I’m linking up with Mix and Match Mama and A Little Bit of Everything today! The topic is taking care of ourselves. I love this topic! I think it is important to be mindful of ways we can nurture ourselves so that we can maintain our health and give lovingly to those in our lives.
Self care is a broad term with different meanings and manifestations depending on the person. For me this means taking care of my physical health, nurturing my relationships, developing my relationship with God, and creating time for fulfilling activities. I have certain practices I strive to do daily or weekly to take care of myself in all of these areas.
Physical Health: When I was in graduate school I attended a presentation about sleep, and the presenter emphasized sleep, nutrition, and exercise as all key for maintaining a healthy life. The importance of the three has stuck with me, and I try to be continually improving in each of these areas. With sleep, I strive to have a consistent bedtime with a night time routine, including not looking at my phone before bed. I’m not the best sleeper though so this area can be challenging for me, but the book Sleep Smarter offered some great insights that I’m hoping will help me!
Nutrition is one of my favorite areas to focus on because well, I love food! I’m gluten free and although I do have a sweet tooth, my diet is mostly proteins, fruits, veggies, and a few GF grains. Don’t get me wrong though, there’s a ton of ice cream in our freezer right now 😉
Finally, exercise is the third area of focus. I grew up studying classical ballet, jazz, modern, and musical theater. I like to dance, but now that I’m an adult that is much less structured than it was when I was a student. I enjoy dance fitness classes as my primary means for working out. The dilemma comes around if I need to miss a class or if a class is canceled. Well, my workout kind of goes out the window. One of my goals this year is to pursue more exercise options. I look forward to continuing to work on this so I can set myself up for a healthy life.
Community/Relationships: One of my favorite ways to spend my time is with family and friends. I’m especially fond of time with smaller groups or one on one. As a general guideline I try to make sure I have one of each per week: date with my husband, phone call with my immediate family, and time with a friend (on the phone or in person). This doesn’t always happen perfectly, but usually I feel better when I’m able to nurture these relationships each week. As for community, I’ve found it necessary to be connected in my local community through work, school, parish, or volunteering. Having a place to be at home away from home, especially a faith based community, really helps me.
Relationship with God: This point is foundational to everything else I’m discussing regarding self care. If my relationship with the Lord isn’t my first priority, then everything else I strive for won’t be as fruitful. I incorporate daily prayer, time reading Scripture, Sunday Mass, and prayer with my husband into my weekly routine. Aside from specific prayer times, I strive to make my life centered around God, following God’s will, and growing as a virtuous woman.
Fulfilling Activities: The first few points are so central to meet my basic physical, emotional, relational, mental, and spiritual needs. But I also like to have fun by traveling, reading, writing, and listening to podcasts. I enjoy these activities that enrich my life and help me to value life long learning as well as grow as a person.
Taking care of myself is a big priority. I want to be able to give generously to God, my husband, my family, my passions, and my community. It all begins with filling my own cup so that I am able to give from a place of abundance rather than scarcity. I’m grateful for people in my life that encourage me as I take care of myself. I hope you enjoyed reading about my life, and please do take some time to reflect on your own self care!