One of the major things that I work with my clients to prioritize is self-care. This goes well beyond just eating right and exercising. Self-care is about making yourself a priority and doing what you need to do to feel good. It means taking time for yourself, it means saying “no” to things, and it means doing something good for yourself.
My major self-care practice lately has been starting off every day by making a list of the things I’m grateful for. I’m going through a very stressful time right now and this has been really helpful to me in keeping my spirits up. I start my day off on a positive note thinking about all the things I have to be grateful for and I can revisit that list throughout the day when I am starting to struggle. I revisit my gratitude list at night before bed and I add anything else to it that came up during the day and I take a few moments to just meditate on those good things. When I do this, I sleep much better and, when I sleep better, I feel better.
Numerous scientific studies have shown the benefits of gratitude – it improves your emotional AND physical health, your self-esteem, your sleep, your relationships, and so much more. Here is an article from Forbes discussing some of the benefits of gratitude if you want to learn more.
The more you make it a point to focus on the things that you’re grateful for, the more your energy will shift. You will feel gratitude more often and you’ll begin to see more and more of those benefits from it. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude will also make it easier for you to reach your health goals because you will find yourself feeling more optimistic and empowered.
So, I really encourage you to start a gratitude practice. Just making a list of the things your grateful for every day will have an effect on you. That list can consist of anything at all – I’m grateful that my partner took out the trash today, I’m grateful for that stranger who returned my wallet, I’m grateful for fluffy blankets – anything that you are grateful for, that made you smile, that made life a little easier for you.
Here is my list so far for today:
I am grateful for slow, quiet mornings. I’m grateful to have a supportive partner. I’m grateful to have access to the right resources when I need help. I’m grateful for a warm, comfortable bed. I’m grateful to have access to all of the fresh produce I’ve been eating. I’m grateful to have friends who believe in me.
I’ll add to it before bed tonight, but those are the things that came to me first thing this morning. What are 5 things you’re grateful for today?