Self-care is conscious concentration and nurturing of your body, mind, and spirit. Fill up your cup. Let it runneth over, and serve from the overflow. Practice Self-awareness. Acknowledge what needs to be worked on and take Action. Of course, that’s if you want to. Because only you can be the change that you want.

What woman wants to admit that her self-care is whack? For a very long time, I didn’t and wouldn’t. Now, I can honestly say that my self-care was totally, whack. That was until I set out on a life-altering, self-care sabbatical, three years ago. And yes, I plan on sharing with you the countless lessons I’ve learned along my inside, outer, beautiful journey. We all have to start somewhere.

If your lifestyle is not in sync with your self-care needs, it’s ok. You get to change that any time you wish. And to support you along the way,

Consider these 6 tips to sync up your self-care:

Get thee to your annual Dr’s visit. Everyone should have an annual check-up, where you get the full monty: full blood workup, breast exams, (depending on your age and family history of cancer – I say get checked as early as your low 20’s), pap smear, eye exams, dentist, etc. Yes, for some it might seem like a pain-in-the-ass having to get all those tests done, but prevention is better than cure. My mantra is: “Take time for self, it is a source of empowerment.” If you don’t take care of your one precious body, who else will? Know your body.

Say NO if you mean no. Avoid getting stuck when people ask you to do things that you don’t want to do. Be honest and upfront. Be clear that you’re unavailable. You don’t need to give long excuses and explanations. And don’t say you’re sorry you can’t oblige if you’re not. A simple, graceful decline will do.

Move your body. You’ve heard it a million times, and I’m saying it again because it’s the truth. Walk, run, stroll, bike, Zumba, cardio, whatever. 20 to 30 minutes of movement will increase your overall well-being. Benefits include less stress; better sleep; healthy, glowing skin; increased immune function; weight loss, and so much more. You know your body best, I hope. And since we’re all biologically unique, what’s good for the goose may not be good for the gander. So take time. Determine what works best for you and incorporate those things into your daily routine.

Breathe. Stressors are a normal part of our daily lives, and we can’t avoid them. However, simple breathing techniques can alleviate some of the undesirable effects. Inhale. Take a deep breath in. Saturate your cells with life-maintaining oxygen. Exhale. Let out a long breath, and release your body of toxic carbon dioxide. Make your breaths your best friend and stress less.

Give the gift of your time. Helping others by volunteering your precious time will boost your wellbeing. There is no better feeling that knowing you’ve contributed to the uplifting and betterment of another. And there’s always the added benefit of “what goes around comes around.”

Fill up with fruits and vegetables. Your body needs “real food” to fuel your cells with the energy that’s required to work. Cells create tissue. Tissue create organs. Organs create organ systems, and all organ systems together make you the individual. For example, cardiac cells make cardiac tissue. Cardiac tissue makes up the heart, which is a muscle and organ. The heart is an organ in the circulatory system, and you need your heart’s pumping action to live. So, it only makes sense to provide your body with the essential nutrients that nurture it on a cellular level. One great way to get a ton of greens is by drinking smoothies and juices daily.

Remember, Self-Care = Success. Cheers to an extraordinary and successful 2017!

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