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Why I Shunned the Self-Care Movement
Self-care is such a big thing these days. But to tell you the truth, it's not something I've paid a lot of attention to. Mostly because of the name: self-care. I, like most humans, have a sinful nature that makes a big deal out of focusing on myself as it is, so I try to focus on tactics that are designed to center my attention away from myself and onto others, because I think we have a better mental outlook when other people are our mindset.
A Hard Wake-Up Call
However, August and September were a wee bit rough for me. A horrid UTI, followed by a little stomach bug, and then, ALLERGIES that were kicking my butt. Oh, also, a sty that was the mother of all stys moved into my eyelid and swelled up my face! I realized somewhere among the whole UTI ordeal, while I was in the midst of taking a boat load of supplements, that I hadn't been taking very good care of myself. And that maybe, just maybe, the whole horrid ordeal might have been avoided if I had. A solemn revelation, indeed.
So, while we should prefer others above ourselves, we definitely should, at the same time be taking care of ourselves. Health is important, both physical and mental As a busy mom of Two special needs kids, caregiver of animals and garden, and educator to 3, wife to one, and wannabe entrepreneur, I was focusing on all I had to get done and leaving my poor body, that is my vehicle to do it all, out in the dust! And while I still think it is important not to focus on us a whole lot, it is important to take care of ourselves! So here we have it. All the stuff that I learned while I was down - the important stuff! These all can be taken in daily doses, quickly and easily to STAY HEALTHY! Both physically and mentally. They are all very economical. This is the stuff to keep us on point, so we can go out there (or stay in) and rock our lives every day!
Must Do Self-Care List
- The Word and Prayer: Make sure you take AT LEAST a few minutes in the morning to read God's Word and speak to Him. Even if you regularly do a Bible study in the afternoon or evening, taking time to center your thoughts on the creator first thing in the morning will clear the cobwebs of your mind and give you clarity and peace to face your day. Even many non-Christians benefit from a few minutes of meditation in the morning, thinking good thoughts! Studies have shown that taking time to focus in the morning is good for your health. If your habit is to pick up your phone and look at Facebook first thing, get a Bible app. You can set up notifications for your phone so that you will see a verse of the day, or a reminder to read a devotion you have picked out, whenever you first get up! That is a much better way to start your day than Facebook. Promise.
- Get enough sleep! Getting enough sleep is key to your health. Our bodies were designed to get AT LEAST 8 hours a night. Some people function well on 7, but not as many as think they do. Sleep deprivation is one of the leading causes of health breakdown. When you have a sleep debt, it affects every function of your body. MOMS! I'm talking to you! In this busy world, many of us feel lazy if we sleep in, or take a nap, but our bodies need the proper rest. You must make rest a priority. God took a rest after creating the world for goodness sake! If God can let the entire world on its own in its first week of existence, I think it's okay to let the dishes go for an hour while you take a nap! We've all heard that you can't make up sleep. That is only partly true. While you cannot get time back, ever, a sleep debt sticks with you and your body demands that it be made good. Your body has ways of getting what it needs! Most are not very pleasant. Get enough sleep!
- Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV is a miracle cure-all! It brings balance to all of your body's systems and makes you well. It will also do an awesome job of keeping you well! I couldn't hack it for years, taken as a supplement- I liked it fine in salad dressing until I tried it with tart cherry juice. Since then I have enjoyed it with both cranberry and orange juice. Take a Tablespoon of ACV, add 2 oz of Tart Cherry, Cranberry, or Orange juice; add 1 tsp of honey (or not) and about 2-4 oz. of water! This is one of the best, yet the cheapest supplements you can take.
- Bone Broth is extremely nourishing. It is extremely economical, too. The secret remedy of grandmothers everywhere is not in the chicken, but the bones. And feet. It is full of minerals, it is a wonder for the digestive system, it builds your body up. A cup of bone broth a day. Plus use it in cooking. Some local butchers will sell you a whole bag of bones to make said broth with very inexpensively.
- Clay is also full of minerals. It is extremely detoxifying. Not in a "pull the toxins out of your cells and leave them to float around in your system causing havoc" kind of way, but in a "bind to the toxins floating around in your system and eradicate your body of them" kind of way! It is wonderful! We use this Living Clay for headaches, stomach aches, and MORNING SICKNESS!!!!! It works wonders. It helps you be more "regular", if you need that, too! You can also use it as a mask! Mix in a drop of lavender and you have a better-than-the-spa treatment!
- Essential oil go-to s One of our top used essential oils is Lavender. It helps with kiddo meltdowns, helps littles, as well as stressed out adults, fall asleep quickly. It stops bleeding. It is good for anything skin related. Another top oil in our house is Tea Tree oil. It, along with Lavender, helps teenage acne as well as stress blemishes and cold sores! Tea Tree is good to have on hand for bug bites, minor cuts, and rashes. It can be used on any area that might need to be disinfected as well. A wellness blend, like Thrive is a must when your defenses are down for any reason, or you know you have been exposed to nasties! And last, but not least, on our list of top used essential oils is a respiratory support blend, like Breath Easy. It makes life easier and more comfortable with allergies, as well as colds. These are a great place to start, you will want to get more!
- Laugh. Laughter is the best medicine! It is true, even scientific studies have shown that people who laugh regularly live longer! Laugh every day. At least.
- Eat right These days, if you take a walk down the aisle in the grocery store you can find hundreds and hundreds of items that our ancestors wouldn't even have recognized as food. They are fast, they are super easy, and they are cheap! But they are not food. They are mostly chemicals and artificial concoctions that our bodies do not recognize as food either! (no one gave your body the memo that we are in the modern age) If your body doesn't have the nutrients it needs to fight off sickness and disease, in a form it can use, you WILL get sick!
- Time to Play you would think, having kids around, this would be easy! It is so easy to put off fun times one hour at a time until you realize it has been days and days since you just relaxed (I am not talking about watching TV). Entertainment and Recreation are two completely different things. Recreation comes from the Latin "to create", it uses your mind and body in different ways than the mundane and thus is a refreshing experience that leaves you new and invigorated. Play board games, play physical games, knit, even cooking something fun, make something, have tea and talk. Recreation is Key to our human experience. The time you take to do it will manifest in the quality of work you do!
- Love Opening your heart up to others is foundational to the human experience! In an age where conveying information and ideas is super easy, we have become deficient in communicating. "Communing" with others is something we are meant to do. Opening up our inner thoughts and feelings as well as listening to other's desires and fears is healing. I'm not talking about posting on facebook that the pastor snubbed you in the grocery store, either! I'm talking about sitting face to face with a friend (maybe with a cup of coffee 🙂 ) and talking about what is going on in your life! It's all about late night phone calls that last for hours (thanks, Mom). and sometimes it's about crying your eyes out on someone's shoulder. Real relationships with real people in the real world. Love is action. Random acts of kindness. A timely smile. Listening when you don't have time. Being patient. Helping with a project. Stepping in when there is a need. Giving of time, money, or yourself. These actions generate a chemical "high" that our bodies and spirit need. They help promote our well-being.
So there you have it! My top Ten Self-Care tips for Wellness! Here's to being well all season long!
This post is part of a Fall on the Homestead round-up. To read all the other great posts, follow all the links below!
Frank from My Green Terra has 5 Things to Do in Fall on the Homestead
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