Your habits can be healing.
Do you believe that your habits can be healing?
Many of us for one reason or another stopped or never learnt how to take care of ourselves.
I was well into my 30’s when I started learning how to care for myself. Before that I had managed to keep myself and my young children fed, and watered, clean and hold down a job. But I really didn’t realise that there was much more to it than that.
I also had this idea that good health was a matter of luck. I would always refer back to the urban myth of the 90 year old who smoked and drank everyday of her life, and she was doing fine.
I’m sure that you are all way more responsible than me, and are probably shocked. It seems weird now, looking back. But I really didn’t take care of myself – I ate a lot of junk, loads of sugar, I smoked and I drank, alot! It was what everyone did that I hung around with, I genuinely didn’t know any different.
We find the stories to support our behaviour don’t we. Like my story of the granny smoking and sipping brandy. Maybe you have had stories of your own which back up your behaviour. That doesn’t mean that those stories are necessarily right and true. As I have found out!
It turns out that your health and wellbeing isn’t due to luck, our lifestyle choices have a huge effect. What we eat, drink, how much we move, how we manage stress all play a significant part in our mental and physical wellbeing.
These words, wellbeing, and self-care are mis-used. They are used to sell luxury bubble bath and expensive retreats. But what I mean when I use those words is simply being well and that doesn’t require luxury, it just needs simple self-care.
Simple, when you know what that is. It’s taken me a while to learn what works for me and it is something that I constantly review.
There are proven areas of self care that we know support our mental and physical wellbeing:
- Movement – improves health and mood, doesn’t matter so much what you do as long as you do it regularly. I have lots of mini movement videos in my free Facebook community.
- Meditation – is helpful on many levels, reducing stress and improving outlook by helping us to practice being present.
- Mindset – there are many techniques that we can use to change our mindset, think of it like training the mind, in the same way we would train our body. We practice meditation and mindset techniques every week in the Happy Healthy membership.
- Relaxation and Sleep – Sleep is fundamental to our mental resilience and our health. It’s healing and restorative. You can download and listen to my free short guided relaxation here.
- Eating Well – the presence of healthy bacteria in the gut creates a positive feedback loop through the vagus nerve, increasing its tone. I spoke to gut health expert Dr Julie Greenberg, ND on the podcast, you can catch up here.
These areas are a great framework to use for re-prioritising your self-care. But you don’t have to tackle everything at one. Pick one area that appeals to you and start with just one habit that moves you in the right direction. I teach my clients how small, manageable actions of self care over time are what make long lasting impact.
Start smaller than you think you can. In bed 10 mins earlier, sitting quietly for just 2 mins, writing down just 3 things that you are grateful for, walking just a few steps more than you do usually every day.
The interesting thing is that taking these small actions of self-care start to reinforce the belief that you are important, you are worthy of care and attention and time and this has the knock on effect of improving your sense of self-worth.
These habits also help to make you feel looked after, you can start to re-parent yourself and that in turn can help you to feel safer, calmer and more connected.
So remember, your habits can be healing and you have the power to create those habits.
If you would like some support with that just let me know.