By Guest Blogger Rebecca Subbiah, RDN

Life can be so very hectic these days with work, caring for kids, afternoon activities and trying to juggle it all. Often taking care of ourselves both physically and mentally can go on the back burner. We are very good at taking care of others. Yet, sometimes we lose sight of the fact that we are worthy of that same level of care. We see social media posts about taking bubble baths and trips to the spa for self-care. While those are indeed fun, it’s so much deeper than that.

Caring for ourselves means ensuring regular nourishing meals for ourselves. If your pet or small child was looking at you for food, you wouldn’t say “I know you’re hungry, but we don’t have time right now so we’ll miss this meal”. Great food ensures we feel our best, it’s fun, tasty, shares culture, connection with others and so much more. Also, know it doesn’t have to look perfect. Some days will be a wonderful home cooked meal and salad from the garden. Other days it will be quick take out. Be kind to yourself and know it’s the big picture that counts.

Adequate sleep is an important part of self-care. How often do we encourage little ones to go to sleep saying “go to bed, you have a big day tomorrow”? We need to show this same level of care to ourselves. For feeling our best, sleep is vital for re-charging and unplugging from the business of the day.

Taking the time to pause and be more mindful is also very powerful. There’s so much beauty all around us if we would take the time to notice. Listen to the sound of the birds singing, see flowers in bloom, and feel the breeze. Look at the shifting clouds and feel the warmth and light of our sun and the stars at night. Take some time to be in nature! Visit one of our amazing state parks or simply enjoy your backyard. Go for a walk, pausing along the way to listen to the birds, notice a butterfly or busy bee and admire what’s in season. Even in the winter there is beauty such as the bright stars, frosty leaves, red berries against the brown landscapes or red cardinals in the snow.

Take the time to give your love ones a hug and say you love them. Share a cup of tea or coffee with them and truly listen, there’s magic in that.

Another important and often difficult self-care skill is learning to say no to things when your over scheduled. That way you have time for things that nurture you. It’s hard but in time this skill will get easier and you will see the benefits.

Additionally, a great thing to do is see new places. This could involve getting on a plane for the thrill of a new country and culture or somewhere just a drive away. Try a new activity like ice skating, bird watching, read a new book, or cook a new cuisine.

Life is fleeting and if we don’t take the time to care for ourselves, to feel our best and seek out fun and adventure it will pass us by. Live with no regrets and reconnect to the excitement and discovery of new things.

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