2020, a new decade is upon us. The dawn of a new era. Many people start the new year off with resolutions or mantras such as, “New Year, New Me”, but fail to continue with these resolutions or even the mantras. I know I have. A couple of years back I wrote a blog about the 4 Key Elements of Self-Care. Let’s revisit the topic of self-care, why it matters and how to incorporate self-care into our daily lives.
Why self-care matters?
It’s important to make sure that you take the time to take care of your mind, body, and soul every day, not just when you are sick. Incorporating healthy eating habits, reducing stressors, exercising daily, spending time with your loved ones, or just taking a time-out when you need it can all be incorporated into self-care practices for years to come.
Self-care involves eating right.Have you ever heard of the proverb, “Let food be thy medicine”? I truly believe this, because, the foods we eat have a profound effect on our bodies, internally and externally. Food can keep us healthy or contribute to weight gain, diabetes, cancer, eczema, psoriasis, acne, etc. Likewise, eating the right foods can lead to improved overall health, such as improved mental awareness, a healthy gut which in turn means a healthy digestive system, clearer skin, and stronger hair and nails. Some self-care foods to incorporate in your diet include dark green leafy veggies, nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans), all fruits, and fatty fish (salmon).
Self-care involves reducing stressors.Let’s face it, we are all super busy. I’ve come to the realization that we are not living in a “village” like communal setting, unfortunately… So what are some ways we can reduce some stressors in our lives? Have a no phone at the dinner table rule. Sit together and eat each meal with your family (not in front of the television). Have conversations pertaining to everyone’s day. When my children were in elementary school, they taught me about the “rose” and the “thorn” conversation starter that their teachers taught them. Everyone goes around the table and tells their “rose," what happened good to them today and their “thorn," what happened that was not so good today for them and then we each discuss how the rose and thorn made them feel. This elementary school conversational starter is still incorporated into our dinner time meals until this day.
Self-care involves exercising daily.
We all know that exercising is good for us. But, did you know that exercise is good for your mental and physical well-being? Exercise boosts your mood, lowers your anxiety, gets those endorphins pumping, shedding excess weight, and not to mention it is excellent for your skin as well. Think of, “glowing skin!"
How do you incorporate exercising daily? With our busy schedules, it may be difficult to go to the gym every day. Try walking in your neighborhood, doing yoga, or utilizing YouTube for at-home exercises. If you can’t seem to fit in exercising daily, try every other day or 3 – 4 times a week then work your way up. This may sound daunting at first but trust me to stick with it and you will enjoy every moment of it.
Self-care means spending time with loved ones.
In other words, surrounding yourself with positive, uplifting people, be it your family, friends, or an organization you are involved in. A couple of weeks ago my husband and I went to have Sunday brunch at a local restaurant. A friend of ours was hosting the event, Brunch with Live Entertainment.
Brandon Vaughan is a local jazz musician who hired a local chef to cater New Orleans style fusion food at his event. Our children were at Sunday School for a couple of hours so we thought this would be a perfect time to incorporate some self-care time into our lives while supporting one of our friends. 😊
We were out for approximately 2 hours which was just enough to head back and pray with our children and friends at our local masjid (mosque), then head home to prepare for the start of the new week. If you’re in the area and would like to attend one of Brandon’s events or book him for an upcoming event, click here.
Self-care means saying “no” to others and “yes” to self-care.
I posed a question to my Instagram tribe earlier this month asking how they incorporate self-care into your daily lives? I received many common answers such as; relax, exercise, sleep, etc. But one word stuck out to me, and that was the word, “no”. Learn how to say “no” to others, even if it hurts.
This is something I think we all deal with, I know I sure do. I sometimes take on way too many tasks, knowing that more than likely I’m going to have a hard time fitting that task into my daily, weekly, or even monthly routine. Many of us feel obligated to say yes when someone asks for our time or energy. Understanding your boundaries and guarding your self-care time will empower you to politely say “no” so that you can continue with incorporating self-care into your daily lives.
Schedule your self-care time, and guard that time with everything you have.
It can be hard at times but it is extremely important to incorporate self-care time into your daily lives. Whether it is carving out a 10-minute walk, a 20-minute soak with your favorite bath salts, or your favorite Nailah’s Shea products, going to the movies with friends or enjoying good conversation with friends over tea or coffee. The more you can work self-care into your schedule, the better you’ll be able to grow, enjoy life, and thrive!
I would love to hear how you are currently incorporating self-care into your daily lives. Tell us in the comments!