Have you been feeling tired and sluggish with the cool change in the weather? Not feeling motivated to look after yourself? Well if you answered a big yes, then it is definitely time we talked about ‘self-care’. We can’t change the weather, but we can change our perception and take action to add extra nourishment and self-care to support our whole being during this seasonal transition.
Make it a non-negotiable
Self-care is essential, necessary and should be prioritised. So many of us feel guilty for taking time out for themselves. Our body is great at sending us cues when burn out starts to creep in, we just need to stop and listen.
Why is self-care so important? It keeps overwhelm from taking over – reducing stress, it keeps us creative and passionate, it encourages our body to enter a para-sympathetic nervous system state (a rest and restore mode), your productivity increases, you reduce stress and inflammation in the body encouraging better digestion and detoxification, and most importantly you feel happier. Sounds pretty good, huh? This flow on effect of self-care transcends to greater self-love, and the more love we have for ourselves, the more we can give to others. You can’t pour from an empty cup!
Try these 3 self-care tips:
- Dry body brushing – how great would it be to have a self-care practice that take less than 5 minutes, leaving your skin feeing soft and rejuvenated? The skin is the largest organ in the body and often the one we most neglect. Dry body brushing is a natural wellness practice to encourage the excretion of toxins while helping stimulate the lymphatic system, it unblocks clogged pores and removes dead skin cells.
- Practice taking good care of your microbiome (gut health), ensure your vitamin and mineral status is well looked after and nourish your skin with essential fatty acids to boost dull looking skin. With the cool season in full swing, our skin can become more dry and flaky. Did you know this can be driven by a lack of healthy fats in the diet and dehydration. Fill your plate with at least 70% vegetables – think vibrant colour, dark leafy greens, seasonal vegetables – sweet potato, cauliflower, zucchini, watercress, eggplant, and enjoy healthy fats – avocado, extra virgin olive oil over salads, walnuts, chia seeds, fatty fish (wild caught-salmon, sardines), coconut oil (great body moisturiser for the harsh winter elements).
- Hydrate – I’ve noticed a trend lately in-clinic, hydration levels are dropping off. This is no surprise as the cooler weather kicks in. This non-negotiable nutrient needs to be an essential part of self-care. The body is largely made up of water, without adequate hydration your body can’t function at its best – not to mention, the toll it takes on skin health. What to do? Create a habit. Like all habits, consistency is key! Set alarms and reminders on your phone, expose yourself to the stimulus frequently (i.e. have your drink bottle close by).
My personal health hack is to wake up and before I do anything else I will drink a big glass of water, hydrating my body after a good nights sleep. Extra ways to boost total hydration includes drinking more herbal teas, soothing organic bone broth and vegetables juices. A question I get asked a lot is “how much water should I be drinking?” – a good aim is around 33 millilitres of water per kilogram of body weight (i.e. 73kg person equates to around 2.4L) . This is an estimate as there are factors that will vary your optimal hydration level – exercise, alcohol and caffeine consumption, etc. Don’t forget, plant foods contain a higher water content – thus, another great reason to add them to your plate.
Whatever self-care means to you, make a commitment to yourself to take better care of you.