It comes down to taking care of yourself every day and not waiting until you are stressed out or burnt out. Yesterday, we took Art, exercise and dance classes, seminars on deep breathing and classes on nutrition and yoga. We had a wonderful breakfast and lunch provided by the university. There were nurses who took our blood pressure and Massage Therapists who gave massages. Best of all, it gave me the motivation to begin my own daily self care plan. Losing a few pounds would be great however losing weight is not my intent. As a matter of fact, I learned yesterday that most of those so-called diets out there are not only unhealthy they do not sustain weight loss or overall good health. I learned yesterday that proper food choices is the key to long term weight loss and overall good health. The nutritionist told us you are not suppose to starve yourself or work yourself to death in a gym. As a matter of fact, she suggested you front load your breakfast with protein (eggs, yogurt, salmon) add a whole grain (what toast, oatmeal) exchange fruit juices for the whole fruit )banana, orange, apple, berries). She suggested a healthy snack mid-morning (peanut butter and apple) then lunch (protein, grain, veggies, fruits) mid-day snack (hummus and pita) and dinner (protein, grain, veggies, fruits) even treat self to a sweet. She suggested making your own trail mix which should be one grain, one protein and sweet( cheerios, beans, sunflower seeds, dried fruit or chocolate chips). She suggested smoothies for desserts.
As far as exercise, you should get at least 30 mins of exercise everyday for good health and if you want to lose weight increase it to one hour. The best part of this exercise regiment is you should break it down into 10 min intervals throughout the day instead of all at once. Marching, side steps, stairs, swats, walks can be all done throughout the day without a gym. Who cannot manage 10 mins at a time throughout the day. I always thought I needed to go to a gym and workout for hours. I also thought I needed one of those diets where you have to lose ten pounds a week. Yesterday, I was taught by an expert that the latter is not only unhealthy but unrealistic as it does not sustain overall weight loss or health.
Art in any form is a great way to take care of yourself and it comes in the form of drawing, writing, photography, music, gardening. It is about creating something. I like to write and garden. My husband likes photography and music. I think we are both covered in the Art forms.
Dance. It is not only fun and a great way to use muscles you thought you never had but it is good for those who struggle with anxiety and depression. There is a new thing out in Philadelphia called Dancing the Blues Away and it is learning dance steps to blues music which I learned yesterday. What a blast we had.
Yoga, massages, deep breathing should be a regular part of daily living which means one should not wait until they are stressed out before using these techniques. It was a great work shop and since I am one of those people who likes to learn things and incorporate them into my daily life or as Bill tells me "I am always evolving". I came up with my own self care plan as followed;
- Writing each morning before I start my day so I guess you will see more blog entries.
- Ten min exercises throughout the day starting when I arise in the morning.
- Taking lunch away from my desk no matter how busy I am then taking a short 15 min walk to clear the cobwebs of stress out of my head.
- I always eat cheerios and a banana for breakfast everyday and a mid- morning clementine at 10am, generally a salad with beans in it for protein at lunch however I need to cut down on the sweet snacks as I love chocolate and pie. I also need to cut down on the wine. I generally always have a glass of wine with dinner and dessert afterwards. I do not drink soda or fruit juices and I drink at least 48 ounces of water a day so I am good with that practice. I have two cups of coffee in the morning but I never use sugar on anything. I drink a cup of green tea in the evening of course without sugar.
- I want to start walking more in the evenings. I always read so I am good with that.
- With the nicer weather coming back I know my weekends will be filled with genealogy research a.k.a walking in cemeteries, hiking, photographing and of course when we open the beach house I will be back to bike riding and swimming.
- Making a point to get manicures every two weeks and a pedicure once a month. No. I will never get "fake nails" but I will get my own nails polished.
- Taking a vacation every three months as oppose to every six months. Currently, Bill and I plan vacations in the month of April and October. April is usually a "fly" destination and October is "road trip" destination. I think we will incorporate two long weekends too.