By: Lauren Littlewood, holistichippiewriter.com
Self-care has been a hot topic in the last few years. People on TV and social media have encouraged others to take a little time for themselves by doing things like taking a bath with candles and music.
This is all well and good, but I want to expand the concept of self-care. Self-care can be reframed, past the idea of just taking some time out.
Self-care can reduce shame, improve health (both mental and physical), and foster compassion in yourself. So, how can you reframe the concept to create such a change?
Nutrition: With diet culture being as prevalent as it is, we often find ourselves using food as weapons. We restrict food, punish ourselves because of food and shame ourselves at every turn.
After years of brainwashing from diet culture and media, this is hard to change, but we reframe our mentality of good vs. bad food to an act of love for real self-care.
When you choose a meal, instead of thinking of what you ate yesterday, the calories, or your waistline, think about that meal as an act of love.
What can you eat that will show your amazing and powerful body that you love it? Something full of color? Something full of nutrients to heal and strengthen your body? Thinking about this before meals may help you make mindful choices about what you are eating.
Managing Overwhelm: In this day and age, we are constantly stimulated and spread in 500 directions. Then 2020 added social unrest and a deadly virus into the mix that just amplified our struggle with mental exhaustion.
We tend to manage our stress by watching TV or scrolling through social media. This either helps us avoid our overwhelm, burnout and stress or ends up feeding it.
Instead of hitting up Instagram, we can take those twenty minutes of wasted time and do something that will help us manage instead of avoiding the problem. For example, take those twenty mins and go outside. You can sit and listen to the sounds around you or take a walk.
Nature has a strong grounding effect on us. Going outside unplugs us from constant stimulation and reconnects us with ourselves. Just exist in your body without having to do or think of anything for other people. This is true self-care because you are acknowledging yourself and connecting with yourself again.
Exercise: I am sure you are tired of hearing about all the benefits of working out by now. Or maybe you already work out all the time, and you want to skip over this part. Please don’t skip it! This needs to be addressed.
Most people work out because they are trying to get or stay fit. It's aesthetically driven. But I want to challenge you to reframe your idea of working out.
Getting your daily exercise should be an act of love, not punishment. It should make you feel on top of the world, not shamed by it. Do a workout that makes you feel this. Feed your soul with it. Lift your spirits with it. Forget the calories. Forget the aesthetics. Exercise out of self-care and self-love.
If you are tired after a long day of work, do some yin yoga to unwind and reconnect with your body. It doesn’t burn a lot of calories, but it does reduce stress.
If you are upset or angry, do something to get that fire out of you. Maybe some kickboxing or going for a jog. It doesn’t have to be the same thing every day, and it doesn’t have to have a fitness goal attached to it because it is an act of care.
By reframing our idea of self-care beyond the scope of a bath bomb, we can take better active steps for overall health and well-being. Know that you are worth every bit of this self-care and self-love. Through these steps, you will not only make your life more pleasant for yourself, but you will also make being around you more pleasant for others.
Lauren Littlewood is a freelance copywriter and wearer of many hats. She has experience as a yoga instructor, holistic health coach, and physical therapist assistant.
This unique combination of experiences gives her dynamic, holistic health knowledge, such as mind-body connection and nutrition, backed by formal health care education.
Lauren helps clients increase site traffic, product sales, clientele, and social media shares with her expertise and unique flare. For more information, check out www.HolisticHippieWriter.com or her LinkedIn.