In this season, I’ve learned the most important person to reach is yourself.
To tend the garden of your heart is the best thing you can do for yourself, your family and community. This means you have to pay attention to what is being planted and cultivated. It’s checking in with yourself in every area of your life because it’s all connected.
What kind of fruit do you see? Does it taste good?
What weeds are creeping up?
Can you identify what pests might be trying to make their way into your garden to have a heyday?
Your mind, emotions, body, and spirit all work together to make you who you are. What’s in your heart will flow into your thoughts and eventually manifest in your physical body. By creating space to listen, you can begin to identify what seeds are germinating from within and deal with things at the root of the matter.
Good self-care is like proper hygiene for the soul. Taking time for self-care may feel like a luxury but it’s essential if you want to live from a place of overflow, not overwhelm.
While there are many ways to approach self-care, I want to talk about four things I’ve found to be non-negotiable for me.
Heal your gut. Your mind, mood and emotions are intimately linked to the health of your gut. Taking time to heal your digestive system and eating a nutrient-dense diet is one of the most practical and beneficial ways to support your mental and emotional well being. Learn more about what this looks like here.
Practice gratitude. This could look like taking a few moments to take some deep breaths and recalling things you're grateful for. Or perhaps you make space to take time when you start and end your day to write down 3-5 things that come to mind. It’s a lot harder to be afraid and overwhelmed when you’re anchored in gratitude.
Diffuse quality essential oils. Uplifting oils like bergamot, magnolia or orange are great to diffuse or wear as a perfume. At the end of a long day, I love to take an Epsom salt bath with lavender or roman chamomile. Make sure you buy therapeutic-grade oils though since many on the market have synthetics that can cause hormonal disruption and all kinds of negative domino effects in your body.
Get outside daily. Take a walk around the block. Use this time to take in some deep breaths and check-in with yourself. Moving 15-30 minutes a day really helps us to clear the cobwebs out of our minds.
You may feel like there is no time or that you don’t have the freedom to take care of yourself. But you must. It’s the times in my life when I get more wrapped up in taking care of others than myself that I get overwhelmed, cranky, exhausted and end up with nothing to give after all.
As I write this, I’m reminded of the importance of reaching myself first and receiving permission to love myself: spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. You too my friend have permission to thrive. To love yourself. Your husband, kids, and friends will thank you!
Kelly Jo Preston is a Nutritional Therapy Consultant who is passionate about holistically supporting women through all stages of motherhood. You can find out more about Kelly Jo and her services at www.gritandbeauty.com