This is about the toughest week of the year… This is when we have Blue Monday, supposedly the saddest day of the year. Bills come in from the holidays, attempts at new habits start falling to the wayside, hibernation is knocking on our door, and things just feel heavy. It’s rough to get going on creating our Best Year Yet… What’s needed is an influx of energy to set us on the right path. The best way to do that is by Embracing Self-Care and Resilience…
Self-Care is one of the 4 Aspects of Self-Love we are working on to help us start the New Year right…
Self-Care is about taking good care of ourselves- with having a wholistic self-care practice that generates vitality, health and wellbeing.
There are a lot of definitions and information out there about how to do a Self-Care Practice. My Self-Care Practice is on steroids and became the Self-Love Practice we’ve been working on… LOL
I like to look at Self-Care as solely the activities that nourish and take care of our body and wellbeing: Sleep, exercise, nutrition/supplementation/hydration, grooming/hygiene and relaxation/mindfulness.
When we give these activities the proper attention, we are taking care of our “meat suit”, our human vehicle, so that it allows us to have a beautiful, full and long human experience…
When we take proper care of ourselves, we slowdown the aging process, we increase our health, vitality, longevity and ability to truly enjoy our life. Who wants to get to an advanced age and be decrepit? Or, worse be decrepit now or have a short-lived life?
Having a rich Self-Care Practice allows us to have boundless energy and larger bandwidth, be healthy and fit, look and feel amazing, have more focus and stamina, and the ability for higher performance in all areas of our life.
A rich Self-Care Practice gives us the ability to feel happy and joyous more consistently, to better self-regulate and to be less triggerable… It helps with our wellbeing and resilience…
Watch the video for Tactics to uplevel the 5 Pillars of your Self-Care Practice… Enjoy!
MONTHLY THEME GUIDE: Identifying Core Values
APPLICATION: Some see self-care as a mysterious concept and have the mindset that only privileged or lazy people can afford it. They might consider it a luxury or a waste of time to do things to take care of themselves… Or, they truly believe they don’t have the resources for it… If this is you, I challenge you to consider that you can’t afford not to invest in taking care of yourself…
You don’t have to invest a tremendous amount of resources doing self-care tactics, you just need to make targeted investments to get the results you want.
STEP 1 – Decide what is it you want in terms of your fitness, health, and wellness. How are you doing in these areas and how would you like them to be, how would you like to feel?
Take stock of your energy level, mood, health, fitness, and appearance. What can use some upleveling?
STEP 2 – Review the Pillars below and choose one to focus on that will address the area you want to target and that will give you the most immediate results.
Depending on your current state and lifestyle, you might need to start with the basics, or you might want more advanced and nuanced strategies.
I provide a range of ideas here to get you going, feel free to do additional research to take charge of the Pillar you identify as your current focus.
Pillar 1 – Sleep: Research shows that most people are sleep deprived. When sleep is the thing that detoxes and cleans, repairs and heals, and recharges us. We tend to short-change ourselves when it comes to sleep.
At the end of the day, it’s not really about the amount of sleep but the quality of sleep you get that allows you to go through all the sleep cycles several times a night to get the most benefit from your sleep.
The key is to have good Sleep Hygiene:
💤 Reverse engineer what time you want to get up in the morning, and back up to what time you’d need to go to bed to get up at that time while giving you an average of 7 hours of sleep.
💤 Start shifting gears for sleep two hours before your bedtime – no food, drinks, blue light
💤 Start your night routine at least 30 min before you want to be asleep – account for all the things you want to do before you fall asleep…
Like: Prepping for the next day, doing your skin care routine, activating your soothing bedroom environment, gratitude journaling, connecting with your partner, reading
💤 Commit to lights out and shutting down by your sleep time
💤 Set your alarm to wake you up at the time your chose and turn off snooze, get up when your alarm goes off
Pillar 2 – Exercise: You might be doing everything right, but if you are not exercising you won’t achieve your fitness, health and wellness goals… Which are needed to support the rest of the goals in our life and to truly live a well-lived life…
There are tons of myths about exercise, and exercising as we used to understand exercising is more harmful than good. For example, spending hours doing cardio to lose weight has proven to be an ineffective tactic (you lose muscle mass which slows down your metabolism)…
What seems to be better supported is a combination of:
🏃♀️ High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
🏋️♀️ Resistance Training
🧘♀️ Flexibility Training
You can create a basic workout routine that incorporates all 3 per workout session or on rotation that makes sense for your life and that is enjoyable for you.
And you can choose what types of activities to do for each. You can put in as much or a little into this as you wish as long as you cover your basics.
*Consult your doctor if you have any medical conditions.
Pillar 3 – Nutrition, Supplementation and Hydration: The key here is to understand your goal and to feed yourself accordingly in a nutritious and healthy manner… There are so many ways of eating and so many different diet protocols and they all contradict each other- your head can explode trying to figure out how to eat…
My suggestion is that if you are just now beginning to take charge of your consumption that you start small and with the basics:
🤩Reduce your caloric intake- consume calories in relation to how you spend calories, reduce to a reasonable intake that still provides you with enough energy and nutrition (for women an average of 1500 cal/day does the trick but do your own research to match your situation)
🥙Eat cleaner- just stop eating all the processed foods and junk, and greatly reduce your alcohol consumption!
🥗Step it up to even cleaner eating- reduce any inflammatory foods you recognize your body doesn’t like (bloat, pimples, constipation, foggy brain, etc.)- like gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts/other nuts, corn, cruciferous vegetables, beans, nightshade vegetables, sweeteners, onion/garlic, caffeine (increases cortisol levels!).
📞Consult a nutritionist or functional doctor– get specific guidance if you are lost, confused or need additional support for creating a plan that works for you and your body… And for proper supplementation.
💧Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate- Shoot for 32 to 64 onz (1 to 2 liters) of water per day and you can step it up as you desire… I’ve been using this bottle to give me a visual of how I’m doing…
*Consult your doctor if you have any medical conditions.
Pillar 4 – Grooming and Hygiene: This is totally a personal choice of course. But I have it here as part of taking care of our body. A groomed body looks better, is more youthful and lasts longer…
👁Taking care of our skin, hair, teeth, eyes (hydrating with eyedrops helps maintain good vision!), etc. goes a long way.
💄Minding our products is super important as we try to become radiant from the inside out and minimize the toxins we put in our bodies…
🧹Adding a detoxing routine is a great practice – like body rolling, face rolling and skin brushing.
Pillar 5 – Relaxation and Mindfulness: Can you believe that we forget to breathe? LOL
We might shallow-breath to get air in for survival, but in general we don’t breathe well. We don’t get enough clean air circulating through our body.
Additionally, we don’t stop to smell the roses. We are always on go mode or mindlessly taking a break or so called relaxing.
We don’t properly restore, recharge and rejuvenate.
Our daily routine needs to include practices for being present and grounded, intentional breaks, and restorative activities like:
• Breath Work
• Taking a break from our computer and other devices
• Connection calls
• Pursuing an interest or hobby
Regardless of where you are with your Self-Care Practice, it’s always nice to shake things up, spruce them up and uplevel them. Focus on the Pillar that makes the most sense for you to address first, then tackle the rest as you make progress.
Don’t take all this on at once. It can be very overwhelming to make so many changes at once, and you won’t be able to fully integrate them into your life if you start slipping up (which you will if you do too much at once).
Once you selected your Pillar, do the research, set up the routines, set up the supportive environments, put all the things in place to help you work your Pillar.
Have fun with this. This is a lifelong pursuit. Enjoy the process!
Wishing you much joy, connection and love today and always…
With Much Love & Light!
Copyright (c) 2022 Emma K. Viglucci. All rights reserved.
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Emma K. Viglucci, LMFT is the Founder and Director of Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC, a private practice that specializes in working with couples, she is the creator of the MetroRelationship™ philosophy and the Successful Couple Strategy™ that assist couples succeed at their relationship and their life. Stay Connected™ with Emma and receive weekly connection notes in your inbox with Personal Development and Relationship Enrichment insights and strategies, visit: www.metrorelationship.com