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The Art and Practice of Self-Care

"Self-Care is not selfish - it's essential!"

- Like Chocolate for Women

by Kim Morrison and Fleur Whelligan.

The art and practice of true self-care can be so difficult for so many of us to put into place. My own journey with self-care has also been fraught, but once I really took the time to look deep within and stop allowing the world and all of its endless distractions to be my excuse, I found a place of deep healing and self-love. But, before that could happen I had to acknowledge the belief that I wasn't worthy or important enough for self-care and the time that it required, because instead everyone else came first. Now I know that if I take the time that I need to care for myself and my needs, I'm better. So. Much. Better. And better in every way. Not only do I have more to give, more patience, more compassion and attention but now comes from a place of fullness, rather than a place of cranky, overtired, resentful emptiness. So I invite you to take some time over the next month to practice self-care and see what it brings to your life. And please remember this a practice.... and as such takes time to foster.

So please be kind and gentle with yourself always xx

5 Beautiful Ways to Self-Care

Take a bath

Take time at the end of a busy day, or the end of a stressful week to run a bath just for you. Make the process into a gentle self-care ritual by adding some beautiful essential oils, a few handfuls of Epsom salts, a small handful of fresh flowers or herbs from your garden and then scatter some tealight candles around the bathroom. It really can be that simple. Then all that is left to do is to put on some relaxing music, close the door and soak in the bath for as long as you please. Please let me know what beautiful combinations you come up with!

Read a book It only has to be a few minutes a day, but take the time to create a park bench moment. Make yourself a cup of herbal tea, find a quiet spot in your home, or head out to a shady spot in the garden or local park, and just take some time out to do something small and pleasurable for yourself so allowing yourself a little break from the pressures and demands of work and life. Once that cuppa is done, you can head back into responsible adult world again and feel so much happier for it.

Laugh Laugh.... and often! In this busy world that we live in we often forget to just have fun and laugh. Not that there needs to be research to back up how much better we feel when we laugh often, but there are other deeper physiological effects that have been found as well. According to a study done in 2014 in healthy, older adults the effect of laughter showed a significant improvement in learning ability and short term memory recall as well as a marked reduction in stress levels, as reflected by reduced cortisol levels of the participants. Laughter really is good medicine!

Eat well Take the time to eat remember to eat regularly and nurture your body with healthy wholefoods. One of the easiest ways to eat well and not feel deprived of those occasional yummy treats is to follow the 80/20 rule. The idea behind 80/20 eating is to eat wholefoods 80% of the time and which then allows you the scope and freedom to eat outside of the square 20% of the time. The best rule of thumb is to allow the 20% to be reserved for weekends, birthdays and those other special times in our lives when letting go is good for us. Eat real food, food that looks like it has just come in from your grandmother's veggie patch, the local farmer's market or picked off a tree. And grow herbs on your kitchen windowsill or in your garden. It's so easy and rewarding especially when that fresh rosemary can go into the baking tray under some chicken for a delicious baked dinner and the parsley or mint can make their way into your green salad. The phytonutrients present in these foods add valuable antioxidants and trace elements to our diets and help to reduce cholesterol levels, improve memory, eyesight and brain function, boost immunity, improve digestive function and prevent cancer.

See Your Naturopath If it's been a while since your last visit then maybe it's time to to schedule in some self-care. I would love to see you and know how you have been travelling over the last few months. Alternatively make an appointment with your massage therapist, chiropractor or acupuncturist or find a local yoga studio and find a class that you can go to regularly. Remember that complementary and alternative healthcare is preventative medicine, which not only allows them to be perfect as part of your long term self-care practice, but they also step into their fullness and depth with regular practice of which ever modality suits your mind, body and spirit best.

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