We All Need a Little Local TLC
When caretaking for others, it’s easy to forego self-care and spend your days on autopilot. Chronic stress will catch up to you no matter what your unique situation might be. You will eventually meet your threshold and your back will go out, or your hair will start thinning. Fatigue might settle in, you may develop a migraine problem, or an ulcer.
These are the warning signs. Your body is communicating with you. Listen to it! It is time to take your wellness seriously before something more serious develops. No matter what your state of health is, it is never too early or too late to embark on a self-care journey. It is amazing how resilient the body is when restored, renewed, and nourished. The genius design of nature makes it possible for our bodies to heal from injury and illness when provided the right nutrients and a balanced handling of stress. I’m not saying it’s easy. Healthy living requires discipline, patience, confronting fears and other tough emotions, knowledge about what to consume through your diet, your products, and even your thoughts. Take a deep breath, and begin where you are.
Step one: Decide to self-care.
Just making the decision to be proactive about your health will increase your daily awareness of triggers that cause mental, emotional, physical, or environmental stress for you. With some mindfulness and stress reduction tools under your belt, you can reduce these triggers and learn to handle stress well. See below to learn more about mindfulness.
Step two: Make a plan.
Engage the support of a nutritional counselor, natural health practitioner, or holistic doctor to help tailor a dietary plan, identify necessary supplements, and set goals around all areas of wellness. These include physical health, mental/emotional balance, spiritual/personal development, family/relationship wellbeing, financial wellness, fun/laughter, and contributions to community. Working with a professional will help you plot a practical course of action while identifying barriers that might trip you up. Your practitioner should also support you with resources and referrals that will complement your care. Your plan should address specific concerns but also heavily emphasize prevention. You. Are. Worth. It.
Here are a few Go Local Members who can help keep you on track:
Peoples Pharmacy – 5% OFF ALL wellness, OTC & deli. FREE blood pressure & sugar testing. $10 OFF other screenings – inquire within
Adagio Spa – $20 Off First visit, 10% Off Return Visits
AOMA – 10% OFF herbal medicines!
Castle Hill Fitness – $25 OFF Enrollment Fee Or 10% OFF Class Card Purchase
Mantis Massage – $5 off every service!
VMC Pharmacy – 10% off wellness items for cards purchased at VMC Pharmacy & 5% off wellness items for all cards!
You can start with these 10 easy ways to practice mindfulness, and with these quick tips for self-care and stress reduction:
- Be realistic – Accept your basic personality, utilize your strengths, and accept your weaknesses.
- Appreciate what you have – Rather than focusing on what you don’t have.
- Say no! – You’re no good to anyone if you are exhausted, resentful, and over‐stretched.
- Say Yes! – List what you want, and go for it. You’ll experience more joy and pleasure in life.
- Move your body – Stretch, strengthen, and get your heart pumping. You’ll look and feel better.
- Sleep – You know how much rest you need; aim to get it.
- Choose food wisely – Include plenty of whole grains, vegetables, fruit, and high quality sources of protein. Avoid excess sugar, poor quality fats, and processed foods.
- Enjoy simple, everyday pleasures – It will brighten each day.
- Reduce guilt – Be clear on what you can and cannot control, and move on.
- Live in the present – Rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.
- Laugh more – It’s one of the best ways to reduce tension.
- Keep hopeful – A positive attitude helps to create positive outcomes.
- Try new things – Take a risk, keep an open mind, invite spontaneity…it keeps life fresh.
- Recognize when you need help – And ask for it.
- Take quiet time and remember to relax– It’s important to reflect and contemplate.
- Communicate openly and honestly – To avoid conflict and confusion.
- Embrace creative expression – Dance, music, art, and writing are powerful resources.
- Connect with your spiritual self – However you define it.
(Adapted from materials provided by the Social Work Department of Roswell Park Cancer Institute)
blog contribution by Allison Horan, MPH, is a nutritionist and health educator. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Texas at Houston. In 2012 she founded Innovate Corporate Wellness, a workplace wellness company that uses a preventive health approach to develop strategic wellness programs for businesses and organizations. Allison has contributed to published research in the field of worksite health promotion and has also lectured at state and private organizations as a part of ongoing wellness initiatives. She is certified in Applied Clinical Nutrition, Ayurveda, and Yoga, and has taught yoga and mindfulness for over 10 years. She is available for private nutritional and lifestyle counseling through Peoples Pharmacy. Call 512-219-8600 to schedule an appointment with Allison.