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“Self-care is our greatest responsibility, not only for ourselves but the world at large.” – Kelly Metcalf, Harmony House Yoga.

I’ve been hearing a lot about self-care lately in books and blogs I’ve been reading, in e-mail newsletters and in my Yoga classes. It seems to be popping up more and more, maybe as a hot topic or maybe it’s something I need to hear, that we all need to hear and incorporate into our life more.

What is self-care anyway? To me it looks like this: taking time to check in with myself in the morning: reflect, meditate, pray, journal and maybe read something inspirational.

I think that exercise is a major self-care factor. Here’s the deal, we all know that exercise is good for our physical beings; it builds muscle, reduces fat and it makes us look good physically. What’s so amazing about exercise, whether it be Yoga, Pilates, spinning, or walking on the beach, is that it also gives us MAJOR mind clarity, rids our bodies of useless toxins and it makes us happy, naturally. No wine needed. (Well, maybe later)

Let’s talk about food because this is where we all get tripped up. Ok, so you’re exercising like a mad man and you’re sweating up a glorious storm but what are you putting into your amazing and miraculous God given ecosystem of a body after?

Did you just finish a spin class then go to IN N OUT?! OR just leave a Yoga class and go out for a glass of wine? Are you living off of coffee all diggity day? Really?

Food, exercise, and the thoughts we think all affect our physical being, my friends. I know, it’s wild, right? How can your thoughts affect your body? Working on your God-pod from the inside out is where we need to start.

The mind-body connection is a powerful, powerful thing. What we think will directly affect our body and the same for the reverse; the state of our body can affect our mind. Take chronic pain for instance. Being in pain is a real downer, that’s all we can think about.  And when we’re limited in our movements, well that could really send someone into a mental downfall.

I think the mind-body connection is quite remarkable actually. We hear about people beating cancer because they believed they could! But we’ve also heard about the person who decided to take the diagnosis for what it was and simply give up and expire before their time.

I think it says a lot about a person who chooses not to take care of their self. I’m being completely opinionated here, you can take it or throw it right back. If you’re not loving yourself enough to take care of your mind, body and spirit, I’m going to go as far as to say that you’re not really living.

For the love of all that is Holy, please take care of yourself: your mind and your body. I’m pretty sure you have people in your life that love you and want to see you happy and healthy and want you to be around for years to come- maybe in some cases these people depend on you.

Self-care is not an act of selfishness. Rather, quite the opposite, it’s selfless. By taking care of yourself you’re creating a foundation to be able to take care of others; it’s the most beautiful compensation we have in life. But in order to care for another being, we must love ourselves first.

As a mother of 3, slowing down isn’t an option. My girls are depending on me to work, to spend time with them, and to take them down during our wrestle mania matches.

Just to keep up with them requires a daily yoga practice, daily meditation, good food, daily journaling, inspiring books, lots of laughs and some kick ass friendships. And, yes maybe a little wine.

Yep, it takes a lot to fill up this tank. But it makes me happy and more pleasant to be around.

So, here’s what I’m saying, love yourself, really love yourself, take yourself to lunch, throw in a sit-up, maybe a down dog and read an inspiring book that knocks your freaking socks off!

I love you

The Pilates Mama