6 Ways to Discover Your Passion for Self-Care and Wellness
February is well underway, and hopefully by now you have begun to feel secure with the health goals you have set. While the snow and cold continue to visit, many of us find that our thoughts turn to love relationships. The media’s projection of Valentine’s Day suggests we shower those we love with cards, chocolates, and flowers. While it is wonderful to express your love to others, at any time of the year, it is even more important to love yourself. When you love yourself, you take care of your physical and emotional health. You ground yourself with people who support and care about you, and you have a lifestyle and schedule that honors both your commitments and responsibilities, as well as provides you time for rest, play, and rejuvenation.
For a variety of reasons, many people find themselves in the role of being a caretaker or giver to others. It is easy to fall into that routine when your life is full of responsibilities. Some people, if they have a low self-image, use their role as caregiver to boost their own self-esteem. Often times it just seems easier to take care of everyone else rather than focusing on what we need to do to take care of ourselves.
Over the past few months we have talked about the need to take care of and nurture you. The pilot who tells passengers to put their own oxygen mask on first before helping others isn’t that far off the mark. If you don’t take care of your own wellness first, you are less able to help others and feel good about yourself. Sounds great, but how do you get to that place of putting yourself first? Passion. When you are passionate about self-care, everything else seems to fall into place more easily. Passion helps you live the life you were meant to live, and sustains you when times are challenging. Sometimes finding this passion is hard if you are used to devoting yourself primarily to others. Here are some suggestions to help guide you:
- Take an honest inventory of your health strategy strengths and weaknesses. Use your strengths to drive your self-care plan. If you are better at walking a few times each week than using a machine at the gym, keep walking rather than beat yourself up for not making it to the gym as often as you’d like.
- Explore your health interests and find something new you want to learn about. Perhaps you have wanted to try a certain exercise or cooking class. Now is the time. The more interested you are in what you are doing, the more likely you will stick to your routine.
- Think back to the things you loved to do as a child, when you could lose yourself for hours in a favorite activity. Find ways to tap into those memories and try to incorporate those things into your self-care plan.
- Use a positive support network. Change is easier when you have people to share the journey with. Organize a lunch group walk, invite your partner to cook a new meal with you, or even use online support groups for networking. Sharing victories and challenges with others who understand will help you stay positive and focused.
- Along the same vain, change up your routine if you are feeling stagnant. Try some foods you have never tried, experiment with new healthy recipes, or switch up your exercises.
- Each day write down at least one thing you are grateful for in your life, and at least one thing you are proud of yourself for doing that day. Gratitude and recognition of things you are doing well can shape your attitude. Seeing your list of successes grow is also a wonderful reinforcement.
Passion, like change, is a process- it doesn’t happen overnight. We have to discover the things we love the most and are good at, and use those things to steer us in the right direction. We all have times when it is easier to take care of ourselves and times when it is more of a struggle. Remember that every day is a new day, and if you keep taking small steps, you will realize your goals before you know it. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help.
Next time we will give you some information on heart healthy snacking, focusing primarily on veggies.