Feb. 12. 2020
Written By:
McKel (Hill) Kooienga
McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

Having a dedicated self-care practice to slow down, get grounded, and recenter when you notice you’re stressed, overwhelmed, or exceptionally busy can help you care for yourself, and also stay on track with your wellness vision.

But self-care can be the first thing that goes out the window when you’re stressed, busy, or feel spread too thin. We’ve all experienced that before. 

More importantly, having a practice that’s more preventative is really the golden standard I practice myself, coach clients on, and teach our students! 

When you go into auto-pilot, you don’t take time to slow down and give yourself time to rest and restore. 

A self-care practice gives you space to reground and recalibrate.

I’m going to share a simple exercise with you so you can uncover what self-care practice you’ll turn to when you’re feeling stressed, out-of-balance, overwhelmed or any other emotion that indicates you need to slow down.

After watching, grab my guide for creating healthy habits with ease that will help you put this into practice!

I think of self-care as the acts of love you show for yourself in order to take care of yourself. We need to show up for ourselves fully in order to show up for others in our lives and within our community and the greater good of the world.

Sometimes this may look like making a warming cup of tea, putting on your favorite pajamas, going outside to be in nature, and reading a book.

It could be the meal planning you’re doing on the weekend or making sure you have a super nourishing meal that fuels your body. 

It could be saying no and setting firmer boundaries, or sleeping in on the weekend, or my favorite spending time outside in nature to breathe in the fresh air.

Your definition of self-care will be different because we all live different lifestyles, have different priorities and challenges, the key is knowing what yours are and coming up with a toolkit to help you get realigned if you find yourself stressed or off-track. 

Try this exercise: grab a paper and pen and ask yourself the following questions. Write down whatever comes to you, and let the thoughts flow onto paper: 

  • What’s your favorite thing to do by yourself? 
  • If you had a whole day to yourself, what would you do? 
  • What things calm you when you’re feeling frazzled? 
  • What things ground you when you’re feeling out of control?
  • If you’ve had a long day at work, how do you chill?

Pull this paper out the next time you feel yourself getting off the self-care wagon and need a little recentering. 

Having a practice prepared ahead of time can take away the mental fatigue of trying to figure out how to best support yourself. 

And here’s a bonus tip! I recommend scheduling a weekly calendar appointment with a reminder on your phone to do your self-care practice. It’s great to have the practice to turn to when you’re feeling off, but it’s even better if you can give yourself this space on a regular basis to recenter each week.

Putting Self-Care Into Practice

Having a practice prepared ahead of time can take away the mental fatigue of trying to figure out how to best support yourself.

If making your self-care practice a habit sounds like something you want to explore deeper, grab my guide for creating healthy habits with ease! I walk you through my process for finding exactly what will work for you and how you can integrate it into your life and make it last over time. 

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