DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > Spring clean your self-care routine
By Katrina Wagner, health promotion coordinator /
March 10, 2021 /
Posted in: CAMPUS AND COMMUNITY /
As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, spring's arrival brings much hope, and not just in the form of several effective vaccines. The longer days, warmer weather and new beginnings that are the hallmarks of spring bring some relief and give us a greater sense of peace, calm and possibility.
Around this time, many begin thinking about spring cleaning, and checking and changing routines. It often spurs us to begin to work out or eat healthier. It can be easy to let social media, diet culture and social norms push us to try unhealthy and harmful ways to lose weight. Rather than succumb to these pressures, keep in mind you are already a worthy being. You do not have to earn your worth through unhealthy exercise or eating habits.
However, if you do want to try to eat healthier and get moving more, that's okay too. Here are some tips to take care of your body in a holistic way, and make your mind, body and spirit feel better from the inside out.
Focus on the mind
Grab a piece of paper and pen, and find a quiet, comfortable place. Take a few deep breaths in and out. Next, focus your attention on your pen and paper; write how you are feeling. Write about why you want to change your behaviors to eat healthier, move more, or whatever that change may be. Write down a plan for how you will change these behaviors and what support you might need to do so.
Challenge your thinking if you find yourself only focusing on the aesthetics of losing weight. Dial in on the “why" aspect. The why is critical to create behavior change and maintain those changes. Keep in mind short-term, quick-fix solutions will leave you fatigued and unfocused. Long-term, incremental health behavior changes are more achievable and will have the most benefits.
Direct your attention to your inner spirit
Set your pen and paper down, and focus inward. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths in and out. Notice what happens when you breathe in and out, with your chest rising as you inhale and lowering as your exhale. Do this for a few minutes.
If you are not used to meditating, this can feel strange. Rather than abandon this exercise, encourage yourself to sit and feel everything. What emotions come up? What emotions do you want to cultivate? Now write down those emotions. Reflect on your emotions and notice if you are feeling ready to make changes or if you simply need more kindness and care. Think about giving yourself exactly what you need.
Notice your body
As you are continuing to breathe, relax and pay attention to yourself. Ask yourself how your body feels. Do you notice any pains, aches or feelings of discomfort? Where does your body need more support and kindness? Where does your body feel strong and ready?
Oftentimes our lives are guided by our brain and we ignore the way we feel emotionally and physically. This exercise is to help you feel more aligned with your mind, body and spirit to make self-care changes.
Lean into this daily practice of tuning into your mind, body and spirit. Ask yourself what you need and what you can give yourself in the form of self-care. This practice will provide you with a foundation that will allow you to make changes in certain health behaviors, and support, love and care for yourself.
If you found this helpful, share it with someone else and keep doing it. If you need help or have questions, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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