Hi #foldgirls! I know what you're thinking: "Natalie, you are notoriously bad at self-care." And you'd be right. But this is something I'm consciously working on changing right now, and I thought it might be helpful to share a little bit of my journey at a time when I know we could all use a little bit of help in this area-- the dead of winter.
Here are a few tips I've learned recently that I hope are effective for you too, ranging from easy to incorporate to more difficult mental shifts:
take vitamin D and maybe get a Verilux happy light: when the winter weather hits and the sun doesn't shine for days on end, I definitely struggle. ultimately I think I'll need to live in a warmer, sunnier climate for the best self care, but in the meantime I take a high dosage of vitamin D, and I also use a Verilux lamp [a gift from a dear client] while I'm getting ready in the morning. And when the sun does make an appearance, I make an effort to get outside and let it shine on my face, even if I have to bundle up.
make sure you are sleeping, eating, and exercising: obviously this is a hard one to implement, but I'm taking steps to improve because I realize it's absolutely essential to feeling good. I'm someone who requires a lot of sleep, and so I try to listen to my body and get that sleep without feeling guilty about it. As much as I wish I could feel energized after 5 hours, that doesn't work for me. I've also been making it a priority to get my exercise time in [pure barre is just down the street from the shop, or i love to follow @melissawoodhealth for at home workouts] and I don't allow myself to feel guilty for taking this time. Eating consistently and healthily is definitely the hardest one of these for me, but I'm working on making regular trips to the grocery store and having some easy and quick go-tos at hand.
lower your expectations: this sounds a little sad at first, but it's been something that helps me the most. We put so much pressure on ourselves to have the perfect life, mostly thanks to social media [my next tip], but if you can adjust your mindset and instead hope for a nice life instead of a perfect one, then you won't be as let down when perfection isn't achieved... because odds aren't it won't be.
remove any messaging that makes you feel like your life isn't as good as someone else's: if other people's facebook and instagram accounts are making you feel inferior, delete them. comparison is the thief of joy, and it's so critical that we realize that social media is a curated world, particularly for business owners, influencers, and other public figures. whenever people comment that my life is glamorous, I make sure to tell them that I focus on the beautiful and the happy on social media because its my brand, but in no way is that my life all the time [do you really want me to post about the non-glamorous side? cleaning toilets etc.?] social media is often a business tool, and nothing more.
do something for someone less fortunate than you: it's so important to do this when I'm especially down, because it gives me perspective, and perspective is one of the most important things in life. it's so easy to get wrapped up in our own miseries, but when we look at the plight of others, we realize that we should be filled with gratitude for the good in our own lives.
I hope these tips help you when you're feeling a little down, beat-up, and tired, as we all can feel during the winter season. In the meantime, please feel welcome to stop by the shop for a little extra love and self-care in the form of retail therapy. after all, there are far worse ways to make yourself feel better. we're here for you!