One of the most challenging journeys we face in this lifetime is helping, nurturing and taking care of those in our life—spouses, children, friends, partners, family and co-workers—without losing ourselves. The challenge lies in staying grounded and connected to who we truly are underneath it all. And remembering we are responsible for our own happiness. There are plenty of negative messages bandied around about how you are “selfish” and a “bad” mother if you do dare to do anything that makes you happy. Well, I and many other women say otherwise.
Self-care is being kind to yourself, nurturing yourself, so that you feel well enough to give back to all those around you, whether it be work, family or friends, so that you can stay healthy and happy. Life has been my teacher in this department.
Remember to make time to honour yourself, your needs, your dreams and your desires.
We often have to learn about self-care the hard way to get the message fully. In my experience, if you want to save yourself from burnout, breakdowns and insanity moments, you must schedule a little nurturing self-care into your daily calendar.
Happiness is what fuels you from the inside. How can you give to others when you can’t even give to yourself? If you try, all that will remain will be an unhappy, unhealthy, unbalanced vessel that holds resentment and a need to live their life through others. You know what I’m talking about.
Yes, we can all sense it when light, joy and vitality have drained from you and only a shell remains. Constant complaining, negativity, exhaustion and resentment builds. You lose your sense of playfulness and adventure, and age beyond your years overnight.
Remember to make time to honour yourself, your needs, your dreams and your desires.
By honouring yourself you will be able to model well to those around you and free others to live their life as they choose. It’s time to step up and take ownership of your own happiness and your health. Make today your first step towards the best you.
”It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.”
Keep depositing into that self-care bank account every day so you can reap the benefits long term as you journey through life. I guarantee you’ll need it. And your family, workmates and friends will love you for it!
Here are 21 ideas for regular self-care.
If you have one minute:
Close your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply for one minute.
Say kind words to yourself. “Thank you. I love you.” So simple, so powerful. Repeat often.
Stand up, do a big stretch or quick dance move, or sink into a downward facing dog. Your body deserves it.
Write down three things that make you smile and plan to do them in the next 24 hours.
Rub your temples.
Brush your hair. It stimulates a multitude of acupuncture points, which can help calm your mind and encourage blood flow to your brain.
If you have five minutes:
Find a ray of sunshine, stand in it, close your eyes and breathe.
Dance along to a favourite feel-good song.
Send a picture to a friend that’ll make you both smile.
Get excited brainstorming five self-care things you’d love to do this week. Hey, it’s always good to plan ahead.
Ring or message someone and tell them you love them.
Use a dry skin brush on your entire body to increase your circulation, remove skin impurities and encourage relaxation.
If you have 30 minutes:
Eat a nourishing lunch outdoors with no electronics . . . Ah, the serenity.
Sink into a hot bath before bed. Candles, relaxing music and essential oils.
Sprawl out on cosy cushions or a hammock, get stuck in a book and escape.
Close your eyes and just BE.
Walk along the beach or in nature.
If you have one hour plus:
Get a massage.
Take a yoga class.
Have a picnic or go for a walk, a swim or a bike ride. Feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, the breeze on your face or the water caressing your body. It’s great to feel alive.
Tackle that overwhelming task that’s been hanging over your head for months. Weed the garden, declutter your closet or sell your garage clutter. It’s liberating.
Now you’ve got the idea. Schedule it in or seize the moment when it arises.
Self Care is essential to keeping your spark ignited.
Want to learn the other secrets to getting your spark back?
I’ve written a book – Sizzle, Not Fizzle! – Secrets to Bringing the Spark Back into Your Life – easy read with loads of practical tips to bringing back the spark in tour life.
Feel like your brain is broken more often than not?
I hear it a lot.
I can’t think – I lose my train of thought so easily.
My brain is so foggy. I feel like I have dementia. My memory is shot.
I keep having those ‘why did I come into this room moments?’
Prone to bouts of anxiety or feeling down?
Functional medicine works so beautifully here to get you out of struggle zone.
When you increase the health of your brain it works better and so does the rest of your body.
Want to think with ease, feel sharper and clear headed?
Good brain health makes life easier. All you need to do is get your foundations right then fine tune from there.
What causes a broken brain?
Not being aware of the simple choices you can make every day regarding food, beverages, movement, sleep, environment and more that affect your mood, energy and brain health. Your brain can recover given the right conditions.
Things that damage your brain are – not enough good fats, too many refined carbs & sugar, poor circulation, stress, being overweight and much more.
We are NOT stuck with the brain we have – your brain changes due to neuroplasticity – you can make your brain better.
Also a healthy gut equals a healthy brain.
9 Tips to Improving Your Brain Health –
Increase wholefood carbs – like a range of colourful vegetables (high in antioxidants, detoxifying, anti-inflammatory & energy producing nutrients) and smaller amount of fruit (max 3 pieces/day), legumes (lentils, beans, etc), nuts, seeds (quinoa, chia, buckwheat) & non-gluten grains (rice, corn). This keeps your gut microbiome healthy and clears toxins from your body, so your hormones stay balanced.
Protein at every meal – eggs, nuts, fish, beans, lentils, etc. Protein is your building blocks & carriers. When you skim on these your brain ages.
Increasing your circulation – daily exercise, adding more ginger, pepper, rosemary or gingko to your diet. For your brain to function well it needs good blood flow. High inflammatory markers narrows your blood vessels & reduces blood flow. Low blood flow is linked to depression, Alzheimer’s, ADHD, heart disease & high blood pressure. Note if you have an erectile dysfunction problem you probably have a blood flow problem everywhere else. Chronic inflammation throughout your body narrows blood vessels. So fixable when you get your foundations right with daily choices.
Never stop learning – Dancing, racket ball (using eye, hand & leg co-ordination all at once), new language, conversations with different generations…
Add good fats (avocado, nuts, leafy greens, seeds, fish, coconut oil) to your diet – Did you know 25% of cell membranes in brain are made of omega 3 fats? Good fats enable your brain to talk well to itself. In an Australian study reduced levels of omega 3 increased depression five fold.
Maintaining a lean body – excess fat is also stored in your brain & reduces the size & weight of your brain. Also increases inflammation, stores fat soluble toxins & chemicals & increases levels of bad cancer producing oestrogens.
Dial down on food additive, preservatives, trans fats, sugar, chemicals – they’re disrupting your brain & biochemistry. Real food is best.
Sleep & rest – Your circadian rhythm is just as important as hours in bed.
Getting outdoors – fresh air and sunshine can’t be replaced. Essential for healthy brain – get outdoors at lunchtime or make it a priority
If you need help getting a plan together? Already done the tips & you’re still struggling – come see me there could be a deeper issue like bad gut bugs, hidden food reactions, detoxification problems, high chemical or toxin loads and more.
Need to increase your sex drive or libido? – an awkward conversation for many of us. I often get a sneaky text after an appointment, by-the-way email or a throw away line in a consult. Low sex drive or libido is a dilemma that affects many women, in perimenopausal and menopausal years but anytime really.
A common question is – I’m seeing someone new & I’m needing something to help with my sex drive?
Here are 5 Secrets to Successfully Increasing Your Sex Drive or Libido (the rest is up to you):
#1 ENERGY –
If you don’t have energy….I’m talking real energy ….not a caffeine or sugar high…..then you’re on the back foot to start. Energy isn’t just in your head it’s in every cell of your body. You need energy for your biochemistry to work properly and to power your sex drive. You don’t expect your car to drive you places without any fuel.
Here are three simple ways to increase energy – being hydration (2 litres water/day), good fuel (vegetables, fruit, meat, nuts, legumes), plenty of good sleep (bed at 10pm or earlier is ideal)..
If you have trouble with fatigue & low energy….come & see me click here to book in. We’ll work out a plan that at least doubles your energy within 2 weeks naturally…..it’s so easy when you know how.
Great thing about this is it helps ‘all of you’ not just your sex drive.
Did you know women need to de-stress before sex? … whereas men are the reverse….it’s actually a stress release for them….interesting! (we’re very different creatures)
So, if you’re feeling unsafe, hypervigilant or chronically anxious it’s going affect your sex drive. You’ll need to find your triggers or change the situation. Of course caffeine, smoking and certain drugs add fuel to this mix.
I see many people with chronic anxiety that is linked to gut problems (click here to find out why), so starting from somewhere can get you making progress in the right direction.
#3 VAGINAL DRYNESS
Vaginal dryness can make the whole experience painful & not something you want to repeat sometime soon. Sure you can use a lubricant but may women have reactions or sensitivities.
Vaginal dryness can be temporary or chronic. Here are some causes –
Side effect of medication – like antidepressants, antihistamines (Telfast, Zyrtec, Polaramine, Phenergan), some asthma medication
Alcohol – can cause dehydration
Sensitivity or allergy to certain soaps, bath bombs or products used down there (tampons, pads, etc)
YOUR OPTIONS: lubricant before sex (sensitivities and reactions are common – may need to trial a few), vaginal moisturisers (Replens, YES VM or vitamin E oil, olive oil or coconut oil) applied every 3 days OR……..if low oestrogen around menopause is a problem, topical low dose oestrogen (Vagifem) twice weekly.
Good chemistry is an essential ingredient. Relationship issues can make this a problem. When you deal with the issues it is amazing how this area can change.
Having sex increases the desire for sex. So practice, practice, practice…..I’ll leave that one up to you!
There’s also a few herbs up my sleeve to get you moving in the right direction, but the foundations always need addressing at the same time.