Seven Ways to Practice Self-Care

I originally had planned to write about another topic today but after an incredibly inspiring weekend at the Grander Summit, I wanted to talk to you all about self-care.  It is so important to take care of yourself.  I think that people get so busy with life, their work, and their loved ones that they forget to take a second and listen to their bodies and their own minds.  I have a few takeaways from the summit and just a bit of experience with anxiety and needing to take a breather so I came up with this list of seven ways to practice self-care.

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  1. Meditate.  Easier said than done, I know. During the summit, Nastia Liukin (Grander is her company) asked about how we can stay out of our own head while mediating.  What I learned was that you should breathe in through your nose, counting to three.  Then breathe out through your mouth, counting to four.  Focus on that.  It is okay if thoughts creep.  Act as if they are clouds passing by.  Acknowledge the cloud and then let it continue on its' way.
  2. Drink enough water.  Most people do not drink nearly enough water throughout their day.  This could lead to things like dehydration, headaches, tight muscles.  Use a fun cup with a reusable straw.  I always feel like if I am using a straw, I drink more.
  3. Create a ritual that brings you joy.  It could be making the bed, lighting a candle, hugging a significant other, or diffusing essential oils.  Whenever T and I get home from work, we always make sure to give each other a hug before doing anything else.  It makes me happy that he knows that I will always need a hug at the end of my work day, good or bad.  Simple and joyful rituals help us to stay grounded.
  4. Exercise.  This one is something that I dread but it truly does help.  After I retired from gymnastics (aka graduated), I was a bit lost on the whole working out thing.  I will write a post about that another time but when I do get into my groove in the gym, it feels so so good.  I often find that working out clears my mind and refocuses my energy on what I am doing instead of what is running through my head.
  5. Forgive yourself.  Holding things against yourself is never a good thing.  You need to learn to let. it. go.  Anger and grudges hurt no one other than the person holding them.
  6. Let go of people and things that don't bring you joy.  These things are holding you back from living your happiest life.
  7. Allow yourself to feel whatever it is that you are feeling.  If you hold onto something, those feelings will persist.  If you are able to feel those feelings and get the tears or anger out of your system, the sooner you will be able to move on.

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