Caring for Yourself Isn’t Selfish

by Cathy Clements, Nutritionist & Life Coach, NASM CNC, CPT, FNS, WFS

As women we take on a lot of the responsibility of caring for our family; our children, our parents and others close to us. As caregivers though, we can forget to take care of ourselves.

Our worries are outward versus realizing that caring for ourselves isn’t selfish, it is a good practice. On an airplane, why do you think they tell you to put your mask on first then assist someone else? Because if you don’t, you may not be able to care of that other person.

What should you be doing in self-care?

It really depends on you. Self-care can be as easy as going to get your nails done and relaxing for that hour or longer if you have a mani-pedi!

If you are someone who enjoys a good massage, get one — half hour, hour or 90 minutes. Just relax. After a massage, you are handed a bottle of water, drink it and more! Water keeps headaches away, which can come from dehydration (and it doesn’t take much to be low on water).

Most of us don’t have a high enough intake to be in a surplus of water for what our bodies need. I know some of you will be afraid to drink too much in case of incontinence. Once your body is fully nourished with water, you won’t feel the need to go to the bathroom all the time, but getting there can be a little challenging.

Sit down — I dreaded writing those words — and read a good book.

Get up and walk, run, ride a bike, go for a hike. Move your body! It is important to move; it helps you stay more mobile as you mature. In the beginning it doesn’t matter how much or how fast, just do it.

Start where you are and move toward a larger goal. The important thing is just doing some.

Eat to benefit you. We all know that eating sweets or drinking beverages with no nutritional value are just empty calories. Indulge at celebrations, but fuel your body with good healthy nutrition the majority of the time.

You will feel better, sleep better and look healthier.