Sound The Self-Care Alarm (Literally)
Someone please sound the self-care alarm. Too many of us are depriving ourselves of self-care, and the latest health statistics for adults in the U.S. are alarming.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Nearly 40 percent of adults are obese.(1)
- One out of three adults are not sleeping at least seven hours every night.(2)
- Less than a quarter of adults are getting enough exercise.(3)
- Only one in 10 adults are eating enough fruits and vegetables.(4)
Eating well, exercising regularly and getting quality sleep are at the core of self-care—something that is often pushed to the bottom of the to-do list (OK, let’s be honest, sometimes self-care doesn’t even make the list) because there are so many others things to do and people to take care of before we can even begin to think about ourselves.
Choose Self-Care Today and Every Day
As a full-time working mom, yoga teacher and writer who has spent thousands of hours on a yoga mat, I know that it’s tempting to focus on everyone and everything else but your own wellness. But it’s time to start raising the self-care standard.
With every choice you make—from going to bed an hour earlier, finding exercise you enjoy, adding avocado to your meals, journaling daily, meditating for a few minutes before you leave your bedroom every morning—you can choose self-care. And it all adds up.
Self-Care Strategy: Use an Alarm
One of my favorite strategies that serves as a gentle nudge to prioritize self-care is something that can be initiated with a few swipes on a phone. Set an alarm with a gentle tone or song at regular intervals throughout the day as a reminder to touch base with your self-care. Every time the alarm rings, it signals that it’s time for a self-care activity, such as meditation, a pause to prepare a nourishing meal, leaving the house to attend a yoga class and beginning your bedtime routine.
Just like you would schedule a meeting or appointment, program times for your own wellness. Your self-care can’t wait. The alarms will help you establish self-care habits until they become your routine.
Be a Self-Care Leader
Once self-care is integrated into your daily routine, you’ll start to feel better and have more energy because you’re investing in your wellness. Other people will probably notice. When they do, share with them how you prioritize self-care to help spark their transformation.
Come back to your self-care over and over again and you and everyone else in your life will repeatedly thank you for taking better care of yourself.
Does setting a self-care alarm keep your wellness on track? What other self-care strategies work for you?
Photo © Copyright by Laura Brown Photography
1. Adult obesity facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html. Accessed November 24, 2018.
2. 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0215-enough-sleep.html. Accessed November 24, 2018.
3. Blackwell DL and Clarke TC. State Variation in Meeting the 2008 Federal Guidelines for Both Aerobic and Muscle-strengthening Activities Through Leisure-time Physical Activity Among Adults Aged 18–64: United States, 2010–2015. National Center for Health Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr112.pdf. Accessed November 24, 2018.
4. Only 1 in 10 adults get enough fruits or vegetables. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p1116-fruit-vegetable-consumption.html. Accessed November 24, 2018.
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