My How-To to Self-Care: 5 Easy Steps You Can Take Today

BY Amy Leever

One of the biggest excuses I had about not taking care of myself was, “I don’t have time.” On so many occasions I chose my Facebook update or watching some senseless tv show or the my kids were young and needed my attention

I created as much distraction as possible because I didn't want to deal with my issues … there was too much of it! Honestly, I didn't know where to start. I tried so many different things, but my ADD & OCD & self proclaimed 'Perfectionism' kept reminding me I wasn't able to do anything right. Eventually, I would end up on the couch surrendering my sorrows in a bowl of ice cream or a package of Oreos. Or I'd find myself complaining in a Facebook status about how my life sucked. It seemed the more I tried to make myself do something the more excuses I came up with.

My life had spiraled out of control so far that I wanted to just end it. Thoughts of suicide raced through my mind. My epiphany came in a grocery store parking lot, while talking to a friend I hadn't seen in years. Feeling so disgusting, lethargic, sick and embarrassed -- I finally understood what I needed to do:

1. Take some 'me' time every morning. 

I am NOT a morning person. If you know me well, you know not to speak to me until I've had some quiet time & my cup of coffee. BUT, I find it's best to take personal time in the morning. I get up almost an hour before everyone else so I can take time to reflect, breathe, make peace with my day ahead. I read a few versus out of my bible. I say a prayer. I go over my daily 'to do' list & schedule. I scroll through Facebook or read a few emails. Just time to wake up and connect with myself.

2. Fix your attitude. 

Your attitude is a very important aspect of your life. The excuses you make create a negative attitude. Walking around with a chip on your shoulder isn't the right way to create joy in your life. Blaming other people or the economy for your circumstances doesn't create peace and happiness either. Get over your ego! What we feel, we manifest. Therefore, allowing your emotions control your attitude is a definite no-no! Take a deep breath and let it go. Take responsibility for your own choices that lead you to the circumstances you are in. If you want something to change, YOU MUST BE the change. Get rid of the sob story and go after what you want. You are the only thing stopping you.

3. Food matters. 

Taking care of yourself means watching the food you eat. We live in a microwave, drive-thru world that demands we eat on the go. Fast foods, junk food and sugary drinks, eventually add pounds and increase burnout. It really is the truth - when you eat crap, you will feel like crap! Remember, you are what you eat. Do your well-being a favor and select the food you eat with a clear sense of what exactly you're putting in your body. It is not expensive to eat a clean, organic, whole food diet. It's a misconception because people just don't want to take the time to know & understand the difference. 

4. Get rid of the bad apples. 

Sometimes the company we keep become our worst enemies (literally). If a person or a relationship is not positive and nourishing to the soul, get rid of them. Distance yourself from the negative, sulking, whiners in your life. Instead, surround yourself with positive, supportive and energetic people who will lift you up and push you to move forward. There's a little cliche that happens to be true: You are a combination of the 5 people closest to you. Who are you allowing in your circle?

5. Disconnect. 

Email. Cell phones. Social Media. Video Games. Even television are constantly THERE! Give your mind-body-soul a break and develop an 'Unplug Time' of day. For me, having the family & myself unplug by 7pm every night is our rule of thumb. There is absolutely NOTHING so important that you can't unplug for a few hours every night. 

Developing the keys to wellness that work within your lifestyle is easy and cost free. All you need is a little time and determination to be your best self. With persistence I've developed healthy habits that suit my life, you can too.

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