It wasn’t until I went back to school that I learned the importance of self-care, and created a mantra around it for myself so that I could create the mindset shift needed, that it’s not selfish at all! In this episode, I share some ideas around self-care, that I hope will trigger a mindset shift in you, so that you make this a priority, and don’t think of it as a luxury! Self-care results in improved focus, improved productivity, lower stress, better sleep, and improved health….and don’t tell me you don’t have time. I share over 10 examples of self-care that you can do in less than 10 minutes, as well as tips on how you can create more time for self-care in your day. After all, you are worth it!
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Melissa is an Integrative Health Practitioner helping people get to the root cause of their health issues. Melissa neither diagnoses nor cures but helps bring your body back into balance by helping discover your “toxic load” and then removing the toxins. Melissa offers functional medicine lab testing that helps you “see inside” to know exactly what is going on, and then provides a personalized wellness protocol using natural herbs and supplements. Melissa’s business is 100% virtual –the lab tests are mailed directly to your home and she specializes in holding your hand and guiding the way to healing so that you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. Melissa has been featured at a number of Health & Wellness Summits, such as the Health, Wealth & Wisdom Summit, The Power To Profit Summit, The Feel Fan-freaking-tas-tic Summit, and the Aim Higher Summit, and has guested on over 30 different podcasts teaching people about the importance of prioritizing our health and how to get get started.
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Imagine getting up every day full of energy is if you were in your 20s. Again, what would that be? Like? What would that be worth to you? What is your health worth to you? Think about it. Your health isn't everything. But without it, everything else is nothing. And yet too many of us are taking it for granted until something goes wrong. No one wakes up hoping to be diagnosed with a disease or chronic illness. And yet, we've never been taught how to be proactive in our health through our school system,Melissa Deally:
or public health. As a registered health coach and integrative health practitioner, I believe it is time this information is made available to everyone. Combining new knowledge around your health and the ability to do my functional medicine lab tests in the comfort of your own home will allow you to optimize your health for today and all your tomorrow'sMelissa Deally:
don't wait for your wake up call. Welcome back to The don't wait for your wake up call podcast. This is Melissa Daly, your host of the podcast. And I'm excited to be starting a whole new theme of episodes this month revolving around the topic of self care. Now you might already be going yeah, yeah, yeah, self care. I know I've heard about it. But I really want to dive into it. And I want to start off with some quotes actually, to just see if they land with you at all, they resonate with you. And through the course of this of this theme, I hope that I do inspire you to step into some form of self care, whatever that may be, that brings you joy brings a smile to your face. Because it is so important. We have near epidemic levels of anxiety and depression these days and self care lowers our stress levels. And if you've listened to my episodes on stress, you're going to know why that's so important. self care can help us sleep better. And we have so many people in the world today struggling with sleep issues. And if you've listened to my episodes about sleep, you'll know why this is so important. It comes down to us. And the mindset shift around the importance of taking care of ourselves. And this is particularly true of mums, because of course, we're looking after our kids and looking after our spouse. And we feel like we have to look after everybody else first. And we put ourselves last and quite frankly, when my kids were little. That was me because that's when I was in the corporate world before I went back to school and learned all of what I know today in the realm of health and wellness. And I've absolutely embraced my self care when I started to learn this mindset shift and put it into action. And it has absolutely changed my life. And you can do it too. But as I said, let's start out with some quotes and just see how they land with you as you're listening to this. So my favorite one that I use all the time it became my mantra, I actually took it from a couple of different quotes and put it together is that self care is the most selfless act, because it allows you to show up and give the world the best of you instead of what's left of you. How many times do you feel like you're just giving the people that you love the most? What's left of you, instead of what's best of you? And how amazing would it be to be able to give the best of you? Well, we can only do that when we fill our own cup first because of course we can't serve from an empty cup. Something else that you've all likely heard is when you get onto an aeroplane and they do the safety spiel and they ask you to put your own oxygen mask on first and then assist your child or an elderly loved one. Because again, if you're trying to put their shoes on and struggling to do it and you're not able to breathe, then you're not going to be not only are you not getting their zone, but it's getting worse for you because you can't breathe. That importance of looking after ourselves first is so important. And I really like that analogy too because we're talking about our breath. And sometimes in the moment, our greatest form of self care is just being able to stop and breathe. And again, if you've heard past episodes of mine, I've talked before about the power of 557 breathing, to calm the body to drop us out of our sympathetic nervous system. Chronic stress switched on Drop us out of that into our rest and digest system and allow the body to come. And it's so easy to do. You carry your breath with you all the time, and it's completely free. So at the risk of sounding like a broken record, because you might be a new listener, I'm going to explain it again, it's simply inhale for the count of five, hold your breath for a count of five, or as long as you can work your way up to five, if you can't hold for five, when you first start doing this, and then exhale for a count of seven, and do 10 cycles of bath. And what that does, and it literally will take you less than five minutes. What that does is it triggers your brain, it's a little trick for the brain to go Hmm. I thought I was breathing like a stressed out person. But I'm breathing, like safe personMelissa Deally:
must be safe. And it switches on that rest and digest parasympathetic nervous system. And the reason that works is that if we go back to our hunter gatherer days, and of course, our brain is charged with keeping us safe, it's always looking for danger and keep then keeping us safe in that moment. And back in our hunter gatherer days, if we were hunting for food, and all of a sudden, we became the hunted and there's a lion coming after us. Our brain is producing cortisol and adrenaline in order to allow us to move quickly and get to safety. And in that moment, we're running as fast as we can, and we're panting. And our exhale is definitely not longer than our inhale. So when we do 557, breathing, and we have the exhale longer than the inhale, that triggers the brain to recognize, I must be safe, because I'm breathing like a safe person. And it switches on our parasympathetic nervous system. And so sometimes, that is the best form of self care we have in that moment. And so the oxygen mask analogy of putting our own oxygen mask on first, and breathing is really powerful. I also love this saying or quote, almost everything will work again, if you unplug it for a few minutes, even you. Right? How many times is something not work, we unplug it, we reboot it, etc, etc, to get it to work again. And we can do that for ourselves. We can unplug from technology, take a bath, take a shower, or go for a walk, call a friend. And just get get ourselves out of that focus or mental strain or stress that we were in and let the body calm. Another one that I like I've seen it, it's an image of a phone battery, showing that it's very low and obviously needs to be charged. And it says you wouldn't let this happen to your phone. Don't let it happen to you either. Self Care is a priority, not a luxury. Right? It's not something that you get to have every once in a while as a luxury. Maybe some more expensive form of self care might be like that, if you wanted to have a day at the spa, and it cost several $100. Maybe that's a luxury that you do every once in a while. But you still need to have a daily self care practice. That is a priority. That doesn't have to cost as much it doesn't have to cost anything at all. But it's looking after you. As I said, anything that brings you joy that makes you feel happy, that makes you feel cared for, even if it's you caring for you. Think too about how you talk to yourself. Because that's a form of self care. And so often we beat ourselves up, we are our own worst critics and so hard on ourselves. Think about how you talk to yourself. And if you talk to a friend about way would that person even be your friend? it's highly likely they wouldn't be and you know that. And so start to think about how you talk to yourself and create awareness around that and catch that negative self talk. Because that's just adding stress to an already stressed existence on this planet these days, right? And catch yourself and change that dialogue that you're having with yourself and talk to yourself as if you loved yourself as if you were talking to a friend. So one of the things that I often hear from my clients is, I don't have time for self care, I'm already too busy.Melissa Deally:
And I get that we do live in a doo doo doo gogogo world and we're busy working and raising kids, and it's cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And we, we can feel like we're too busy. But one thing that I find really helps is to actually just think about your day and how you spend your day and where there's time that you can gain back how much time is being wasted scrolling social media, how much time is being spent in front of the television? And that might be a time where you feel like you're relaxing, but is it true self care, and could you be doing something else, instead of just wasting time in front of the television, maybe you watch one TV show a night instead of two, because that creates an extra half hour to an hour for self care. The other thing that's really interesting about self care is that it actually results in you being more productive, and getting more done. And when you are more productive, and you can get more done, that also creates more time in your day to spend on self care. So it's a positive cycle. And so even if you can only find 15 minutes for self care to start, as you notice, and reap the benefits of self care, you become more productive, whether it's at work or at home. And you can get things done more effectively, more efficiently. And that creates more time in your day for more self care. So the reason that happens is because when we're functioning under high stress, chronic stress, our frontal cortex, our frontal lobe actually starts to shut down in that feeling of overwhelm. And we've all felt it, what do I do next, I've got this, this, this is all pinging at me, so many things I'm trying to think of. And we freeze, we kind of get stuck in that state of overwhelm. And we're trying to do too many things at once, and not really getting anything done. Or we're just stuck. And we're not getting anything done. And so everything takes longer to get done. Our ability to focus is really limited. But when we have a practice of self care, we can actually be more focused and get more done. And so it can be quite helpful if during your workday, that you actually have a practice of self care at lunchtime, because you've worked hard all morning, you know, cognitive functions been happening, focused, and your brain even might be starting to get a little bit tired, you have a good nutrient dense lunch, recharges your batteries gives you some energy. But also practicing some self care can help you come back and be really focused in the afternoon. And that could simply be going outside for a walk, going outside to sit on a rock and face up to the sun and just breathe for 10 minutes. And to come back, and then you'll be able to be more focused. So what does self care look like? Well, as I said, it can be absolutely different for everyone. And for me, for example, it changes by the season as well. So in winter, I love to go skiing, and I am lucky I live in a ski resort and so I can block one morning midweek morning a week and one weekend morning and spend three hours on the mountain. Breathing in that fresh air, enjoying time with friends and skiing down the mountain. It might be cross country skiing in winter time as well because I love to get out and do that. It may be just going for a walk. In the summertime it's more likely to be out of my paddleboard. Just starting my day that way. It's when the lake is calm and it's peaceful. It's just a really Zen way to start my day. Think about my day before I'm actually at my desk. Just let the thoughts flow. Great answers come to me at those times when I'm you know, wondering how to do things as my subconscious mind can provide answers.Melissa Deally:
And I love that time. Some days I can't go for a full hour I can only go for 20 minutes. But I still go because that time is so precious to me and I know I can serve myself It's better through the day as a result, and I can be more productive as a result. But I also love my yoga sessions. Maybe I don't even have time for 20 minutes on my paddleboard, but I could get any yoga session, my gym workouts, I still consider self care there, whatever I'm going to be promoting my overall health, to me is self care. And it's things that I get to choose to do for me. There's so many different forms of self care, as I mentioned, though, and so what is it that works for you, and I'm going to just give you a few of them that are ones that you can do in under 10 minutes. And as I said, if you start off with just 10 or 15 minutes, and as you reap the benefits of it, you become more productive, you make more time in your day, as you figure out, maybe I don't need to watch that TV show, maybe I don't need to be scrolling Facebook right now. Because that is not a form of self care if there's actually correlation between the amount of time spent scrolling social media and depression, because we're looking at everybody's else's lives. And everybody depicts their lives as being so awesome on social media. And then we feel insufficient, and that our lives aren't as good. And so there's a known link between too much time spent on social media, and depression. So get off social media, and start looking after you. So here are things that you can do in 10 minutes or less. Yes, they can take longer if you have more time. But if you're thinking you don't have enough time, think about incorporating these into your life, meditation. And there's so many great apps for meditation, there's free apps, like insight timer, there's paid apps like headspace and calm. And, you know, if you're just getting started, you can do guided meditations, because that might be easier for you to follow what they're saying, rather than just sitting in silence for 10 minutes if you've never done that before. So check out those apps. Getting outside, I've mentioned that already breathing the fresh air going for a walk, connecting with a loved one, whether it's by phone, whether it's in person. But spending time with a loved one, engaging your senses of sound and smell. So again, go outside and just close your eyes and listen, close your eyes and smell. Blot so much of our stress is coming at us through our eyes because our brain is processing everything through our eyes. But when you close your eyes, you can go inside, and you can help the body calm. And if you focus on what you can smell or what you can hear. That's just, you know, some a new place to direct your brain to instead of letting it keep thinking about whatever it is that's going on in your day that's causing stress. Something else that can be really powerful. And it doesn't have to take long. It's just tidying up space. A cluttered space means more for your eyes to be processing. And it's harder for your brain to be processing all of that as a result. And it can add to the overwhelm. So just tidying up a space, tidy a closet, tidy your desk, what is it that you can do it feels amazing, right? And it can calm you. Breathing and stretching. We've talked about breathing, but stretching stretching out the body standing tall whether it's through a yoga practice, or just doing your own stretches, is a form of self care. And as you focus on that you focus on your body and how your body feels and again distracts the stressful thoughts and allows the body to calm break a sweat, get that exercise routine in an even if it's just doing a high intensity interval training that you can do in 20 minutes. Or going for a short run. Going for a fast paced walk going for a bike ride. What is it that you can do? Spending time with your pet? So many of us have pets, we love our pets? What if you just go hang with your pet, just for a break in your day. They'll love the attention. And again, it's so calming on us as humans to be spending time with our pets.Melissa Deally:
Celebrate your life. Just take a few minutes to do a brain dump of all the amazing things in your life. Because again, it helps you forget about the stresses of the moment. Do something creative draw paint, write a story. Whatever it is, that's creative for you. Maybe you are working on a hobby we'll just take a little break in your day. Go work on your hobby for 15 minutes and come back to your work day. Because when you get into the flow of working on that hobby painting, drawing, writing, whatever Is that you love to do, it calms the body. Listen to an inspiring podcast, this is something that I love to do. And there are so many podcasts out there that you can choose from to listen to. And they will, again, get your brain thinking about something else called the brain and allow you to be more focused when you come back to your work day, taking some time to just do absolutely nothing. And you know, for people that are gogogo people that can be hard to do. But maybe it's summertime, and you can just go outside and lay on your back deck and set a timer for 15 minutes and just go and lie there and do nothing, allow yourself that. As humans, we weren't designed to go go go 24 seven. And it's okay to take a break. And that's where that mindset shift comes in. We don't always have to be doing something. So hopefully, that gives you a bunch of ideas of things that you can do. I also love to take baths and put some Epsom salts in the bath and some good magnesium for the body helps draw out toxins, but also very calming for the muscles. So particularly in winter, I like to do that before bed. There's, you know, so many ways that we can practice self care, it doesn't have to be a big investment of money, it doesn't have to be a big investment of time, I invite you to simply start somewhere. And one of the things that is so so important to do is to actually block the time in your calendar, and not just block the time in your calendar and don't do anything, but block the time in your calendar and say what you're going to do with that time, so that when that time comes, you know exactly what it is that you're going to do. Because when you don't have it allocated to something, it's very easily wasted. I'll just do a few more emails, or I will just, you know, scroll, some social media, etc, etc. So when you block your self care time in the calendar block what you're going to do, and if you don't do that exact thing, and you switch it to something else on the day, that's fine. But at least you have an idea of what you're going to do. So that is what I did in order to actually start my self care practice. It took me a while to figure out that that was the missing piece for me to step into doing something every single day. And that's what I do. Now I have it in my calendar every morning. And it's either yoga right now it's either yoga, the gym class getting out on my paddleboard. And if on a certain day I have something else come up, that means I can't do that at the time that I blocked in my calendar. That's okay, because now I have the choice of do I do this other thing that's come up, maybe it's another form of self care for friends inviting me to do something with them that self care, I can do that instead. Or maybe it's a work related thing that I really feel I want to be a part of, and I can only do it at that time, well, then I can look at my calendar later in the day and go, okay, where can I moved my self care time too, but I have the power, I have the control to do that. If I don't first block it into my calendar, what happens is that the time gets taken away, because other people are looking into my calendar, and wanting my time. And it just all gets taken away before I have any self care time booked in there. So I book it first, and then allow my clients to book in around that. And that way I know I'm always looked after. So I can show up and give the best of me, to the world to my family to my clients. So there are three types of self care, the emotional self care, such as the self talk that we mentioned earlier, weekly bubble baths I talked about I said Epsom salt baths.Melissa Deally:
As well as you know, giving yourself permission to take a pause and do nothing, or a weekly coffee date with a friend doesn't even have to be the same friend every week. It's just a weekly coffee date to connect with someone. Then there's physical self care, such as prioritizing sleep, adopting an exercise regime, which we've talked about choosing healthy and nourishing foods over highly processed ones. That too is a form of self care, nourishing our body both inside and out. And then there's spiritual self care, such as perhaps attending a religious service, maybe it's spending time in nature. Maybe it's meditating. We've talked about incorporating regular acts of kindness into your day. And perhaps it's starting your gratitude journal which is something else that I really, really love at the end of every day to simply write down three things that I'm grateful for. And I wake up, and I think of them in the morning as I start my day as well. Because when we think about what we're grateful for, it puts us into a happy mood. It also calms our brain, it gives us something to go to sleep on, where we're feeling happy, we're not going to sleep on stressful thoughts, and then struggling with sleep and waking up in the middle of the night. And the first thing we think, are those stressful thoughts. When we go to sleep on with gratitude, we go to sleep allowing our brain to dwell on happy thoughts for the night. And it's incredibly powerful, because over time, our brain that is charged with keeping us safe, as I mentioned earlier, stops looking for danger in everything, and actually starts looking for things that I can be grateful for. So at the end of the day, I can remember them and write them in my journal. So I really noticed that shift in my brain that it's like, oh, I'm gonna write that in my journal. And my brain is taking more note of the good things than the danger. And so I can go through my day with lower stress as a result of instead going through my day, with a mindset around gratitude. So I invite you to choose one or two things from the suggestions I've mentioned today, to add to your calendar, and literally physically put in your calendar, and enjoy some self care in this next week. And as you notice that you feel better over time, you can focus more, you're more productive, you will start to find more time, so that you can add in more self care each day, even if you just start at 10 minutes, and build up from there. So thank you so much for joining me today on this very important topic of self care. I hope that you are starting to realize the importance of it, and that I've inspired you to step into improving your self care regime. I'll see you back here next week at the don't wait for your wake up call podcast. Thanks for joining me, I hope that the content I bring to you in my podcast is inspiring you to take action in your health and to come to the realization that you and only you are responsible for your health. And then your health is your greatest asset. health isn't everything. But without it. Everything else is nothing. I also hope you're starting to realize how much is not taught to us through our education system and through mainstream health. And if you would like to learn more about your health, I welcome you to look into my upcoming health optimizer program. It's a four week program. And I dive into key aspects of optimizing your health knowledge that you will then have for life that you can share with your loved ones. And that will change your health outcomes. So check out the link to the health optimizer course in the show notes. And I look forward to seeing you in the program.Melissa Deally:
Thank you for investing this time with me on the don't wait for your wake up call podcast. I'm so glad you joined in. If you can take two minutes to share this episode with someone who you think can benefit and have a positive impact on their life. That would be wonderful. Please leave a review by going to your favorite podcast listening out and let me know what you enjoy. Or we'd like to hear more of it will support me in my effort to bring the possibility of natural healing to a wider audience and help disrupt the sick care system