Our time is precious, so thank you for carving out some of yours and visiting. To be honest, this blog was pretty hard to write, despite its importance. I dragged my feet on it for over a week. Unfortunately, I had been slacking on my own self care due to some issues on the home front, among other things. BUT, I am back at it, and we are feeling good!
Something we need to understand about self care is that majority of the self care that people need to work on is internal. I am going to mention some of the things I do and use, and if you decide to take my advice, great. Either way, I guarantee you will gain something from reading this. I’d love to hear about your experience. If not, I’m open to your self care practices and ideas!
Self care has picked up a lot of steam in the past few years. Some people don’t care for the movement, and others are all about it. Some people look at it as selfishness. Others look at it as if taking care of yourself allows you to take care of others. Some regard it as essential to their wellbeing. Regardless, now is as good of a time as ever to starting thinking more about self care given the situation we’re all facing with the pandemic.
What is self care? To me, healthcare is self care, but a lot of what we typically see on social media is closer to pampering and indulgence. Not that it’s wrong to indulge once in a while, but it’s getting mixed up in the self care that actually matters. It can get confusing and mislead the average person who looks up to an influencer, writer, health expert, or celebrity.
What’s actually good for me, and what’s a treat? Can it be both? Sure it can, depending on your perceptions. I’m going to run through some of the self care techniques that have been benefitting me. If you haven’t guessed already, it’s not going to be about pampering. More-so it’s going to go along the lines of taking small steps towards optimal health, which is what taking care of yourself is all about.
1. Start your day with gratitude.
This is something that hits close to home with me. Studies from HeartMath Institute have shown that just by expressing gratitude it raises our levels of happiness and awareness. Our hearts are electromagnetic field generators. Gratitude, compassion, love, and other similar emotions will tap into that electromagnetic field. Think of the Law of Attraction.
A simple process of slowing your breathing (5 seconds in/out), focusing on your heart (with touch or imagining breathing through it), while feeling the feelings of gratitude will create brain-heart coherence in as little as three minutes. This allows for deep intuition, focus, reflection, and improved meditation. When we finally realize how lucky we are to be alive, our lives change. We are exactly where we are meant to be. Breathe in that first breath of the morning and be grateful for what you have. I recommend starting a Gratitude Journal to get you started on this habit.
2. Hydrate immediately after waking
I would drink a minimum of one liter of filtered water. I personally use the Big Berkey. After a lot of research this is the one I landed on. It’s great for travel and to have on your countertop in the kitchen. It’s also the best as far as bang for your buck for a high quality gravity filter. Make sure you grab fluoride filters as well.
Unfortunately, the tap water we are all used to contains a lot of chemicals that aren’t suited for consumption. If you want to go the extra mile, then check out Pristine Hydro’s electrolyte balance. Most of us are deficient in magnesium, which is an essential nutrient. The electrolyte balance and magnesium bicarbonate takes our hydration to the next level. Enter code LOGICAL for 10% off Pristine Hydro!
3. Expose yourself to sunlight once you’ve hydrated
The human body can create and convert vitamin D in one of two ways: through your eyes and through your skin. I don’t believe in vitamin D supplements. It’s best to get it directly from the source. When getting vitamin D from the sun there are a couple exercises you can do upon waking. Walk outside and look a few degrees below the sun and blink rapidly 10 times. Close your eyes for a few seconds, then repeat the same exercise a few degrees to the right, to the left, and above the sun. What this does is signal your brain that it’s time to wake up and begin the day. Most of us just sprint out of bed, shower, grab a cup of coffee and you’re off to work still exhausted. This aids in the process of waking up. Trust me, your eyes will get used to it.
While on the subject of sunlight, most of us are sunlight deficient. A good compensation of this would be to look into red light therapy. Some spas offer red light and infrared sauna treatments, but that can get expensive if you want to do it regularly. I did some research and decided to get a home device, which I use daily. All you really need is 10-20 minutes of daily exposure to the red light panel, and you’ll be getting a lot of benefits.
I personally use the GembaRed Groove, which emits red, deep red, and near infrared light. Like plants, we humans are designed to get the full spectrum of light from the sun. Most of us don’t get that full spectrum of light due to our modern lifestyles containing blue light and digital screens. A way to bring ourselves back to natural order is by supplementing with red light therapy. What’s great about the GembaRed is that you can rest it directly on your skin, it’s light, and perfect for travel. I bring it with me if I’m on a road trip or staying in hotels. It’s worth a shot! Enter LOGICAL for 10% off.
4. Get grounded
Kill two birds with one stone from the previous tip and do your sunlight exercises barefoot in the grass. I make a point of walking barefoot everyday even if it’s for a few minutes. There’s something extremely special and therapeutic about being connected to the Earth. Let us not forget our relationship with nature.
There is a wonderful documentary called The Grounded on Prime Video, which I recommend checking out to anyone interested in the subject. They dive into the profound healing effects of grounding. If you want to stay grounded throughout the day, then check out these grounding sandals, which are inspired by the Tarahumara’s huarache sandals. These are made in the USA, and their mission is to “re-wild” the population. We are social animals, so let’s get back in touch with nature. Enter code LOGICAL for 10% off!
5. Unplug from the news and ads
This will do wonders for you. The news and ads are fear mongering and toxic to our brains and hearts. We have no idea how much our brains are being bombarded with bad information on a daily basis. Our subconscious is very delicate and downloads information without us knowing.
If you watch the news, stop. If you don’t want to be marketed to 24/7, then download an ad-blocker. I understand wanting to stay informed, but, believe me, the people on the news do not have your best interests at heart. All they care about is clicks, engagement, and ratings. This may be hard 100% of the time, but doing your part and eliminating as much as possible will only benefit you. You won’t miss out on current events, don’t worry.
6. Eat more living, water rich foods
I’m sure we’ve all heard that humans are made up of 72% water. The sad thing is that we are supposed to be 72% water, but the average person’s water percentage is in the 50s and 60s. For this reason we need to hydrate and eat more water rich foods. What are those foods? They are your fruits, leafy greens, and veggies. Go organic if possible. I recommend investing in a juicer. Blenders are great and all, but juicers do all the processing for you. All your body has to do is assimilate all the glorious nutrients Mother Nature has to offer.
These are the three juicers that I recommend: Green Star Elite, Omega J8006 and the Aicok. The Aicok is the most reasonably priced. The GSE is the one I personally use, and I love it. It’s pricy, yes, but it’s worth it due to the technology and yield it produces. You’ll be pleased with any one of these three juicers. Remember, we are electric beings. The more living foods we consume, the higher our biophoton levels become, and we become more vibrant and energetic.
7. Start a deep breathing regimen
This cannot be overstated, especially now that some places are requiring mandatory masks. Clean air is a rare thing nowadays, so we have to do our due diligence by exercising our lungs and pumping out the stale, toxic air we consume. Kudos to you if you live in a mountainous or coastal area where the natural ions are flowing freely. Not all of us have that luxury.
We are alkaline by nature, but acidic by habit. When we adopt a breathing regimen we can re-alkalize our bloodstream and tap into the autonomous nervous system to regulate our stress and healing levels. This is great to do prior to meditation since the energy networks are being opened and stimulated. The Taoists believe that deep breathing is the number one thing we can do for our health as far as exercise. It’s a lost art, but now people are finally beginning to believe its power. Thank you, Wim Hof!
8. Try a dopamine detox
I aim to do this once a week. What is a dopamine detox? This is a whole blog in and of itself, which I will write about soon. What we need to understand about dopamine is that it’s the ‘desire’ chemical that is released in our brain. We live in a very stimulating world with our smartphones, TVs, calorically dense food, music, porn, etc. Our brain’s dopamine toleration points are through the roof nowadays. Most people think of dopamine as the pleasure chemical, but recent studies have shown that dopamine is released in anticipation of an event. When you catch yourself in an almost uncontrollable urge to do something, that’s more than likely the dopamine firing on all cylinders.
To paraphrase a dopamine detox, it’s basically setting aside some time to completely unplug from anything stimulating. The goal is to be extremely bored. When I do my dopamine detoxes I don’t eat, drink, scroll social media or watch TV for a whole day. All I can do is sit around, work on my breathing, and maybe go for a walk. What this does is reset your dopamine toleration point. That next day you’ll find yourself appreciating smaller things more. Controlled deprivation is something that we should all aim to do once in a while. There are less intense versions of a dopamine detox of course. An easier one would be no phone, no TV, and no junk food. Try that for a day and see how you feel.
9. Avoid tech for the first hour after waking
This can be a hard one. Most of us sleep with our phones, and now a lot of people are working from home. I recently bought an alarm clock. A key for this point is to shut out the noise until it’s absolutely necessary to check your email, and let’s be real. Emails aren’t your problem per se. They are other people’s problems. If you can manage to completely unplug from work outside of business hours, then you’re in a good place. There’s a time and a place for work.
10. Say ‘no’ more often
I grew up a people pleaser, and I know a lot of people are the same way. We don’t like to disappoint. That got me into a lot of trouble when I reflect on all the times I said ‘yes’ when I shouldn’t have. If you don’t feel like doing something, then don’t do it. It’s your calendar, not your friends and family. Our time is our most valuable commodity, so I think you should have some say in how you use it.
11. Start incorporating fasting in your life
I can write about this topic for hours, but I’ll keep it brief. We put entirely too much burden on our digestive system, especially in the west with our eating habits. It’s something a lot of people struggle with. We shouldn’t be eating more than three times per day, and even three times isn’t necessary in my opinion. We are perfectly capable of hitting our “calorie” goals with two meals.
The constant snacking that’s in our culture along with the 4+ course dinners absolutely destroys our intestinal tract and pollutes our bodies. 95% of the human population has a clogged colon from what I have learned. Take a day off from eating once a week or every other week. Skip breakfast. Pass up on that donut your coworker brought the staff. Your food tubes will thank you for it, and so will the rest of your body. I keep coming back to it, but if you can manage doing a juice fast it will be the best decision you have ever made. Here is another article for extra motivation.
Get out there and move. Get the blood and the lymph fluid moving. Exercise is essential to health and self care. Endorphins are released, and your body craves the stress of exercise. However you want to sweat, do it. Walk, run, lift weights, play basketball, cycle, yoga, whatever. When you sweat you’re releasing toxins, and this is a good thing.
13. Wear blue light blocking glasses
If we’re sitting in front of a computer all day and watching TV at night, then we’re putting a lot of strain on our eyes. I have both the night and day Swannies, but if you don’t feel like purchasing the ‘day’ versions, then I would definitely get the night versions. Blue light suppresses our melatonin production, which makes it harder to fall asleep.
There have been times where I have been completely exhausted after work to the point I could fall asleep on the train, then when I got home to eat and flip on the TV I’m not tired anymore. These blue lights emitted from screens, artificial lighting of homes, and offices effect our melatonin production, so if you find yourself indulging in TV, phone, or computer late at night, then invest in some Swannies. These help fight insomnia, fatigue, and other health issues that come from lack of sleep and screen exposure. Use code LOGICAL for your discounted pair!
14. Go the extra mile with personal care products that don’t contain toxins
This part may get a little hippie, but I’m not worried. For the amount of trouble people go through to avoid consuming smoke and alcohol, some don’t realize the toxins that other hygiene products and activities contain. One would be to get a shower filter. I use the AquaBliss Shower Filter. It’s super easy to install, and it removes chlorine and other toxic chemicals from your shower water. We basically want to make the shower water drinkable.
A lot of skin problems occur from the water and personal care products we use. The average person absorbs 1-2 gallons of water in a 10 minute shower. That’s a lot of “hard” water. That’s more than you drink! So we need to be more conscious of the water we bathe in. Another thing we can do is use fluoride free toothpaste and natural deodorant. I use Dr Bronner’s for both my soap and my toothpaste, and Tom’s for my deodorant. If we can’t eat it, we shouldn’t be putting it in our mouth or on our skin. We forget that we absorb these things, and a lot of the products we use contain carcinogenic chemicals that are harmful to the body in the long run.
15. Delete social media apps from your phone
A friend of mine got me on this one, and it’s been great. The average person is scrolling social media for two hours a day. Cumulatively, that is one month out of the year! When you stop and think about that, it’s pretty mind boggling. Just by deleting it from your phone will do more than you know. Our brains are highly stimulated nowadays, and social media apps are designed to be so engaging that we can’t stop scrolling. By deleting it from your phone it removes the temptation to constantly grab it to see if you have notifications or what else your favorite celebrity posted today.
The sad part about social media is that these people that we follow are, for the most part, posting their highlight reel of their lives. Less than 1% of their life is on social media. We don’t see the bad side of their day to day, and we crave seeing it. Remove the option of having it on your phone, and you’ll be forced to go on your computer which most people aren’t around 24/7. This also takes away the immediate Instagram check upon waking, which is a horrible habit.
16. Spread love
There is only one of you, and the world needs more of it! Whether it’s buying coffee for the person behind you in line or sending a loving text to people that are important in your life, you are taking care of others, and, in turn, taking care of yourself.
I remember one day a little over a year ago, I just felt the urge to text all the people most important to me to tell them how much they meant to me. It was an emotional experience, and I’m sure it was a surprise to those people. Nowadays, I try and write notes instead when I can. It’s a little more personal, and you’ll make their day! I guarantee it. So do your best to spread more love in the world!
17. Make time for your hobbies
It’s important to do things that bring you joy. Whether that’s sketching, performing music, dancing, exercising, playing sports. A lot of times it can be hard to unplug from our jobs, especially now that most of us are working from home. If it’s too hard to make time for your hobbies, then put it on your calendar. When writing it down, speak it into existence that you will make time for your hobbies. Then do it!
“Men are born soft and supple; dead they are stiff and hard. Plants are born tender and pliant; dead, they are brittle and dry. Thus whoever is stiff and inflexible is a disciple of death. Whoever is soft and yielding is a disciple of life. The hard and stiff will be broken. The soft and supple will prevail.”
That’s a famous quote from the father of the Tao, Lao Tzu. I love that quote. It behooves us to stretch! Our bodies contain a vast network of cells and blood. Sometimes that blood gets trapped. We have stagnant blood in our organs and muscles, so it’s good to move, stretch, and breath that blood to other areas of the body in order for new cleansed blood to circulate those areas. A tip while stretching is to inhale, focus on a stressed area, hold your breath while focusing on that stressed area, and then exhale at that stressed area pushing further if possible. Then repeat. Where the mind goes, energy follows, so use your mind to move that blood around!
19. Rearrange the apps on your phone
This one I just came up with recently. After reading Atomic Habits, one of the tips was to make your bad habits harder to do and your good habits easier. I liked that. I immediately thought of my phone. I took the ‘Safari’, ‘Messages’, ‘Mail’, off my main dock. I put the ones I was on most in folders. I then moved my reading apps to my dock. It’s almost forced me to go on my Audible and Kindle apps.
I used to just muscle memory click on my email and texts for no reason whatsoever. Checking my email 25 times a day made zero sense. Since then I’ve only checked it a few times per day, so take a habit tip and do some rearranging!
20. Practice personal positivity daily
Whether this is practicing affirmations or doing the body-love-mirror exercise, it’s good to speak to yourself positively. The body love mirror exercise is very powerful. Nathaniel Branden implemented this technique with his clients for raising self-esteem. Self-esteem is a huge problem in the world today, so this exercise is great for reinforcing self love, self acceptance, and self respect.
It’s a simple exercise. All you do is look at yourself in the mirror in the morning for a minute or two, preferably naked, and verbalize that you accept yourself. You may notice things you like, you may notice things you don’t like. Vocalize both. Say 10 things you like and maybe 5 things you accept that you need to work on. Forgive yourself. The key is speaking your thoughts and accepting you and your body. Accepting doesn’t mean you like it, but by speaking the words you’re acknowledging what is and what you may need to work on or appreciate more. Doing this for a week or so will establish a better relationship with your body.
21. Schedule a total relaxation day and put it on the calendar
I’ll save the pampering for last. We forget to rest. We heal when we rest. Rest is a relative term. It can mean a mani pedi. It can mean sleeping until noon. It may be taking a schvitz with your friends. It may be a warm bath by candlelight. It can mean a massage. Listen to your body!
Self care is so important. Nobody will rest, sleep, eat healthy, exercise, and do affirmations for you. I don’t look at self care as selfishness at all. We need to take care of ourselves, because, by doing so, we are in a better position to take care of others. Positivity has a ripple effect. The more healthy, vibrant, and positive we are, the more it’ll transfer to others.
Now is the time to make changes, so put it on your calendar and vocalize that you need to take care of yourself. Remember, health care is self care. How you treat yourself is how you feel about yourself, so let’s live logically and look after our body, mind, and soul’s wellbeing.
Good luck, and thanks for reading!