By: Whitney Stuart, Whole30 Certified Coach and Registered Dietician at @whitnessnutrition
Is it weird for a dietitian to be addressing self-care? Nah. I’m a busy bee — and I bet you are too! I know that in order to give my best self to my clients, I have to be at my best! That includes refusing to participate in anything that places a dark cloud over my head.
Upholding this standard has done wonders for my positivity and productivity throughout the day, along with my patients’ successes! And although I am happy to spend 12 hours on a research project, or educating my patients on how to improve glycemic control, I refuse to spend any time on tasks that break me down — and you shouldn’t have to, either!
Here are a few of the self-care super habits I use to power myself throughout the week:
MINIMIZE THE MORNING SCREEN TIME: Begin the day with actions that fill you up both emotionally and physically. Social media, e-mails, and Instagram notifications are unlikely to provide those outcomes — in fact, they trap us into tap-heavy situations “I want/need/should look like that” or the “why don’t I have that too at that age/job/life phase?” Aim to start your day with positive habits that fill you up and spark joy.
What do I do instead of screen time?
I start my day a bit slower… pouring myself a cup of coffee, frothing up my creamer, and heading out on a walk — or if I’m in a time crunch, just a quick trip around the block, then grabbing a bottle of Medlie while heading out the door! That little boost of fresh air, movement, and endorphins gives me benefits that last all day long.
GET CREATIVE WITH YOUR DOWNTIME: Instead of using your downtime to participate in the endless scroll of FOMO-inducing social media, or watching TV, aim for positive stimulation! I’ve found so much more value in life by incorporating playtime for myself. That’s right; hobbies that are purposeful, provide happiness and restoration.
As a lover of productivity, this has been a hard struggle. But, I’ve really enjoyed coloring on the patio, walking leisurely to a coffee shop with a new book, moving through a yogaflow series inspired by Lizette Pompa and so much more. I’ve even gotten more creative in the kitchen, testing out new cuisines and using a Medlie Veggie Drink as a flavorful and veggie-packed marinade for my proteins!
QUALITY TIME OVER QUANTITY: Mindfulness and intentional eating are two components I often address with my patients, but the basics apply to all aspects of life. Most days, I have less than 25 minutes of true downtime. In the past, I saw this as too short of a break to even consider taking advantage of. I would flip on the television or check e-mails. Now, I see each minute as a valuable resource. It’s so important to focus on the quality of the time versus the amount that you have. I know that I can get in meaningful stretches, quality time with my husband, meditation, breathing exercises, call a friend, or even write out a surprise snail-mail hello. Get outside your comfort zone and infuse your routine with actions that light you up inside.