What Are the Best Self-Care Practices?
There are 2 types of energy – physical energy and invisible energy.
Physical energy is the energy we feel (like if you feel tired or peppy).
Invisible energy is the energy our body needs to perform all the critical bodily functions like keeping our heart beating and our lungs breathing. I call it invisible energy because it isn’t something we’re consciously aware of, but it is critical for our existence!
There are 4 main reasons you could be experiencing low physical energy levels:
1. Gut health
2. Liver detox pathways
3. Brain/HPA Axis
Practicing self-care (especially if you’re a busy woman over 40!) is critical to being able to balance all the plates, experience optimal mental health, and maintain your physical health.
What Are the Best Self-Care Practices?
Self-care means putting your own health and wellbeing first. After all, we all know you can’t pour from an empty glass.
There’s a reason flight attendants instruct you to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. Self-care is the same sort of concept. If you are continually depleted, it becomes much harder to take care of others – including your family, career, and personal responsibilities.
Have you ever wondered how to just get started?!
I’m guessing you already have a full plate with your children (whether they are small or grown up!), partner, work, and other activities.
Yet I know it’s on your heart to get healthier and feel more energy, so you can:
- Be a strong role model for your family members
- Improve your mental health — including emotional health
- Be present and active in your daily life – including physical activities
- Cultivate and nurture healthy relationships in your life
- Reduce your risk of heart disease, breast cancer, and other chronic conditions
- Bolster your immune system
Where and how can you get started? There never seems to be enough hours in the day, right?
You find yourself trying to excel in your career, maintain a social life, drink enough water, exercise, text everyone back, stay sane, survive, and be happy!
I don’t have any kind of magic trick for you today.
But what I am going to reveal to you is a SIMPLE way to get started.
The best way to get started with self-care practices is to take a SINGLE step.
It can be tempting to look ahead to the future, figure out the perfect plan, and think yourself into a frenzy trying to anticipate everything that could go wrong. But, unfortunately, this keeps you from starting, which is no good!
Instead, I invite you to choose ONE step to take… a SELF-CARE step.
If I’m being honest, self-care is hard for me too… I tend to put work and family ahead of my own health, even though I work in the health space!
I know, isn’t it ironic?
(Sorry, I had to. *wink*)
So I’ve put together 8 self-care practices that are completely doable – even if you’re a busy, professional woman with a lot on her plate.
Each of these simple steps is one small change you can use to help relieve stress, improve your performance, and ultimately skyrocket your energy!
1. Detoxify Your Body.
Every day we are exposed to toxins.
From our physical environment, to the air we breathe, to what we put into our bodies by way of food and beverages, and what we put on our skin in the form of hygiene products and make-up, we’re in a never ending cycle to clear out the toxins slowing us down.
There are several reasons you might have excess toxins in your body:
- Eating pre-made food for convenience (even the seemingly “healthy” brands at Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Trader Joes can be full of chemicals)
- Industrial toxins that leach into our water, air, and food
- Herbicides or pesticides
- Toxic hygiene and body products
Even the people and energy we surround ourselves with can zap our energy and create a toxic environment.
The honest truth is no matter how intentional you are about what you put into and around your body, you will still be exposed to toxins on some level.
This means it IS essential for all of us to support the detox pathways in our bodies.
One of my top recommendations for busy women on the go who want to naturally address these toxins is my Orange Detox Smoothie recipe.
Smoothies like this one are full of clean nutrients your body uses for fuel.
In this recipe, you will get a strong dose of healthy fats, Vitamin C, antioxidants, iron, AND protein… all of which can help tackle toxins and boost your energy naturally.
You can also address toxins through supplementation.
My favorite food-supplement for detox support, hands down, is Essentiagreens from Designs for Health. This is a greens powder you simply scoop into water and enjoy anytime. And the kicker is, it actually tastes good!
ESSENTIAGREENS: This greens food product is densely packed with high ORAC value vegetables, cleansing alkalizing grass juices, and a proprietary blend of fruits and berries.
Besides being phytonutrient-rich, the orange-cranberry flavor tastes wonderful, thanks to inulin, a natural polysaccharide prebiotic fiber, and a splash of stevia. While it adds a subtly sweet flavor to Essentiagreens, inulin does not impact blood sugar levels the way so many other sweeteners do.
This is GREAT for daily detox!
2. Take an Epsom Salt Bath.
This detox tip offers relief at a physical and mental level.
Epsom salt may look like table salt, but they’re a completely different compound, so you want to ensure you’re using Epsom salts. This is because this kind of salt includes minerals like magnesium that “pull out” toxins from the body.
Warm baths are also naturally soothing. I highly recommend creating ambiance while enjoying your detoxifying bath by setting the mood with candles, relaxing music, and a good book!
Here’s a quick list of benefits Epsom salt baths offer:
- Relieves stress – which means you’ll be able to experience more physical energy
- Reduces muscle aches – which can come from physical activity, sitting in a chair or car all day, or even your monthly menstrual cycles
- Improves your emotional health – magnesium has been shown to help with anxiety, depression, and stress-related mental imbalances
- Fights inflammation – exposure to toxins create low grade, systemwide inflammation which has been shown to lead to many chronic diseases and health conditions, as well as allergic reactions, skin rashes, flareups, and gut imbalances just to name a few
Pro tip: Be careful getting out of the bathtub after you are finished with your Epsom salt bath – it can be slippery!
3. Optimize Your Nutrition For Greater Energy.
Nutrition is an area most of us forget about when we notice low energy.
We reach for quick fixes (usually stimulants like caffeine and sugar) when the real solution is to look at the nutrients we are (or rather, aren’t) putting into our bodies.
Here are 3 energy-boosting nutrients you want to ensure are in your daily diet:
- Healthy, natural carbs – from whole grains, not refined ones
- Healthy fats – like avocados, olives, and nuts
- Magnesium – consuming leafy greens, berries, or yogurt are all great ways to boost your magnesium intake
I also highly recommend you drink a cup of bone or vegetable broth daily.
These kinds of broths offer many nutrients and minerals we need for digestion, cellular regeneration, and joint health. And they’re loaded with a critical energy-boosting amino acid called glycine, which you need for natural energy all day.
One more note on this… if you regularly struggle with energy, procrastination, and motivation—and you’ve tried a lot of these tips before—you may want to look at your gut health. Chances are, you’re ingesting too many inflammatory foods which are making you tired unnecessarily.
Check out this article giving you 3 ways to boost energy naturally using functional medicine – which is all about identifying and addressing the root cause of disease, rather than just taking care of symptoms.
4. Create a Daily Routine.
Getting your self-care in first thing can help set the rest of your day up for energetic success.
Upon waking in the morning, spend just 10 min reading something positive or doing gentle stretching.
I also recommend using positive daily affirmations. Say to yourself; “I am healthy. I am full of energy. I am unstoppable”.
Some of the most influential people in the world (including Oprah and Arianna Huffington) credit having a consistent morning routine for their success.
But did you know that an evening routine is also instrumental for consistent energy?
Most of us are “bad relaxers” – but without proper relaxation before bed, getting enough sleep – the kind we need to perform at our peak the next day – becomes exceedingly difficult.
Here’s one self-care tip you can use tonight: before bed, light a candle, diffuse some of your favorite essential oils, and do a self-massage.
When used as aromatherapy, essential oils have been shown to trigger the limbic system, which are the deepest parts of our brain that govern our survival and hold our “fight or flight” response. Many of us who do not unwind properly continually release epinephrine and cortisol, both “stress hormones” that keep us on high alert and unable to rest well. Having an evening slow-down routine curbs the production of these chemicals so you can rest and recover better all night long.
Self-massage helps increase circulation to remove toxins. It’s also a good way to sleep better, which is amplified with the use of potent aromatherapy tools like candles and essential oils.
5. Drink More Water.
Another simple self-care practice to follow is to hydrate your body with at least 8 glasses of purified water daily.
We all know this one, but many of us struggle with getting enough water. As in, pure water. Not water from coffee, tea, juices, or other beverages.
If you struggle with consuming enough water daily, consider adding flavor to your water.
This could be in the form of infused water (such as cucumber, berry, or lemon), or adding a drop or two of citrus essential oil to your water bottle. When you enjoy the taste, you’re more likely to consume it regularly.
6. Get Outside.
Being in nature is naturally de-stressing, so it’s an easy way to practice self-care every single day.
For example, you can take a 15 min walk and listen for birds and sounds of nature… even if you live in a city!
Not only does this practice help give you physical movement—which is needed for optimal health—being in nature on a regular basis has also been shown to be vital for our mental health.
If you live in an urban area, seek out green spaces, such as parks and gardens, and blue spaces, which includes lakes, rivers, and other water bodies. Both of these have been shown to improve mood, happiness, and overall health.
7. Practice Self-Forgiveness.
This is a big one: forgive yourself for anything you feel inadequate about – and start fresh tomorrow.
If you are anything like me, you are your own worst critic.
Have grace for yourself.
Self-forgiveness is a simple way of releasing stress – including the stress we put upon ourselves.
It’s astounding how much energy we carry around for past mistakes. You know that “weight off your shoulders” feeling? That’s physical energy that’s being used holding onto the past. And once we can release it, we actually notice we become more energized and motivated!
In fact, studies show those who practice self-forgiveness are healthier, happier, and actually more productive.
What does self-forgiveness entail? Simply put, it’s treating yourself as you would treat a close friend.
If your best friend made a mistake, would you judge her harshly? Would you berate her?
Likely not. You’d approach the situation with love and open heartedness, trusting that she’s using the mistake as a learning opportunity. And you can take this heart-centered approach with yourself.
Instead of beating yourself up, think about what actions you can take to rectify the mistake. Approach this with self-respect and integrity – and follow through with action. When you take action, it becomes easier to lift your burden and move forward in your life.
Journaling is one action to release these burdens in the event you’re unable to resolve the burden directly.
You can also practice positive affirmations for forgiveness. Take a deep breath and repeat to yourself, “I am forgiven” or “I am whole.”
8. Get Medically Tested.
Why is this a self-care recommendation?
Because if you notice your physical energy is deteriorating and you don’t know why, there may be a physical root cause.
In other words, you need to be your own best advocate.
No one knows your body the way you do… so if you know something’s not right, it’s absolutely worth it to find out the true underlying reason.
That’s why I’m a huge proponent of lab testing. Not only does this give you actual science-based reasons for why your physical energy is so low… lab testing can actually help you speed up the recovery process!
When you’re in an energy restoring process, functional labs help to pinpoint exactly where the dysfunction is happening in your body.
Instead of guessing—taking the “throwing spaghetti against the wall” approach—and hoping something you do works, why not know exactly what is happening in your body instead?
That way, you can determine if it is a toxin, a gut infection, or a nutrient deficiency that’s preventing mitochondrial energy function, and, in turn, reducing your physical energy.
A test can tell us if:
1. Something is wrong in your gut; like an infection, bacteria, or parasite
2. Something is wrong in your liver detox pathways
3. Something is wrong with the HPA-Axis that helps your gut and brain communicate
4. The toxic load in your body is too high
All of these are going to affect mitochondria energy production. And we can test for all of these with functional lab tests to find out exactly which one is affecting you.
For your body to thrive, you must make self-care a priority. Though it can be hard to find the time to fit in self-care, you must be “greedy” when it comes to your health and make the time.
Self-care is NOT selfish!
If you’re ready to boost your energy, book a call with a health coach to discuss your options. We are serious about transforming your health in 30-90 days, but we need you to book a call.
All of our programs include a lab test to determine exactly what’s causing your energy woes, and centers your treatment plan around the results. No more guessing. Just real results!
We have space open in our clinic for driven women who want to boost their energy in the next 30-90 days. So if that’s you, click here, and you’ll be sent to the scheduling page to book a call with the team.
Take Good Care,