How to Practice Self Care

We all talk about being healthy - eating right and exercising. But for most of us, our health routine ends there. A lot of really important self care tips are overlooked in our busy lives as we prioritize work, school and our relationships more so than we do ourselves. This is why people can often struggle with health even though they seem to be doing all the right things. 

On my personal wellness journey, I got so caught up in the eating right, that I neglected everything else. However, to be truly well, it all needs to start from within - the mind. The mind-body connection is what truly gives us joy in living and finding happiness in our health practices. In order to fully absorb the nutrients in our food and the health benefits of our exercise, we must also incorporate a self care practice. 

 

Below is a list of wellness tips I have incorporated into my routine over the past year, and coincidentally they are also endorsed by Dr. Frank Lipman in his minicleanse program. 

 

Tip #1: Start the day with warm lemon water

Warm lemon water stimulates your digestion for the day and can help flush the body of toxins. Lemons are one of the most alkalizing foods for the body, so be sure to include them in your daily routine.

 

Tip #2: Sweat it out in the sauna (or bath) 

Sweating is a great way to release toxins through your skin during the reset (and beyond). Sweating in the sauna promotes healthy, glowing skin and is relaxing for your body and mind. A recent study also showed that taking a hot bath is equivalent to working out - a great way to burn calories while doing nothing.

 

Tip #3: Try restoratative yoga 

Yoga is our favorite detoxifying exercise, and twisting encourages the flow of oxygenated blood in the body while helping to eliminate toxins. Twisting can also help reduce any digestive discomfort; try a seated torso twist, which can be done at any time of day. I recently took a class where we had to roll up a blanket and lay face down on it, with the stomach (digestive system) being pushed into the ball. The discomforting feeling came from the digestive system being forced to relax, as it is a place of tension where we store our stress, having to constantly keep our abs engaged as we sit and stand. I highly recommend trying this pose to relieve anxiety and improve overall BM.

 

Tip #4: Take a bath 

An Epsom salt bath can help your body eliminate toxins and will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed. The Epsom salts contain magnesium as well as other minerals and nutrients that are absorbed into your skin during the bath and can help with the reset process. Dissolve about 2 cups of Epsom salt in your bathtub, stir with your hands to make sure it’s dissolved, and soak for about 20 minutes. You can also customize your bath with Himalayan pink salt (my favorite), mustard soaks, essential oils and so much more. For extra ambiance, dim the lights and burn a candle, insence or sage.

 

Tip #5: Dry brush your skin 

Dry skin brushing promotes cell renewal and blood  flow and helps the lymphatic system get rid of toxins. It’s also a great way to buff away dead skin cells and promote healthy, smooth skin. Get a natural brush, start at your feet, and make long sweeps towards your heart. You can find a dry brush at your local health food store or online.

 

Tip #6: Rest and Relax

Get at least eight hours of sleep every night during your reset. A good night’s sleep is fundamental to good health because your cells repair themselves more rapidly at night. During your hours of deep sleep, the body produces higher levels of human growth hormone (HGH), which promotes cellular renewal. Furthermore, since you are not eating while you sleep, your digestive system gets a break and your elimination processes can catch up. Try using a Fitbit to measure how much deep sleep, REM and other cycles you go through a night and see where you can improve.

In addition to resting your body, it is important to rest your mind. In other words, take a break from TV, newspapers, movies, and the internet, and make some quiet time for yourself. Use this deep revitalization period as an opportunity to consciously choose to relax or meditate for at least 20 minutes every day. Even five minutes is better than nothing.