What comes up for you when you hear this phrase. Do you imagine spending the day at the spa for hours of pampering? Or is it spending a few minutes during the day with mindful deep breathing? Either way works.
However I’d like to take the more practical approach to self-care. One that’s not costly or takes too much time, but can be incorporated into your daily routine.
Here’s a definition of self-care I resonated with:
“The practice of taking an active role in nurturing one’s own well-being and happiness.”
What can you practice daily to protect your well-being?
Let me share with you a graphic created by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. The six pillars of lifestyle medicine are:
Healthy Eating (plant-predominant, minimally processed foods)
Active movement throughout the day
Coping with Stress
Getting enough quality Sleep
Staying connected and having meaningful relationships
Avoiding drugs and excess alcohol
As you can tell, these healthy lifestyle behaviors equate to self-care and will enhance your well-being.
Focus on one pillar.
Choose one area you can focus on this week! One thing you can try if you find yourself resistant is to make it easy for you to do that there’s no question if you would do it or not.
What do I mean? I’m referring to the concept researched by Dr. BJ Fogg and published in his book, Tiny Habits. An example of a tiny habit is flossing just one tooth every night. It sounds kind of silly, but Dr. Fogg developed a habit for flossing with this strategy. One small successful action led to bigger ones. Eventually he was flossing all his teeth every night.
Here are a few more ideas:
- Take a 1-minute movement break (walk up/down stairs or march in place) after an hour of sitting at a desk
- Pick one vegetable to eat for a meal
- Turn your phone to airplane mode after 7pm
I’d love to hear which pillar you selected and how you made it easy to do!