It's a tough world out there, but with a little TLC, any woman can tackle it with ease. The next time you have a challenging day ahead of you, remember to incorporate these five self-care practices — no matter what! — and you'll be conquering the world in no time.
1. Stabilize your weight and blood sugar.
This means no more extreme dieting, juice cleanses or fasting. Stop starving and start eating. The key to long term, sustainable weight management is consuming the right portions of lean, clean animal proteins, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates. Stick to a gluten- and dairy-free, low-glycemic Mediterranean diet for optimal health and vitality. What you consume 80% of the time is what really matters.
2. Reduce stress and toxins.
What is weighing you down? Toxic work environments, chronic complaining friends, or doom-and-gloom days only deplete your energy. Eliminating these triggers completely will not only benefit your overall health, but it will allow space in your life for all things positive and abundant (and hopefully set an example for others to do the same). I've chosen acupuncture, stretching and time in nature to reduce stress, toxins, feel more grounded and stay connected to what’s truly important.
3. Exercise right for your body.
Great news: strength training doesn't make you “big.” Stop dying ALONE on the treadmill or StairMaster. Start thinking outside the box and make working out fun again. Exercising will only be successful if you stay compliant, so find something that works for your body and stick with it. CrossFit, yoga, or group sports are great communities to join that keep you engaged and hold you accountable.
4. Ditch the guilt.
It takes more energy to hate your body then it does to love it. So you had an ice cream at your son’s birthday party, or too many slices of pizza and beer with your girlfriends on a Friday night? It’s not the end of the world. The biggest shame is beating yourself up over it, allowing your thoughts to make you feel inadequate. This creates a cycle of destruction that not only pushes you further from your goals, but can affect every other aspect of your life as well. I said earlier, what you do 80% of the time is what matters; give yourself some leeway to enjoy and celebrate life, while striving to stay healthy and fit. You'll thank yourself in the long run for choosing to love and appreciate your body instead.
5. Put yourself first.
This may be the hardest one for all women to accept and overcome. It is our natural instinct to take care of others before ourselves, but the truth is that making sure we're at 100% is most important for every single person around us. Even if it’s just five minutes to start, find time that's just for you each day, see how it makes you feel, then grow from there. You'll find it is the single, most important thing you do for yourself and your health in the long run.
I hope some of these lifestyle suggestions have motivated you to make some changes and start living your best life. It’s time to be treated like you deserve! Who’s best to start that process but you?