We all know on a very private level that it is essential we take care of ourselves. It is important to how we engage life on a daily basis. It is important to how we see ourselves in the world. It is important to how we age. If you live long enough you will age–it’s just a part of the agreement–but what’s optional in that agreement is how successful we each will do it.
In any endeavor that ends in success, it is vital that you have a series of goals that are achievable. Having these goals allows you to mark your progress. Having these goals also can insure that you will stick with whatever self care regime you decide upon. Let’s explore what some of those goals can look like, so that taking care of your self becomes an art.
When you create a piece of art there are elements or components that you use in order to create it. An effective self care plan needs to have certain elements or components to become a work of art. Let’s keep it simple and suggest that your self care plan can have four components.
The first is a physical component! The next element is mental. A third element is emotional and the fourth is spiritual.
The first part of a well-rounded self care plan is the physical component which addresses most or all of our biological needs. It includes ways of eating, what kinds of foods are best for you, and what foods do you like best. It also includes exercise and the frequency of your exercise routines. It includes ways of eating and what kinds of foods are best for you. Most importantly, what foods do you like best.
Your diet and nutrition
There are effective ways of eating that we each can engage in, that allow us to feed and heal our bodies optimally. A diet suitable to your personal needs can help relieve lethargy, upset stomachs, and other discomforts. For some, eating three meals per day at designated times, works best. For others, skipping a meal, as long as you are receiving the proper amount of nutrition can be another option. Some of you may prefer eating a series of small meals over the course of your day. In choosing your best course, pay attention to how you feel, as you try one of these methods or a combination, or one you have discovered on your own. A key is to allow your pattern of eating to be efficient, easy and fun! Yes, fun!
What foods we choose to consume is vital to how we feel about ourselves and the world around us. Have you ever eaten something that did not agree with you? How did you feel about you and your world while in that discomfort? Do you have allergies or sensitivities? Do some foods make you feel bloated or gassy? Choosing the right food groups is essential to an effective self care plan because the foods you eat definitely can affect your sense of well-being, your energy level, and your health.For some this may be a daunting task, but don’t let that stop you. There is a wealth of information available to help you make right choices. A Google search is a place to start, but check these out, too: Healthline.com and webmd.com.
It is important to have a variety of foods in your daily diet because this insures that your nutrition is effective for you. Each category of food offers your body specific elements that keep you healthy. The five groups of foods are fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and dairy. How you combine these groups is based on individual taste. I say this because choosing what you eat based on what you prefer allows you to stick with this aspect of your plan when challenges arise. Another consideration, is food allergies, so if you have one you will avoid those foods. In this scenario it is a good idea to speak with a professional and educate yourself thoroughly about your condition. Be open to seeing food not just as a source of nourishment but also as a way to gain more knowledge about yourself. Some nice information can be found at the US government’s website, ChooseMyPlate.gov.
Another resource is a wonderfully written book on food titled, Eating On The Wild Side: The Missing Link To Optimal Health by Jo Robinson.
There are many diets available to us that allow us to explore the realm of food. By diet I don’t mean a way to lose weight. If you choose the right way of eating for you, over time you will achieve a level of happiness with your weight range. What I mean is a way of eating that gives you energy, great nutrition, and a greater sense of your self. Some ways of eating, are the Mediterranean diet, the low glycemic diet, a low fat diet or Paleo diet. There are many ways available with excellent research behind each. Some websites to explore are webmd.com/glycemic-index-diet, paleodiet.com, 4yourtype.com.
The key again is to make it fun and have it fit your particular lifestyle. Be imaginative and look beyond what you are already “just doing.” Create a space for your nutritional habits that is unique to you, just as you would when you are creating a work of art. That way food can become a welcome part of your daily routine that helps you feel better and move better.
In my next entry, I will be discussing exercise. In the meantime, if you would like any more information about today’s discussion, please drop me a line.