We’ve all heard the phrase, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” and I am here to tell you that is the truth!! So, how do we fill our cups? There are many things you can do and in this blog I will share with you my top 5 suggestions for how to take care of YOURSELF with my self care ideas. This list will include self care activities, self confidence tips and ways to better yourself so you can make your own self care plan. Self esteem, self confidence, and self worth are so important and you cannot get to these things without practicing self care, and self love. The world asks so much of us and we put so much pressure on ourselves we often become overwhelmed and for most people they put them selves last in the order of things and people who need to be taken care of. When this happens we burn out, when we burnout we cannot show up for others, therefore to me taking care of yourself is absolutely NOT selfish. We must take care of and improve ourselves so that we can continue to be contributing members or our society that have the capability to be present, to connect, and to be our best selves, so that we can help others to do the same. So, let’s dive right in and answer the question,”How can I improve myself?” Disclaimer: not all of my suggestions will feel like they are for you, because they are what has worked for me, hopefully you can find something that speaks to you.
Step 1: Personal Growth and Self Development
One of the things I swear by that I think is a great place to start is investing time in your personal growth and self development plan. As a health and fitness coach, my team and I commit to a minimum of ten minutes of personal development a day. See, taking that first step toward taking care of yourself is not that hard at all!! We all have 10 minutes that we can set aside, if you really think you can’t find it, contact me and I will surely help you cut something out to make the time, because let’s face it, saying we don’t have time is really just a way of saying that whatever it is we are CHOOSING not to do, is NOT A PRIORITY. Often times low self esteem, or lack of confidence can lead us to believe we are not worthy of setting aside even ten minutes for ourselves, but the reality is if we don’t make this time, we can’t move toward self improvement. This personal development material can come in the form of a book, an audio book, a podcast, a motivational video, there are so many options. I personally love audio books and some of my favorite authors are: Brene Brown, Eckhart Tolle, Gabrielle Bernstein, Jen Sincero, Tony Robbins, Jon Gordon, and Darren Hardy. Daren Hardy wrote a book called The Compound Effect, doing personal development ten minutes a day is a great example of “the compound effect” and how little actions each day lead to great rewards and outcomes. Developing a personal growth and development plan helps us to work on our insides, and this is how to build self confidence. Building confidence adds to our self care because when we are confident in ourselves we start to understand what we need and how to ask for it. This leads me to step 2.
Step 2: Learning How to Say, “NO!”
If you’re anything like me, you are a people pleaser in recovery. When we say YES to too many things and make too many commitments we lose sight of what we need, we lose time, and ultimately we use the ability to truly take care of ourselves. So this step is really simple learn to say NO. You are not obligated to anyone or anything. You do not owe anyone an explanation for your NO. You owe yourself the space that saying NO creates for you.
Step 3: You Are What You Eat.
We’ve all heard this one before and if there is any truth to it…well shouldn’t we pay attention to what we put in our bodies? Taking care of our temple is the ultimate self care and when we eat nutriciously we feel better, we have more energy to so all those other things on the list that make us feel taken care of. A few things that help with this are taking one day a week or plan out you’re meals ahead of time according to your budget and goals. Then taking a little time to prep and pack your meals so you always know you have a healthy meal or snack on hand to properly fuel your body. This will help more than just how you feel in your body but also your bank account…and who doesn’t want more money?
Step 4: Gotta Get Moving.
Ok now we’re onto the subject of you’re body being a temple. Well it is, it’s your temple, you’re vehicle, the shell that holds all of the wonderful things that make you who you are. Similar to how eating healthy meals makes us feel good, our bodies crave movement. We were not designed to sit at desks as we do or drive long distances in cars or to constantly be staring at screens (I know this is ironic considering you’re likely reading this blog on a screen). It’s actual chemistry that when we work out our bodies create endorphins which make us happy. It increases our blood flow which helps our bodies to heal and our minds to focus. Moving the body helps us to sleep and that is something most Americans are very clearly not getting enough of. When I started making time for my fitness I started with 20 minutes a day of dialed in movement and as I got stronger I moved into different modalities. Now I don’t sacrifice a day of movement. Similarly to needing to make time for that ten minutes of personal development I now non negotiably carve out 20 minutes to an hour because that’s the compound effect and that makes me feel good and helps me to reach my goals.
Step 5: Mindfulness and Meditation
For some folks quiet time seems absolutely dreadful! Let’s face it, some of us have a lot going on in or minds, all people have experienced trauma in one form or another and sometimes we don’t want to face the truth or that inner voice. That’s ok! However, once you do take the time to look inward, to be still you find the balance and truth of the mind and the self. Not everything in there is painful or stressful and the more time you take to tap in the more you clear all that out and make room for new ideas, for growth, for connection to yourself and perhaps any spiritual realm you subscribe to. For me my meditation and mindfulness isn’t just sitting on a pillow chanting OM (although that is a form I do use), it’s taking a walk with my dog, it’s observing my surroundings, it’s yoga, it’s being still, it’s connecting to nature. It’s remembering and repeating to myself that the ONLY thing that is real is the present moment. (Remember that personal development I was talking about? Check out Echkart Tolle: The Power of Now.) if you’re one of those folks that needs more guidance and don’t feel like you can do it on your own, there are so many resources: YouTube videos, apps like Headspace, a local class, you name it. When you’re ready to find it, a way will be there.
Will You Take the Time to Fill Your Cup?
Now remember that empty cup I was talking about? If you sat down and imagined your body as your favorite beverage (I’m thinking cup of coffee) how full would your cup be? I am a huge fan of making lists. If your cup is missing some liquid it’s time to start finding the self care activities that will fill it back up. I recommend making a list of all the things that bring you joy and start there! Maybe nothing I have mentioned is on your list but you want to: take a bath, call a loved one, paint your nails, go to the ballpark, have a glass of wine, go grocery shopping (that’s actually one of mine), take a vacation. Whatever these things are start to schedule them into your life. Self care activities can be small or big!! I think it’s Jan important to schedule at least one small activity into EVERY DAY, yes, I said every day. Once you start the small activities it will be easier to move on tk the bigger ones and before you know it, you’ll be feeling better than ever and your friends and family will notice how you’re showing up for yourself and others. So guess what, self care does not have to be selfish because what it does is it gives you control back to be the best version of yourself, and who wouldn’t want to be around that person?
“Sarah Savino is my recommended Wellness and Nutrition Coach who resides in Colorado but has a community of clients she guides and manages nationally. She has her frequent retreats that her clients are encouraged but not required to attend and someone who knows first hand how it is to be overworked and overweight. She is a living truth that once within the right community and with the right guide, everything is possible. Check out her bio. under ‘Meet Our Team’, available on the website here.”- Dr. Shakib