Several months ago, I started claiming Sunday mornings as my own. I call them "Self Care Sundays" even though I don't take the WHOLE day for myself (though there's nothing wrong with doing that either!). I'm not a mental health professional, and I didn't really have a plan for these mornings...I just knew that after a long week of work, and kids, and chores, and volunteer work, and...life...And before I headed into a new hectic week...I needed to re-center and re-group and spend a little time focused only on me.
Some of you are probably applauding, and some of you are probably thinking that sounds selfish or spoiled or IMPOSSIBLE given all you're doing for everyone else in your life right now. You are just too busy.
"Burning the candle at both ends, so-to-speak, comes with significant consequences, which may include but are not limited to burnout, depression, anxiety, resentment and a whole host of other negative implications. Engaging in a self-care routine has been clinically proven to reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression, reduce stress, improve concentration, minimize frustration and anger, increase happiness, improve energy, and more. From a physical health perspective, self-care has been clinically proven to reduce heart disease, stroke and cancer. Spiritually, it may help keep us in tune with our higher power as well as realize our meaning in life." -Southern New Hampshire University
If you think taking a little time for yourself sounds like a good idea, but you have no idea how to even start...Start with eating! Self care includes giving your body nutritious, delicious food that supports both your physical and mental health. Did you know that many foods actually improve your happiness? Serotonin boosting foods include black beans, halibut, beets, and pumpkin seeds. Dark chocolate can improve circulation to your brain--improving concentration and energy! Red wine has resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant found to improve mood. Read more about mood and health boosting foods here -> 50 Foods That Boost Your Mood
Go for a walk! "
You've probably heard of a runner's high before, but did you know that walking can give you a walker's high? As you log miles your brain releases "happy" chemicals like serotonin and dopamine, that can lift your mood both during and after your workout. Walking outside has also been shown to lower rates of depression more effectively than walking indoors." -Prevention
My Sunday routine always includes a face mask and yoga, and I will probably be heading out on a walk today since it's one of the few days this month the rain isn't coming down in the Seattle area! Whether you are able to indulge in hours and hours of uplifting "me time," or you can only steal a few minutes on the other side of a locked bathroom door (hopefully the kids aren't banging it down) to mediate or take a bath, enjoy taking the time to just focus on you. Touch your spirit. Remember your dreams. Center yourself, and make your health a priority. I promise the coming week will feel less challenging if you are healthier and happier. xoxo