Nikki Ostrower (Nutritionist)
The Importance of Self Care: Establishing Daily Habits for a Healthier Mind and Body
Do you ever feel it’s difficult to know how to take great care of yourself?
Many of us were not taught how to truly take care of ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually from society, our parents, teachers, or extended family members.
Your role models may have taught you it’s “selfish” to care for yourself or put your own needs first, and instead, modeled burnout.
Or you may have picked up on the belief system that your worth lies in how many hours you put in at work, how much money is in your bank account, or other factors that drive the “rat racer” mentality - the idea that nothing is ever good enough, we cannot afford to relax, and perfection is king.
The truth is - we can’t live fully without our health. Plain and simple.
We can’t be there for our loved ones if we are sick all the time.
We can’t chase after our kids and play with them if we constantly feel exhausted.
We can’t fully enjoy experiences and goals we’ve worked hard to achieve if our mental and physical wellbeing is tanked.
We can’t show up for our vocation and help others if we don’t take great care of this incredible body and mind we each were gifted on this earth.
“Self care” has permeated our vernacular so much that it’s almost taboo.
In reality, it’s our lifeline. It’s the non-negotiable habits we want to establish daily that gift us MORE energy, vitality, and joy to infuse into our everyday lives.
It’s also an exploration. It’s about learning what we need and how to provide ourselves what we need responsibly.
You’ve felt it, and you know this to be true.
You show up as a different person if you get up early after a good night’s sleep, move your body, drink water, practice gratitude, and eat food that fuels you.
On the flip side, you know what it feels like when you burn the candle at both ends, dehydrate your body, sit in front of your computer all day, drink copious cups of coffee or snag candy at the vending machine, and then eat takeout unconsciously while flipping through Netflix late into the evening.
Self care = how you take responsibility for yourself.
It’s also built on habits each and every day. We can’t expect grand results from a self care routine that consists of 1 massage a week and nothing else.
We need daily, incremental practices that add up like compound interest to truly feel amazing.
I believe that the best days are bookended with practices that supercharge us in the morning, and then ease us to sleep at night.
Developing healthy morning and evening routines you can and do perform every single day is one of the best ways to start a self care routine.
I love to get up early and utilize that energy for a great working out, brainstorming for my business, getting my daughter ready for school, and fueling my body with delicious food.
I also build in time to do Infrared Sauna at Restore Chelsea when I know I need a pick me up. It busts winter blues, boosts my immune system, and relaxes me like nothing else.
Then at the end of the day, I make sure to wind down with time away from my phone, eat with family at the dinner table, and plan out what I need to do so I’m fully prepared the next day.
Self care starts with setting yourself up for success with a plan, scheduling it, and following through. When you show up for yourself in this way, you’ll begin to feel unstoppable.
Hopefully, this has given you a fresh take on why taking care of your mind and body is so vital to anything you want in life, and the encouragement and motivation to get started with small daily practices that add up to gigantic results!