Many will agree that 2020 has been fraught with its share of bad news. I don't need to make a list - from world to national to community to personal stories - we have all been hit hard this year. So how do you preserve your physical health and emotional state without hiding under a rock or secluding yourself in a bunker away from the outside world?
Here are some self-care strategies and steps you can take -
1) Begin each day with an affirmation of gratitude.
Whether it's a prayer of thanks, a few minutes of meditation and reflection or reciting a positive mantra, give yourself this time to center in quiet solitude before you tackle the world.
2) Let go of what you can't control.
This one is a tough one. As women we often believe that we can magically change external circumstances until we expend all of our energy and leave little for ourselves. Sounds familiar? It's time to enact the Prayer of Serenity - "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
3) Minimize your triggers for stress.
If you feel angry, depressed and sad every time you watch the news or go on social media, then turn it off!! Get whatever information you need for the day (weather, traffic, FB birthdays, etc) and refrain from falling down the rabbit hole. Nothing is gained by getting into a twitter war, FB argument or yelling at the TV. If you can't change the situation, then let it go. It truly is not worth it.
4) Find enjoyment.
Carve out some time during your busy day and treat yourself to something you enjoy. Listen to a favorite song, dance to that oldies jam, read a chapter in your favorite book, or go through old memorable photos. Create a little bit of happiness in your day that you can smile about later.
5) Make time for exercise.
You need it not just for physical health but for mental and emotional health too. Regular exercise strengthens your body, improves your immunity, helps maintain a healthy body composition and keeps you looking good in those jeans!! Plus the release of endorphins improves your emotional state, not to mention when you look good, you feel good about yourself too!! Which leads me to.......
6) Choose your food wisely.
I'm not talking dieting because I don't believe in diets. I'm talking putting healthy food in your one and ONLY body. Think of your body as that Mercedes, Maserati or Jaguar. You wouldn't put in any gasoline in your luxury car and expect it to perform to its potential, would you? So why would you treat your body any differently? Reward it with home-cooked healthy meals filled with lean protein, fresh veggies, good fats and minimally processed carbs. By all means, you can still enjoy the occasional piece of chocolate or the glass of wine - just make sure that most of your meals are helping and not harming your body. And lastly....
7) Surround yourself with positive people.
You want to be around people who bring out the beauty in you. If the company you keep doesn't uplift you or make you feel worthy, then cut them loose. It's not about the quantity of the friends you have, it's about the quality. I just lost a very dear friend who always kept me grounded and even though she's gone, I'm grateful for the positive impact she's had on my life. Find a few people you can entrust to have your back, let you cry and build you up especially in these turbulent times.
You can't control the world, no one has the power to do that feat. But you CAN manage how respond to it.
Wishing you Love, Light & Fitness,