Embracing Self-Care and Wellness: Nurturing Ourselves

“Self-kindness: Being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self-criticism. Mindfulness: Taking a balanced approach to negative emotions so that feelings are neither suppressed nor exaggerated. We cannot ignore our pain and feel compassion for it at the same time. Mindfulness requires that we not ‘over-identify’ with thoughts and feelings, so that we are caught up and swept away by negativity.” - Brené Brown

Hello friends and welcome to what I hope is the beginning of our on-going exploration of self-care and mindfulness! Throughout this journey, we'll delve into essential topics aimed at helping us all prioritize our well-being. From practical tips to expert insights, join us as we navigate the path to a healthier and happier you (us)...

I hope you're all finding moments of peace in the flurry of Summer activities. June has this knack for sneaking up on us, doesn't it? As we dive headfirst into dance recitals, end-of-year parties, and the delightful chaos of kids returning home from college or little ones heading off to camps, it's easy to lose ourselves in the shuffle. But throughout all this hustle, there's a quiet invitation—to care for ourselves with the same tenderness we offer our loved ones.

On a personal note... I've been trying so hard to get back into exercising. I’ve had so many starts and stops throughout this year, which has left me feeling quite defeated. After speaking to my therapist about it at length, I've realized that I have a very unhealthy approach to exercise and "self-care." I was sharing my disappointment about how I can't even commit to 20 minutes a day anymore. Then she asked, "What would it take for you to commit to 20 minutes?" Without skipping a beat, I blurted out, "Well, I'm sure if I guilted myself into it and told myself that I would gain weight, I would be able to do it!" A-HA! Does this resonate with any of you?

I realized that my approach to self-care doesn't come from a positive place; in fact, it comes from a very deep-seated self-loathing space where self-guilt is in the driver's seat. Only then can I activate and motivate myself. So instead of exercising because I love my body, I'm motivated by my self-doubt and negative thoughts. Mind blown. I knew I was paying out of pocket for a reason :)

This week, let's explore what it means to embrace self-care and wellness and how to begin nurturing ourselves. It's about letting go of societal pressures, perfectionism, and the need for approval. It's about finding joy in simple moments—whether it's savoring a quiet cup of coffee or stealing away for a brief meditation in the midst of the day's chaos. Together, let's reclaim moments of peace and prioritize ourselves with the same love we give to others.

- Marichelle

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PRIORITIZE YOUR WELL-BEING

In the midst of the busyness, make a conscious effort to prioritize your well-being. This can be as simple as setting aside a few minutes each day to check in with yourself.

How am I feeling?

What's one thing I can let go of that’s not serving me?

What accomplishments can I celebrate today?

What do I need at this moment? 

What am I grateful for today?

Regularly checking in with yourself affirms the importance of your feelings and prevents burnout. This practice can be a powerful way to take care of yourself and show yourself the same kindness and understanding you would offer a good friend. Cultivating self-compassion is essential for emotional well-being.


CREATE RITUALS OF CALM & "ME TIME"

Incorporate small rituals of calm into your daily routine. It could be a morning walk, a few minutes of journaling, or a nightly skincare routine. These rituals don't have to be time-consuming; even five minutes of deep breathing or stretching can make a significant difference. The key is to find activities that help you center yourself and bring a sense of peace.


FIND JOY IN THE LITTLE THINGS

Often, we overlook the small moments of joy scattered throughout our day. Take a moment to appreciate the warmth of the sun on your skin, the sound of laughter, or the taste of your favorite ice cream. These little moments can be powerful reminders of the beauty and joy that exist even in the midst of a hectic schedule.


SET BOUNDARIES

It's okay to say no. Setting boundaries is an essential part of self-care. Recognize your limits and don't be afraid to protect your time and energy. By setting boundaries, you create space for activities and people that truly nourish you.


CONNECT WITH NATURE & SUPPORTIVE PEOPLE

Spending time in nature can be incredibly rejuvenating. Whether it's a hike in the woods, a stroll on the beach, or simply sitting on your porch or deck, nature has a way of grounding us and providing a sense of tranquility. Surround yourself with a support network of friends and family who uplift and encourage you. Share your struggles and victories with them, and rely on their support when needed.


SET REALISTIC GOALS

Breakdown your goals into achievable steps and celebrate each milestone along the way. Avoid pressuring yourself to be perfect and remember that any progress, regardless of size, is still progress.


PRACTICE GRATITUDE

Gratitude is a powerful tool for enhancing well-being. Take a few moments each day to reflect on what you're grateful for. This practice can shift your focus from what's missing in your life to the abundance that already exists, fostering a positive and contented mindset.


EMBRACING AUTHENTICITY

In our quest for self-care and wellness, embracing authenticity is vital. As Brené Brown wisely says, “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we're supposed to be and embracing who we actually are.” Allow yourself to be vulnerable, to show up as your true self, and to honor your needs and desires without judgment.

This summer, let's commit to nurturing ourselves with the same love and care we extend to others. By embracing self-care and wellness, we can create a balanced and fulfilling life, rich with meaningful moments and genuine connections. Here's to a summer of authenticity, self-love, and boundless joy.

 

RESOURCES:

- Brown, B. (2010). *The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are*. Hazelden Publishing.
- Mind, Body, Green. (2023). 7 Simple Self-Care Practices That'll Help You Stay Grounded
- Psychology Today. (2022). The Importance of Setting Boundaries

 


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