The Importance of Self Care: Self-care is NOT self-indulgence
Every single day, we take time out of our day to care for others… but for some reason, we fail to take the time to take care of ourselves. Throughout my years as a mindset + life transformation coach and retreat leader, I have seen so many of my clients struggling with feelings of guilt for wanting to go on a retreat.
Guilt about wanting to “get away.”
Guilt about spending money just on themselves.
Guilt about leaving their family to fend for themselves.
Guilt about being "selfish."
Guilt about taking time off from work.
Women in particular seem to have a very hard time! We find it difficult to take time for ourselves and struggle to prioritize our own self-care. As a matter of fact, I wrote a whole blog post about the topic here: <https://www.julieloomis.com/blog/are-you-really-being-selfish>
I’m going to share with you a nugget of wisdom that has resonated with me:
Self-care is not self-indulgence; it is self-preservation!
What do I mean by that? Self-care is a critical part of taking care of your body, mind and spirit. Burning out or dealing with ongoing stress has deeper impacts than just feeling mentally drained. On-going stress can also cause physical harm to your body.
That’s right. The negative effects that stress has on your mind and body are countless. Let me share a few facts and figures that may surprise you:
- Forty-three percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress.
- 75-90% of all doctor's office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
- Stress can play a part in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression and anxiety. (Details.)
- The lifetime prevalence of an emotional disorder is more than 50%, often due to chronic, untreated stress reactions. (Details.)
- Stress affects the immune system and increases inflammation. From slowing wound healing to diminishing the protective effects of vaccines to increasing your susceptibility to infections, stress is the ultimate immune-modulator. Stress can also reactivate latent infections—people who get cold sores know this from experience. (Details.)
- Stress reduces your ability to metabolize and detoxify. Studies have shown that the activity of hundreds of genes responsible for enzymes that break down fats and detoxify prescription drugs, are negatively impacted by stress. Stress can also increase your toxin burden by increasing your desire for high-fat, high-sugar foods.
- The gut and stress are intimately intertwined. You may have heard that 95% of your serotonin is in your gut, and you may remember a time when you were nervous or sad, and your belly was in knots. But more research is showing how stress impacts the function of your gut every day. It slows transit, leading to constipation and the re-circulation of hormones like estrogen through your liver. It increases the overgrowth of bad bacteria. And it loosens the barriers between the cells that line the intestines, creating something called leaky gut, which then leads to inflammation, food sensitivities and even autoimmune disease.
- Stress is linked to the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, liver cirrhosis, and suicide.
- Stress can alter blood sugar levels, which can cause mood swings, fatigue, hyperglycemia, and metabolic syndrome, a major risk factor for heart attack and diabetes.
Are you starting to understand why managing stress is so important? It literally will affect your long-term health and happiness.
Maybe you’re starting to realize that stress isn’t something you should shove under the rug or push to the side like you have been.
….But what do you do about it?
SELF-CARE and STRESS MANAGEMENT
If you follow me on JulieLoomis.com, you’ve probably read about some of my self-care tips and tricks. I have a whole blog post on it here: https://www.julieloomis.com/blog/Navigate-Stressful-Times-with-More-Calm
There’s no better time to start taking care of your health. Seriously, why wait?! There are so many benefits that you will experience when you start to incorporate self-care activities into your life. For example, you will:
- Make better decisions when it comes to your health, activities, relationships, and more
- Be so much more efficient
- Be in a better mood and a better overall mental state
- Be in overall better health
- Feel so much happier and less likely to get irritated
- Be so much more likely to pursue your dreams
The benefit of a self-care retreat or wellness retreat is that you have the opportunity to step away from your daily habits and normal routine. It’s dedicated time for you to reflect, recharge and reset… and, seriously, Costa Rica is the perfect place to do this. With the slower pace and peaceful, calm energy, you’ll be able to focus on yourself and what YOU need instead of having to split your attention between trying to care for the people around you and trying to carve out time for yourself.
As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Prioritizing yourself means that you will be more likely to show up as your best self so that you’ll be able to better care for the people around you. Dedicate time to recharge your batteries… and the Luna Azul Retreats retreat experiences are the perfect place where you can start - GUILT FREE. (And without the added stress of all the planning!)
In the meantime, here are some small ways of caring for yourself that you can incorporate into your everyday life:
- Drink lots of water
- Eat clean, unprocessed foods that give you energy
- Get your full 8 hours of sleep
- Incorporate more movement – go for a walk, take a dance class, fitness class…
- Schedule time to practice a hobby or activity that you enjoy
- Journal – free-writing, gratitude, anything!
When you get stressed, self-care is usually the first thing to fly out the window so the secret is to SCHEDULE time for yourself on your calendar.
Make sure that your own self-care isn’t an option – it’s a PRIORITY.
Time invested into yourself means that you can show up for the people who count on you. (Not to mention being a great example for them when it comes to their own self-care!) And you’re showing up for YOURSELF in a meaningful way.
Be kind to yourself and schedule in your self-care time now.
Enjoy the journey,