Give Yourself the Gift of Self-Care
By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor
Retail Dietitians are known for juggling multiple projects while maintaining hectic schedules, so finding time for self-care can be difficult. But giving yourself the gift of self-care on a consistent basis will allow you to feel happier and more balanced. If you need to carve out more self-care moments, the holiday season is a great time to make the commitment and start. These five pillars of self-care provide guidance for beginning or renewing the practice of self-love that will nourish your soul and leave you feeling motivated and refreshed throughout your week.
- Social – This pillar refers to those supportive people around you, including your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and others. These individuals help provide a feeling of social belonging and acceptance with their loving care. We all need someone to turn to in times of need when life gets a little demanding. Having your go-to people close by allows you to protect yourself from situations that drain you emotionally.
- Emotional – The emotional pillar is about understanding and managing your emotions and stress. Having a healthy awareness of how you are feeling can help you deal with unnerving situations like dealing with a difficult boss, meeting a tight deadline, or coping with a personal loss. Allow yourself to feel the emotions you have and give yourself time to process them. Show yourself some kindness and compassion and extend these feelings to others who may be going through a rough patch as well.
- Physical – The physical pillar refers to any activities that affect your physical wellbeing including exercise, diet, and sleep. As RDNs well know, the proper dietary pattern, regular physical activity and adequate rest are investments that provide life-long benefits. While every day can’t be perfect, look at the week ahead and make sure your schedule allows you to have proper sleep, periods of activity and at least some meals away from your desk. The beginning of the year is also a good time to get routine medical and dental visits on your calendar.
- Intellectual – The intellectual pillar encompasses all those things you do to enrich your mind. Reading journals, listening to webinars, talking with colleagues, learning a new skill, or taking a class. Setting aside time each week to learn something new helps you feel more accomplished and confident, while providing a sense of purpose. Look for ways to make learning fun and interactive both at work and outside of your job.
- Spiritual – Think of the spiritual pillar as those practices that enrich your soul. Consider the personal beliefs and values that guide your daily life and find ways to practice spiritual self-care in your own way. This can mean enjoying a spiritual practice such as yoga or meditation, or visiting your place of worship each Sunday. This pillar of self-care allows you to offer gratitude for the blessings in your life and to appreciate life as a whole. It is an essential part of self-care.