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Article

Tips for Consistency in Self Care

Monday, January 30th 2023 10:00am 5 min read
Dr. Jessica Renfer drjessica.nd

Licensed naturopathic doctor with expertise in lifestyle transformation, healing from chronic disease and natural fertility & preconception.

One of the most common obstacles in the process of healing I have experienced both in my own life as well as seen with individuals I have worked with centers around difficulty with consistency. I am referring to consistency with one of more of the following categories: supplements, self care, mindfulness, nutrition, movement, etc.

It is so important and yet can be both challenging to implement AND when there is one could say a “falling off the wagon” experience, it can bring up self critical emotions and thought processes.

For some consistency is easy, most it is not. This is particularly true in the following populations: parents, teens, neurodivergent patients (ADHD/Autistic Spectrum), those working with anxiety/depression cycles, and those with major chronic fatigue to name a few. There can also be financial aspects related to consistency, ie the ability to afford supplements, food options, therapies etc.

So here are some tips for supporting consistency without it feeling restrictive, overly “disciplined” and also allowing room for fluidity within the consistency!

  1. Organization and Zones (IN SIGHT IN MIND)
    • Create A Supplement Station where you can put out what you are taking where you see it, ideally close to a water source! For instance I have shelves in my kitchen just for the supplements. I organize them into categories, and in the morning I get out what I will be taking that day and put it in a small glass bowl. This is where those pill holders can be helpful as well.
    • Create an alluring area in your home that is for self care, for instance a nice exercise corner where everything is aesthetically pleasing and easy to get to. A lot of self care can be like being at a spa, so if you can create this energy in your home it can feel more exciting and less like a chore!
  2. Tracking and Accountability:
    • Have a Self Care Chart in a visible place! We have a simple pdf that you can use or model yours after. The feeling of accomplishment increases dopamine which increases motivation, so seeing and tracking our progress can help to encourage further follow through.
    • Putting this chart where you see it every day, and perhaps next to a calendar so you can set weekly consistently goals, track your cycles and consistency and falling off the wagon, etc.
  3. Categorize and Create Blocks:
    • Think about things in categories or blocks rather than specifics. For instance there are so many things that can fit into drainage support or movement categories. Having options and choosing what feels doable and most enjoyable that day can increase consistency!
    • We can also track what things we feel more resistance to, and either find other options or dive into why we are facing that resistance.
    • Have a daily schedule with a self care block, for instance dedicate every day from 7-8 am, or 5-6 pm to self care. You just show up like one would for an appointment, and you choose whatever feels best, (even if that is napping).
  4. Get Creative! Upgrade what you are already doing!
    • Look at what you are already doing in your day and see if you can add a self care therapy in! Sometimes it’s easier to adjust what you ARE doing rather than starting something totally new, particularly if you are busy. In an ideal world we have the space to just focus on self care, however even if we don’t we can still hit those categories in small ways.
    • One of the most common is doing a castor oil pack while watching a movie or show! Or always stretching while doing so.
    • Gua’sha in the sauna or bath.
    • Sit or walk outside in the sun while taking a phone call.
    • Dance with your kids for exercise AND fun connection.
    • Do one minute of Breathwork right before every meal or your main meals!
    • Sing/Tone while cleaning.
  5. See “Failures” as just as useful as “Success”
    • Instead of beating yourself up for not being consistent, or getting lost in overwhelm, get curious!
    • When you fall off track, take some time to journal about why? What is hard about it? What feels easy and what doesn’t?
    • Sometimes the obstacles are external (ie for parents who don’t have much “alone/self” time), some are internal (ADHD makes it harder to stay consistent, this is where in sight in mind really comes in), sometimes when we are really tired, the idea of doing anything can seem out of reach.
    • Some of us are not as naturally “in our bodies”, particularly those with more of the Vata energetics. If this resonantes, it can be a little harder to take care of the physical body as it’s not where we tend to hang out! So practices that are grounding and focused around embodiment can be really helpful. The goal is to be more in tune with the needs of our physical body while still allowing for creativity and mental exploration.
    • All of these are valid, AND there are solutions when we allow ourselves to really be authentic with ourselves.
  6. Allow Unlimited Resets, Even Daily!
    • a. Especially at first, sometimes we have trouble being consistent for even a day! Each day is an opportunity to start again, each moment really.
    • b. Notice when you get stuck in all of nothing mindsets! These ultimately rarely serve us, and is an opportunity to bring in more of the “middle way”.
  7. Reframe Relationship to Discipline
    • Consistency is a dance between compassion and discipline. Compassion unchecked can lead to complacency (both within our relationship to ourselves and others), which can be damaging. Discipline can lead to dogma and rigidity, we often associate discipline with punishment. However the true roots of the word is not about punishment, it is about DEVOTION. Discipline can be one of the most Self Loving things to bring in!
    • One of the biggest blocks I see is that there is not the natural wiring to put oneself high on the priority list. This is particularly strong in women and mothers (who make up a large portion of my private practice). Moving yourself up the priority list, releasing Martyr mentality, facing our self worth issues are HUGE opportunities to make it that much easier to care for ourselves.

Happy Healing!!

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