better care of herself!
I was not doing ANY of these things when I heard her speak. She was so inspiring, and in no way pushing these ways of eating, but just telling her story.
I was so motivated by her message (and I didn't have health concerns), that I went into the lobby and bought her book (Crazy Sexy Kitchen) because I was worried it would be sold out by the end of her talk. That's how inspired and motivated I was! I have become a green juice convert and eat mostly vegetarian and gluten-free now and love it.
So even though I'm sure we're all tired of hearing about the benefits of exercise and nutrition, I encourage you to consider taking a look at this again with fresh eyes and maybe check out the books I mentioned or others on this topic.
Why? Because once you're feeling better physically, then the path to emotional self-care is a piece of cake (no pun intended) and the next logical step.
How would you like your physical self-care to be different?
If you decided to make one small change, what would it be?
What would change if you were physically healthy?
I just gave you 2 tips on physical self-care. Tell me the one that stood out for you and why in the comments section below.
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Hi! I'm Beth Matthews. I'm a Registered Psychologist who is driven to helping people feel better about themselves. I help people who are struggling in their lives gain an awareness of how they can cope with anything that comes their way. With my easy-to-use strategies, you can feel better and be your best you!