Don’t understimate the importance of self care, whether you are navigating life before, during or after divorce.
People often put themselves last and focus on others in their life, such as their children, during times of stress. However, you need to take care of yourself to have the energy and state of mind to truly be there for others. And you must practice self-care to be able to focus on creating amazing possibilities for your life.
There are four areas that encompass self-care: nourishing your body through healthy food choices, movement, sleep and gratitude.
Do you instinctively reach for a bag of M&M’S® if you’re feeling tired or stressed? Why is unhealthy eating seen as a reward for having a tough day? Our bodies need to be rewarded with proper nutrition to help with digestion, brain function, improved mood, greater energy and weight management.
Here are a few ideas to nourish your body:
- Focus on eating whole, fresh foods
- Add color to your meals with fruits and vegetables
- Include lean protein (chicken, turkey, fish, lean red meat, beans, legumes), healthy carbohydrates (farro, quinoa, brown rice, steel cut oats) and healthy fats (avocados, nuts, seeds).
Eating healthy isn’t about all or nothing. It can be as simple as picking one thing that you can change. Here are easy tips: choose an orange instead of orange juice; replace cereal with a bowl of steel cut oats; and make protein shakes with a handful of fresh spinach, mixed berries and a sprinkle of nuts for a great breakfast or lunch. Find what works for you!
Movement/exercise helps to elevate mood and prevent lifestyle diseases.
If exercise is not part of your daily routine, think of ways to add in movement: take a walk, ride a bike, park your car in a faraway spot, listen to music/dance and play with your kids. The small changes add up over time.
Ahhh sleep…we all crave it, but stress often makes sleeping a challenge. Here are tips to promote good sleep.
Eliminate ALL technology for an hour before bed. Drink coffee in the morning and avoid any stimulants after mid-afternoon. Create a sleep routine, such as a warm bath, and go to bed/wake up at the same time every day (even on weekends). Add curtains/shades to your bedroom to reduce “light” noise. If you need a daytime nap, set a timer for 15 minutes. It’s enough to rejuvenate you without disrupting your nighttime sleep.
Lastly, find something in your day that makes you feel grateful.
When you wake up in the morning, take a minute to focus on a bright spot in your life and how it makes you feel. Gratitude can put a smile on your face and warm your heart.