Self-Care and what it has to do with your Body

Did August kick you in the ass?

August is usually a time for rest and retreat. It’s a month people take off for vacation. It’s the calm before back-to-school. August is also about preparing for a new season and the rest of the year. There’s a lot going on.

Many people I’ve spoken to have had an intense August (me included).

So I looked into this further to try and make sense of what could be going on, or at least identify through a health coaching lens what you can do about it.

When you’re going through a challenging time in life, your health is affected whether it’s visible or not.

You may feel less motivated to exercise or eat healthily. You may experience cravings. Your body may go through physical changes because stress slows down your digestive system and confuses your appetite. You may feel too anxious to do much.

Don’t worry, because it’s all temporary. Trust that your body will always bounce back. The stress will pass. Being hard on yourself if things are not going as you had expected only causes more stress. Go with the flow instead of fighting it, and detach yourself from trying to control the outcome.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, you’re probably on the right track

It means it’s a time for growth. And you can’t grow without accepting the challenges and discomfort that comes with it. It’s the universe’s way of testing you until you want to quit, and letting you become stronger when you choose to fully accept and embrace the challenge.

Your other option is to not accept these challenges, choose comfort over growth, and stay exactly where you are.

Dealing with the overwhelm

If you are feeling any kind of nervous or anxious energy, or you’re just feeling not completely yourself, you are probably exactly where you should be. I believe there can be good levels of energy or shifts in energy that cause us to look inward.

Our bodies are incredibly intelligent and resilient systems that are built to give us signals like anxiety and overwhelm for good reason. At least this is what I believe in, which is why I’m so big on things like listening to your body, honouring hunger and fullness, and eating intuitively. The secret lies in raising your level of self-awareness to know that when you receive these signals from your body, they are for a reason, and your job is to figure what that reason is.

During my August introspection amidst the chaos, I asked myself, what am I forgetting that is causing me to feel ungrounded? I landed on … me. I forgot about maintaining the same standard of self-care I had going.

How do you practice self-care?

How you practice self-care is a reflection of how much you value and love yourself.

Think of someone who loves you unconditionally and compare the way they love you to the way you love yourself. Where are you lacking compassion, patience, forgiveness, and understanding in relativity?

Now, think of someone you love unconditionally. What do you do that you don’t consistently apply to the way you treat and think of yourself?

In order for you to put forward the best version of yourself to others, you need to take care of yourself first. Otherwise, you’ll burn out and those you care about get a tired, frustrated, depleted version of you.

It’s like that airplane safety analogy: always put your oxygen mask on first before helping others who may need your assistance.

How do you remember to put your oxygen mask on first? What do you do to care for yourself?