{Guest Post} How To Make Self-Care a Priority

Monica Barco is a Certified Holistic Health Coach who owns Nourish Health Coaching in Durham, NC. She offers group programs and workshops to people who wish to take ownership or their health journey.

Self care is simply an action (or actions) that you make to take care of yourself. This can mean different things to different people, depending on what is needed to achieve health on a physical, mental, or even spiritual level. It is about caring for yourself to help you move forward from wherever you are in your walk of life. It is something only you can give yourself. 

Self care is often looked at as if it is unnecessary, that it takes too much time, or isn’t a priority. Self care is actually just the opposite. Try changing “self care” in that sentence to “I”. “I am unnecessary, I take too much time, or I am not a priority.” That feels really different, doesn’t it? But really self care is how you care for that “I” person. 

Starting your own self care doesn’t have to be getting a massage, taking a hot Epsom salt bath, or anything that involves your body, if that doesn’t feel right for you. Start at a different level. Self care includes taking care of your emotional and spiritual parts of yourself too. 

  1. Taking time for a uplifting relationship. Taking quality time to spend with a friend who really builds you up can really help revive a weary soul. Sharing a leisurely brunch, a hike in the woods, check out a museum, or even just a long phone call can really make you feel valued and loved. 
  2. Taking time for meditation. The benefits of meditation are great in number. Some include stress management and release, clear minded thinking, and reduction of anxiety. If you’ve never meditated before, try not to overthink it. I know that some people think that it is overwhelming because they don’t know what to do. There are many ways to get around that. One is to follow guided meditation. There are some great free resources on The Chopra Center. Another is to find an app for your phone and try to follow those instructions. One that I like is called Headspace.  Another is to go out into a quiet place in nature that you feel comfortable. Sit comfortably and just listen to the sounds. Allow your mind to wonder, and if it gets stuck on something, refocus on the sounds, or how the sun is hitting your back, or how the breeze is tickling your neck. 
  3. Be grateful. Practicing activities that help you to be grateful promotes positive thinking, helps you look at all the little good things that happen each day, and helps you create stronger memories of your positive experiences. 

Try this quick exercise at the end of the day that promotes positive thinking:
Write down three good things that happened during the day.  Then, write down why each of them happened. Think about the impact these positive events had on your day. How would your day have gone if they had not happened?

To continue this exercise in the future, jot down things that you are grateful for each day. Some people put these on slips of paper and drop them into a vase or even a shoebox, and read them at the end of the year. If you get the whole family involved, it can be quite an interesting and uplifting time for you all to see how much what you do for each other matters.
So, as you think about ways that will feed you as the beautiful human that you are, take time to prioritize caring for yourself. You are worth it.

Monica is offering OTMB readers a 25% discount on The Art of Self Care, a 10 day program that begins on February 18. https://nourishhealthcoaching.com/art-of-self-care/ Use code: OTMB25