Committing Yourself To Self-Care and Staying Healthy

Wellness is a hot topic right now for a lot of reasons. Obesity is at an all-time high, people are getting burned out by their mid-thirties, work hours are getting increasingly longer, jobs are more demanding than they used to be thanks to the ability to constantly be available, you name it. It's obvious that we as a society need to take better care of ourselves, quit the pill fix, stop over medicating and get back to the basics. Self-Care is needed more than ever and it's needed the most, in my opinion, by women. I am from a family where the women never put themselves first. My Noni would be sick as a dog and not go to a doctor because she has "other things to do" and my aunt is the same way. We seem to have this idea that by taking a few minutes for ourselves, scheduling those doctors appointments just to have a check up or going to the gym is selfish or something we don't have time for. Stop! Make time for it. Moms, you may think you're taking away time from your kids but you'd be taking more time away if you died before their high school graduation because you missed that gyno appointment a few years in a row. Career women, you may think that hitting the gym isn't a valuable use of your time but did you know that by getting regular exercise you increase productivity and stimulate creative thinking? Women everywhere, it's ok to take a few extra minutes to yourself every night to relax and decompress. In fact, we need it for our sanity. It's not selfish to put yourself first and make sure you are taken care of. It's necessary. You will only do whatever it is your doing better by taking that time.

There are so many things you can do to slow down, take a beat and bring it back to you. They are guilt free and good for you. A colleague of mine that I'm so lucky to have is here today to list out just a few for you. Meet Shannon Terschluse of Find Your Prana. Shannon is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, 200-hour Certified Yoga Teacher and CoreRyder (spinning) Instructor, and the Founder of Find Your Prana, a full-service health and wellness company offering holistic health coaching, seasonal wellness cleanses, customized clean eating meal plans, private yoga, corporate and group wellness workshops, and more.

Prana, a Sanskrit word often used in yoga, means the breath, the universal life force sustaining the body, the vital energy. But to Shannon, it has always meant balance, which is what she strives to provide to her clients. Here she provides 10 Tips to improve your well-being and find a better balance.

10. Before you think about that long to-do list, sit for a moment with your eyes closed when you start your computer. Even just a few moments of meditation can set the tone for the rest of your day. Try to empty your mind and take deep breaths before jumping into your day's tasks.

9. Take the scenic route. Next time you're driving a somewhat long distance - take the scenic route. Driving through open fields, mountains, or viewing a city skyline can be very relaxing.

8. Eat slower. A lot of us tend to speed through meals - missing the chance to appreciate different textures and flavors. Start to chew foods slower and distinguish new tastes, aromas, and consistencies. This will also help you be more mindful with your food choices.

7. Prioritize sleep and honor your bedtime routine. Whether it's breathing to slow the heart rate or a warm cup of tea to settle you in for the night, a simple routine can be effective for a better night's sleep to help you excel in all areas of life. Try implementing a regular bedtime. Maintaining consistency will help keep your circadian rhythms - the biological changes that happen every 24 hours - steady. Eventually, your body will naturally understand and crave sleep during these hours.

6. Fuel yourself with nutrient-dense foods. Stick to whole foods - this means foods that occur in nature and don't go through a lab or other manufacturing unit. Examples include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Pay attention to how you feel after you eat, and choose foods that will fuel your energy and not deplete it.

5. Get moving. A balanced diet is essential for a happy and healthy life, but without regular exercise no amount of kale or kidney beans will make up for a lack of locomotion. Just like certain foods protect us from heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, regular physical activity has its own list of health enhancement. Without exercise, it's hard to reach your full physical and mental potential and achieve overall well-being. Shoot for at least 30 minutes of movement every day.

4. Be bad. A common myth of proper health is the obligation to always be "good." Being "good" can mean different things to different people, but equally important in finding balance is being "bad." Why? Because no one's perfect. In a way it is inauthentic to live life "perfectly." So, once in a while, indulge a little and treat yourself to something special. Have an extra glass of wine. Eat your favorite sweet. Skip that busy bus line - take a taxi. Don't set an alarm.

3. Remember your goals and aspirations. Each morning when you wake up, take a few moments to think about your life goals and aspirations. Recall the milestones you've already made in your life, and your drive to achieve new ones. Try doing this for about five minutes before getting out of bed to start your day.

2. The way you do one thing is the way you do everything. If you take care of yourself by feeding yourself beautiful food, you're much more likely to engage in self-care such as exercise, meditation, baths, massages, and other techniques that make your life rich and vibrant. When you feel great, you're able to move through your days with joy and ease, creating and nurturing relationships and a career you love.

1. When you're feeling guilty about the idea of putting yourself first, sit down, close your eyes, and trust this quote from Lucille Ball - "Love yourself first and everything else falls into line."

***

Spoken like a true pro. What I love about Shannon's tips is that they are so easy. You should feel guilt-free about taking care of yourself because you have one body and one life to live. If you don't nurture yourself, you endanger your life and risk losing the quality of it. That benefits no one.

If you're someone who needs a little extra push to get started (like me), Shannon offers meal plan services that are incredible. You have a choice between Clean Eating and Healthy Eating and each lasts for 4 weeks. These are available no matter where you live. If you're in the Chicago area, Shannon also provides Health Coaching and Yoga services. I can personally attest to the fact that she is incredibly knowledgeable in her line of work. You guys know I wouldn't recommend her if I didn't think highly of what she is capable of. If you like her tips and would like to learn more, visit findyourprana.com and check out what she has to offer.