Taking time to take care of you.
We get so caught up in working, socializing, and studying that we end up getting stuck in a rut of carelessness and instant gratification. We tend to look for shortcuts because everything around us is moving so fast. The problem is, we end up making cuts in the wrong places. We forgo our health, our sanity, and our sleep just to keep our heads above water. Look at all the fad diets, get rich quick deals, and commercials about getting a degree without ever having to go to school. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to look at our culture and see that the overwhelming health issues, public mental break downs, and obsessions with sex and violence are a result of not “making the first thing first” in our lives.
I want to jump off the back of one of my first blogs talking about being the best version of you that you can be. This is much easier said than done, but it is one of the most important things we’ll ever fight for in our lives. The best version of me allows you to be the best version of you. So how can we get there? Well, that’s what I wanted to share today. There is no formula, because we are all SO different, but I thought I could help with some ideas to start.
Create a healthy image of you.
It’s more than just what you put on the outside. It’s how you see yourself on the inside. It’s more than telling yourself everyday that you’re beautiful, it’s believing it, and believing the source that Authored it.
Now, I am not an expert in fashion...it’s actually a challenge for me. One that I am happy to meet because like you, I want to feel good about what I’m wearing. Coming soon, I will be doing a feature on cleaning out your closet with a friend of mine who has been helping me do the same, but in the mean time let me start here:
Find clothes that show off your shape.
myshape.com shopformyshape.com commoncouture.com
Get regular hair cuts.
It keeps your hair looking healthy, shiny, and light. If you can’t afford a color every time, try putting a change jar by your door and fill it until you have enough to get a professional color, but know that there is no shame in investing in that box of Clairol #35. :)
Take care of your nails.
Trim, file, buff, and clean on a regular basis. I’m not a huge fan
of color on my fingers unless I need it for a special occasion, but I am a fan of it on my
feet. Just a quick run over every couple of weeks is enough to show that you like your
feet (even if you don’t). Whether you like the color or not, remember that a clear coat goes a long way on those precious fingers. Especially if you’re stepping out on the town with your friends. (And for you gentlemen readers, forgo the polish, but nail maintenance is just as important!)
luckybrand.com urbandoutfitters.com and forever21.com and, of course, style.com for ideas and pieces you might want to add to your collection. There’s always a reason to rock the jewelry. Don’t be afraid to do so. (For the boys: Feel free to rock that watch, those shades, those hot ties, and even that manly necklace your lady got you.)
Take care of your skin.
Use a gentle, non-comedogenic cleanser to wash away dirt and muck. Moisturize every day. Wear sun block. Exfoliate once a week. Wear sun block. Try to keep your hands away from your face (easier said then done). Take a day or two off from wearing full make-up. Wear sun block. Oh! And before I forget, wear sun block!
Sometimes all you need is a little mascara and a little blush.
My friend Raquel told me this years ago, and it’s so true. Sometimes putting on a full face of make-up is a bit too much or too time consuming, or perhaps you're giving your skin a break, so just dash on a bit of blush and brush those lushes lashes with some mascara and step out into that world of yours with confidence!
Now onto lifestyle:
Eat right and exercise. In that order.
I know it’s cliche, but I admit that this has been a challenge in my world, that again, I am happy to meet because I believe I’m worth it. What is more is that taking care of ourselves this way actually benefits others too. It inspires a healthy lifestyle in everyone around us, saves us a lot of money, and provides us the energy and clarity to be the impact in the world we wish to be. Now, this might take some effort and research on your part, but it’s worth it. Find the programs that work best for you, put a meal plan together, and really commit to it. I’ve spent more than two years trying to find what’s right for me, and it all comes down to eating a balanced diet and watching my portions. And I’ve seen the evidence in the idea that you can exercise 6 days a week and still not get healthy because the diet is not there. Studies show that 80 percent of weight loss is rooted in how well we eat. And remember, eating right doesn’t mean depriving yourself of delicious food. It simply means balancing out what you put into your body. I’ll be sharing more on this in future blogs.
Get some sleep, why don’t you!
7 hours of sleep every night is important for our health and sanity. The list of health issues that come with a lack of sleep are staggering. If you’re having trouble sleeping, I would highly suggest seeing your doctor and consider a sleep clinic. If it’s self inflicted, however, then get yourself some shut eye so you can be your witty, alert self. It should do more for you when you have that 2:30 feeling than a jolt of b vitamins in a tiny canister.
Turn off the technology for a bit.
It might sound silly, but our bodies need this to survive. I’ve heard it said that we can live months without food, but only 3 days without water. I’d say that makes water pretty valuable. And while on the subject of water, we should remember that we have a great privilege in having clean water to drink in the developed world. Please check out organizations like bloodwatermissions.com to see how you can help bring clean drinking water into those nations who are in desperate need of it.
Save. Save. Save.
Take a vacation.
Go to the beach, the cabin, or simply take that trip across the country that you keep talking about. Whatever you do, make sure you get out of town and out of your normal routine. And make sure it’s purely for entertainment purposes.
The bottom line in all of this is that we NEED to take care of ourselves because we’re worth it, because we were given the gift of life, and because if we are to love our neighbors as ourselves then we need to make it a priority to love ourselves to our best ability! It doesn’t take a lot of money, it might take a little time, but if we don’t give it our best shot, then we’re missing the abundance that is waiting for us to take a hold of.
Here’s to living an abundant life!