I’m totally not one of those “new year, new you” kind of people. I wholeheartedly believe that if you’re going to do something, you should start TODAY for the best success. But as each year comes to a close, we all naturally self-reflect on the past year and think of ideas on how to improve upon for the next. Whether 2018 was your best year yet, your worst, or maybe just an average year, there’s ONE thing we should all be mindful of, and that’s taking care of OURSELVES, first.
This may sound controversial to some but hear me out –
How can we be a light for others if we’re not a light for ourselves? How can you give out if you are empty? How can you show love to others if you aren’t showing love towards yourself?
Self-care is important for our physical, mental and emotional self. Having these things aligned creates a healthier lifestyle not only on the outside, but also in our minds.
4 ways to take care of YOU in 2019:
As a yoga teacher, I see this on a DAILY basis. People enter the studio tired, stressed and fatigued, then after they leave their mat following a moment of mindfulness, they have a newfound sense of tranquility and lightness – airiness some might even say. It’s a beautiful thing to watch both men and women of all ages who give to their jobs, co-workers, bosses, families, friends, responsibilities, obligations, and to-do lists every day take ONE of their 24 hours just for themselves.
They fill themselves up so they can be light for others. They create space for themselves so they can hold space for others.
Meditation is proven to lower stress, manage anxiety and depression, fight against cold and flu, increase focus and so many others you can read all about here. Maybe fitting a yoga class into your schedule every day doesn’t fit right now. Okay, try 3x per week. Still not working? Take one yoga class per weekend. Still a no-go? Ok fine, download the Insight Timer App. It’s free and whether you have 1 minute or 10 minutes this app has every meditation you can think of. I personally use this for my meditation practice and suggest it to so many friends and students. Meditate EVERY DAY, even if it’s just for a minute. You have got to take care of YOU.
2. Get Sweaty
Duh! Maybe it’s just me but the idea of becoming immobile one day in the future due to lack of physical movement, is not a chance I’m willing to take. Every single day – MOVE YOUR BODY. Go on a walk, run, jog, sprint. Take a yoga or dance class. Pilates, barre, Jui Jitsui. Boxing or cycling class. Go to the gym! Listen to a heart pumping playlist to get you through that elliptical session. Maybe after your sweaty cardio session, try lifting a bit. There’s countless ways to get sweaty, so go out and do it! It’s good for you, promise. Get your heart rate up. Heart disease kills 1 in 4 adults in America. UM, that’s insane! Especially if there are small things we can be doing to prevent that. Happy Sweating friends!
3. Eat Healthy-ish
This one is tough and I could rant for hours, but I’ll spare you. Because let’s be honest, I feel like millennials in general could talk about this for hours. We could all sit in a big organic, gluten free, vegan, paleo friendly circle and convince each other why our diet (or fad diet) is the best. But here’s the thing – you know your body better than anyone else, so do what works for you. What types of foods make you FEEL THE BEST mentally, physically and emotionally after consumption? Ask yourself that question, then eat those foods 80% of the time. I know you know this but typically, that looks like eating vegetables, more whole foods, less processed ones, minimal sugar, more protein, and drinking lots of water. These are the things your body truly begs for. I like to give myself 20% “grace” as I call it, because sometimes life happens and ice cream just tastes better. And also you can’t ignore that pizza on the weekend that seems to have been calling your name after a week of eating how your body asks of you.
4. Speak Positive
Start saying some nice things to yourself! My absolute pet-peeve is when I hear someone say “I can’t do (insert everything) because I’m not STRONG enough, SMART enough, FLEXIBLE enough, NICE enough, PRETTY enough, THIN enough, GOOD enough, OLD enough, LOUD enough……” What you’re insinuating is that you’re not enough. Seriously?! We both know that’s not true. Find one thing you love about yourself and say that thing every single day. I’m talking every. day. When that negative self talk crap starts up in your mind or comes out of your mouth, repeat that positive self-talk to yourself. STOP shaming and bashing yourself. If you can’t love YOU, how can you give your love to others? You got this.