By Dr. Shawna Darou, ND
This is a short article and a reminder of the importance of self-care. We all have so many expectations of ourselves in a day, and it can become difficult to take care of the basics.
Right now, I would like you to take a step back and take a close look at your self-care. Pretend that you are watching from a distance. Are you eating regular meals? Do you nourish your body? Do you allow yourself to take breaks? Do you give yourself enough time to sleep? Do you move your body every day? Is there time to focus on what you love? I know these are all basic things, and I also recognize how difficult it can be to keep all areas in balance. This is especially written for those of you who are working too hard at the office, and also for those of you at home with children, who tend to put your own needs behind everyone else.
It’s interesting how we would never expect someone else to do what we expect of ourselves. For example when I do this myself, I would never expect someone else to work the hours that I do, to eat lunch so late, and to go for so long without a break. It’s not that I think I can do more than someone else, it’s just that I also forget to look at my own needs, and expect things that are unreasonable from my body. I also see many women at home with their children who forget to feed themselves breakfast and lunch, while taking excellent care of their children’s needs.
It’s time for some self-compassion. Think of yourself as someone who you love and cherish. How would you plan her day? Would you pack a nourishing lunch and two healthy snacks? Would you encourage her to take a break and get some fresh air at lunch time? Would you make sure she was home in time to enjoy her family or downtime at the end of the day?
I see this pattern in almost everyone. We’ve forgotten self-compassion and self-care. And by saying this, I do not mean that it isn’t important to push yourself, or challenge yourself. Instead, as you go through your day, simply ensure that your basic needs are met.
Our bodies start to protest when these basic needs aren’t met. Digestive disorders from poor nutrition and eating lunch at our desks. Sore muscles in the neck and shoulders. Headaches and back pain from sitting for too many hours. Low energy, caffeine cravings, and weight struggles from eating irregularly. And all of these small things add to the load of stresses on our bodies, and if ignored for many years will create chronic illness. If you are currently unwell, your body can’t possibly heal if you don’t take care of yourself.
A Simple Practice for this Week
I would like you to take on a small challenge with me with one self care activity EACH DAY for 5 days. I promise that these will be simple and easy to do. The reason for this is that almost all of us are neglecting the basics – the simple things that keep us well. If we dive in together, imagine what a difference we can make!
Here’s how it works:
- Go to the Dr. Shawna Darou facebook page and like / follow it.
- Each day, first thing in the morning I will post the day’s challenge.
- Comment below the post once you’ve done the self-care activity for the day
If you prefer to get 5 daily emails instead of visiting Facebook, send me a note to firstname.lastname@example.org instead.
Let’s support and motivate each other to start putting our own needs into the day. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel, and your body will thank you!