It’s confusing out there. One week, Leafy Green X is the next superfood, and the next week there’s a recall because the bags of Leafy Green X have salmonella contagion.
Eggs are bad for you, but really it’s just egg yolks, but actually egg and egg yolks are great, but only if they haven’t been pasteurized.
Everyone needs to maintain social connections, which is what social media is for, except that social media is causing depression and anxiety in teenagers.
There’s no evidence that flossing is good for you, but if you go without flossing the way I did in my 20s, you’ll probably end up with a mouth full of fillings.
And let’s not even try to discuss pharmaceuticals, western v. eastern medicine, chiropractic v. physical therapists, vaccines, indoor toxins, and the benefits of medical marijuana.
Instead, let’s cut through all the crap and get back to the basics. What are some bare minimum basics of self-care?
First of all, guard your physical health. I know, I know, how on earth can we do that? Well, here are a few things you can do for your body that everyone agrees are beneficial.
- Sleep between 7 and 9 hours a night, on average
- Brush your teeth daily
- Eat a lot of plants (fruits and veggies), and eat a variety of foods
- Drink water, preferably enough to make your urine clear or light yellow
- Engage in daily physical activity (walking, biking, extra stairs, booty shaking, etc.)
You’ll notice that some of these activities have prerequisites. You’ll have to manage your time so you can go to bed earlier. You’ll have to find recipes to prepare plants so they don’t rot in your fridge. Etc. Don’t try to engage in all of these at once – start small and build those habits, like I talked about last month.
Keep Your Relationships Working
Humans require community. It’s not easy, and it can be painful, but at the end of the day, we need other people. So how can we keep relationships alive and well in our busy lives? This is an area where the advice is easier said than done, but it probably still bears repeating.
- Create and maintain healthy boundaries
- Cultivate one or two intimate best friend relationships (NOT your spouse)
- Communicate your needs honestly
- Give everyone the benefit of the doubt
Keep Your Spirit Working
While I’ve met plenty of people who didn’t participate in organized religion, I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t believe there’s more to life than the purely physical. Part of keeping ourselves healthy is doing something to connect with and grow our intangible self. This is why books about mindfulness, gratitude, and even tidying your house are so popular. So here are some basic practices for your spirit.
- Participate in a spiritual community. This doesn’t have to be organized religion. It can be a meditative yoga practice or a political action group. Spend time with people who share your worldview.
- Create silence in your life. This can be prayer, meditation, or any ritual that allows you to be silent.
- Pursue beauty. My friend Hugh Hollowell has a weekly newsletter that contains 5 beautiful things. Subscribe and nourish your soul each Monday.
- Make time for a hobby
Does this seem overwhelming? Are you anxious because you realize you aren’t doing ANY of these things? Schedule a call with me. During our talk, I’ll help you uncover what you are doing to care for yourself and you’ll discover new ways to love and care for yourself!