Does your life ever feel like a treadmill? You’re running and running—trying to take care of your loved ones, pets, home, career, community (and maybe love on the planet a bit, too).
Plus, you have a never-ending list of self-improvements to apply: Lose weight. Get stronger. Workout. Meditate. Improve gut health. Whiten teeth. Smooth wrinkles. Drink water. Sharpen mind. Learn new skills. Be kinder. And on and on.
That treadmill can sure get tiring, can’t it, sweetheart?
Too often, self-care feels like just one more thing to keep you running. Another task on the to-do list. A response to the constant pressure to improve. But what if there were a better way?
Real self-care should feel nurturing, not nagging.
So if the idea of self-care feels like a burden, recognize that it’s probably because you’re putting pressure on yourself to do “all the things”. Instead, give yourself permission to simplify. Start by focusing on just a few healthy habits to help you love yourself the easy way. That’s what I want to explore with you today. Below, I’ll share 6 simple self-care practices to get you started.
Now let’s explore a few healthy habits you can try.
6 Simple Self-Care Practices to Love Yourself with Today
1. Start your day with introspection
Here’s how I greet each morning: I wake up, light a candle and meditate for 10 minutes. Then I make tea, write in my Results Journal and maybe read something uplifting. That’s it. When times are stressful, it’s easy to turn on the news or pop open social media and feel the energy seep right out of your body. Instead, make a vow to start your day by filling your well. If you have to get up 15 minutes earlier, do it. That time of sweet self-care will be well worth it.
2. Nourish your body first
What you eat is who you become. By choosing to nourish your body first thing, you’re setting the tone for the rest of the day. Water, green juice and avocado toast (or a hearty smoothie!) will give you a boost of sustainable, nutrient-packed energy. If you love coffee, guess what? You don’t have to give it up. Instead, just try adding in a smoothie or some green juice first. Give your body a healthy burst of nutrients, alkalinity and antioxidants, then sip the joe.
I call that my add-before-you-subtract principle, by the way. So much nutritional guidance hinges on deprivation—on what you give up. But I believe true health is about abundance. It’s about piling on the good, deeply-nourishing stuff. Once you add enough goodness to your plate (or your life!), the mediocre is naturally crowded out.
We talk more about that principle—and help you fill yourself up with joyful affirmations, delicious recipes and more—in my free 5 Day Self-Care Kickstart.
Don’t miss out! Join in for all the fun here:
3. Talk to your cravings
As your day unfolds, notice if you find yourself battling cravings. Maybe it’s cookies, chips, a mindless hour of Facebook scrolling, or a smoke. Those cravings aren’t always about the sugar, caffeine, or whatever it is you’re jonesin’ for. In fact, they rarely are. More often, they’re a plea from your higher self. Instead of mindlessly acquiescing to the urge, ask yourself what desire it really represents.
Do you need more sweetness in your life? A time out from stress? Some love? An apology? A chance to rest? What’s the craving attempting to fill for you? And what could you do to satisfy that itch (and your soul) instead? Remember, you’ll get better results if you add something to serve that deeper desire than if you try to subtract the craving itself.
4. Practice The Daily Ten
You feel better when you move your body. There’s no denying it. But it does feel challenging to fit in a daily workout, doesn’t it? So let’s start with something more attainable: Just move for 10 minutes. Even when you can’t do a full-blown gym workout, you do have 10 minutes to move. Let this be something easy and something that feels good to you. Take a stroll, stretch on your living room floor, or turn up the tunes and shake what your mama gave you! (More fun ideas for 10 minutes of movement will surface in the 5 Day Self-Care Kickstart. I can’t wait to share them with you!)
5. Cultivate what nourishes your soul
Your plate doesn’t contain all the answers when it comes to nourishing your sweet self. We all need soul-nourishment, too. We need to make space for the activities that bring us joy and fulfillment. Without them, we wither.
These go beyond our daily routines, too. You may enjoy your job, but it won’t always satisfy you. I’m sure you love your family, but they can’t always be around (or pleasant!) to encourage you. So what’s one thing you could do that would bring you some smiles this week?
Maybe you should take a few minutes to draw or paint or dance. Perhaps you could call a friend, take a bath, or love on your pet (or foster a new one!). It can be anything that renews your spirit. So what is it for you? What nourishes your soul? What makes you feel more connected, happy, or of service? Whatever it is, do more of it this week.
6. Have compassion for yourself
Unfortunately, suffering is a natural part of life. We can’t avoid it—especially now with the collective challenges we’re all facing. The trick is to acknowledge your struggle and then bear-hug it with compassion. Compassion is the medicine. Once you apply compassion you’ll be able to take the lessons and move through the discomfort. Residual ouchies may remain, but they won’t harden you. We all have scars. They give us character. I have old wounds on my knees from bike crashes and canoe flips. And then there are the cancer scars. All of which are a part of me now, neither pretty or ugly, just there—inviting me to practice some self-compassion.
If you do nothing else to love yourself today, start by offering yourself a bit of kind compassion.
Breathe. Smile. I love you. You love you.
Progress Not Perfection
I’m done with the pressure-packed, “do all the things” definition of self-care. Aren’t you, toots? It’s just not worth staying on that treadmill.
Our new mantra for self-care is progress, not perfection. Often, when we start from an extreme place and seek extreme results, we set ourselves up for extreme disappointment.
Instead, let’s reimagine a new, gentle kind of self-care. One where a few healthy habits make our lives feel more steady. One where we feel nurtured—body, mind and spirit.
As you step forward in self-care this week, remember: Simplicity. Ease. Grace.
Let the turtle be your guide. Slow and steady, my glorious friend. From a spiritual perspective, there is no race, anyway. There’s only growing.
Your turn: What’s one simple thing you’ll do to nurture yourself today?
Growth & grace,
P.S. Want more self-love?
You don’t have to do self-care solo! Let’s grow together, dear ones. Sign up now to join my 5 Day Self-Care Kickstart. If you need a simple, step-by-step path to renew your self-care, complete with daily reminders to pause and nurture yourself, then this experience is for you. It’s totally free, too! Sign up now!
Thank you for these wise tidbits to bite off and your cookbook with recipes of actual tidbits- both are delicious and nourishing – I am so grateful.
I want to begin with a big ol’ THANK YOU. This post made me cry. You know why? “You love you.” I’m 34 years old, and while I’ve lived a big, crazy, adventurous life so far…but, I’ve also mistreated my body during much of it. As a kid, I was a little overweight, and that slowly became who I was. Now, at 325 pounds, I’m tired and my body is giving up (though it tries SO hard to support me, bad decisions and all).
For the past month, I have been doing yoga 3 days a week before work, and I’ve slowly been adopting a vegan diet. I received Crazy Sexy Kitchen for Christmas and your spirit just resonated so deeply with me.
I’ve been juicing and/or smoothie-ing every day for the past 2 weeks and I feel more amazing than I have in years. It’s just frustrating being in a body that needs so much work. As a caretaker, I prefer to put everyone else’s needs before my own, so putting time aside to work on me is scary.
This blog post, this permission to be patient, both lifted me up and broke my heart. Because I know it took me years of neglect to reach this place, and it will take years of nurturing to find my way to a healthier me. It’s both freeing and terrifying.
Keep up the amazing work. Your grace inspires me.
Hi Dawn! I got choked up reading your comments about “you”…..You are an inspiration….
It will not take you years of nurturing to find your way to a healthier you…You have already started!!
And I am very clear (again) after reading this enlightening post that Chris has written…..that our “needs” are sometimes “embedded” in food…..She has such an encouraging way to reach out to anyone who wanting to change their “relationship” with food and LIfe! :))
Thanks again for sharing your story…..
The best to you this year and Beyond!
Wow. Not only was I tearing up over this blog but now over your message. I can completely identify. I am pretty much in the same boat and this journey seems terrifying but I know something needs to be done and this is the year to do it. To plant good seeds and uproot the bad.
I am 31 and weigh 324lbs. High blood pressure, diabetes and cancer runs in my family. I recently buried my sister over the holidays and my mom and dad have both passed.
The good news is that I am determined to make a better and healthier life for myself. The bad….it’s not going to happen overnight. But I am glad that I read this blog that reminded me to act like a turtle and be kind and patient with myself. I look forward to sharing my success story one day.
I love you even though I never met you and keep up the great work. YOU CAN DO IT!
I too have many pounds to lose. Think of them in 10 pound increments-that makes them more manageable. The ten minute exercises are really important too. You are every young, do not let your life slip away. ‘Get to steppin’. Let me know how you are doing. I feel with you. [email protected]
Love, hugs, and support of all of your journey. Thank you for your example of patience and self-compassion. xoxox
Love to you, you have started on your wellness journey and though it will be a long road starting is the hardest step. Kris has loads to inspire you on the road and there are so many others that are around when things are tough in a group like this.
Great words of wisdom & inspiration. I was diagnosed with stage 1 Breast Cancer this past October. My good friend Dana Brody told me about you and you’re amazing story. I can’t wait to be healthier with your help. Here’s to Happy & Healthy!
Thank You, What a great way to start off 2013. Take small steps to bring myself back in line to my health goals. I got way off track late 2012 and this will help me to get back on track and focus.
“Right now the only thing I want to do is go to your house, sit around in PJ’s and talk about my feelings!”
And all I want to do when I see all those posts & articles about a bigger, better, newer you/lifestyle/business for 2013 is hide my head under a cushion…!
So, so, so beautiful! Beyond words. I love you, Kris! 🙂
You are more than welcome to hang out in your jammies and heal at my house anytime 🙂 Thank you for the morning inspiration!
I hope you know how inspiring you are! Thank you for common sense tips that give us hope! We love you right back.
You are sexy awesome, Kris! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Your post just made my day! I really hear you on the sugar front because I am a cookie decorator and have given up sugar and gluten and feel like a million bucks (my blog is called the enchanted oven – can I say irony?). Just got your cookbook and I am in love with it. Thank you many times over!
Beautiful! And I would like very much to have you in my house in PJs and all. Talking, laughing and crazy-cozy. Thank you. Love you!
Beautiful words. Thank you so much. I didn’t make any specific New Year’s resolutions this year (one year I made a list of ten resolutions–I didn’t stick to any of them. No surprise there), but I do have an intention. I just want to have more compassion for myself this year and let go of what does not serve me anymore. I’m cleansing my palate, my mind and my body with some homemade green juices for a few days and after that I will try lots of recipes from Crazy Sexy Kitchen. I’ve bookmarked nearly every page in this book, they all look so good! Thanks again for all you do, Kris, you are a daily inspiration to me.
One of the best lessons I’ve learned is nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. Cravings are one of those things because it’s usually about something other than the food.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could all have a day hanging out in our pjs together??
Exhale. Sigh. Breath. Thank you! <3
thank you!! love it, love you and all that you share with us!! You da bomb!!
I would love to have your cooking classes. You stated they are only available if I bought your book online. My husband (of 43 years) bought me your wonderful book months ago at Costco. Please make your classes available. I am slowly trying to convert our family to healthy eating & need help. (I look forward to your your blog daily!!!!)
With love & light, a caring wife, mom & ‘MawMav’)
Thank You for this morning reboot. What a fantastic way to wake up today.
I’m on my way to my meditation pillow.
Thank you Kris for your inspiration today. It’s hard for me to stick to rigid rules, and just hearing from you that a little imperfection is ok made my day. The part about a side of coffee made me especially happy!
Looking forward to a healthier year!
the one think that is really inspiring me this year is that my book will be launched in a few weeks… I decided last year to write a book on how yoga, meditation and a plant base diet have all helped me live a healthy life despite my multiple sclerosis diagnosis years ago…. thanks to you and your healthy plant base diet friends I found THE solution to my health problem… and I can’t wait to talk about it now!!!
thanks you, thank you, thank you,
Thank you! God bless!