By Valerie Breslow
As an equestrian, the demands on your life are intense. Your daily list of to-dos starts at the crack of dawn and keeps going well past dark. You often feel stressed out with everything that needs to be accomplished and while your priorities are centered on your horse and riding, your personal well being often falls to the bottom of the list. And yet, you know deep down it’s time to deal with those nagging health issues that are preventing you from feeling and riding your best. You’re in search of healthy habits and information, but simply don’t have the time to do the research.
Why is self-care important? Because when we focus on ourselves, we spend important moments during the day focusing on activities that bring energy into our lives. Self-care has a long list of benefits including contributing to greater feelings of vitality, balance, energy and productivity.
Here’s a list of self-care habits that you can easily add to your daily routine:
Make better food choices. Choose whole and organic with a focus on plant-based options. Be prepared. Plan your meals ahead of time and remember packing your food for the day can go a long way towards improving your energy levels. Find supplements that work well to support your body’s needs.
Learn to read labels and let go of toxic ingredients. Embrace the habit of reading labels whether it’s products you’re putting in your body or on your body. Your food, personal care and body care products along with home care products should be free of harmful chemicals and toxic additives that don’t belong with in or near our bodies.
Embrace decluttering. There is a multitude of ways to do this. Start with a simple process of clearing out closets and drawers and work towards letting go of things, objects and clothing that is simply taking up room. Make room for those items that make you feel positive and motivated and enable you to move through your personal space with ease.
Hydrate. When we are dehydrated, our bodies have to work extra hard to maintain the function of every system in the body. Proper hydration regulates body temperature and proper joint function. Without enough water in the body, we feel depleted and lack the energy to think and move well.
Slow down. Sounds counterintuitive, but doing fewer things with better focus and concentration each day is more worthwhile than trying to rush around and accomplish everything with mediocre results.
Create a sleep routine. Begin by going to sleep at the time each night. Turn off electronics an hour before bedtime. Sleep is the cornerstone for a productive and energized day. Sleep deprivation can create hormonal imbalances and lead to fluctuating energy and moods.
Remember to make time for fun and self-care. Without fun and joy, our lives become dull and unsatisfying. Self-care in the form of spending time with friends or working with alternative health providers to get massages and acupuncture can make a world of difference in how we feel about and in our bodies.
Identify people and things that deplete your energy. Have you heard of energy vampires? These are those people or activities that make you feel like you’re sinking instead of swimming gracefully through your life. Time to let go of these burdens and feel the lightness.
Cross train to prevent injury as well as de-stress. Find a cross training routine such as Pilates, yoga, resistance training or whatever exercise works best for your body type. Choose something fun that you can stick with and keeps your feeling inspired.
Practice gratitude and mindfulness. A daily practice of meditation and mindfulness can go a long way towards manifesting your dreams while helping to maintain a positive outlook on life.
Set intentions. Creating goals and working towards them daily is the best way to take care of oneself! Find a system that works best for you.
Write in a journal. Use your journal to capture your dreams, visions and hopes for your future. It’s the best way to manifest what you want most in life. Always take the time to write a few words before you go to bed to reflect on your day and when you awaken to jumpstart your day. Even if it’s just a to do list, this is one habit that will grow on you.
Speak your truth and live with passion. Learning to speak from your heart is the best way to take care of oneself. Don’t let others impose their opinions and thoughts if they don’t agree with your mindset. It’s ok to be different. There is only one you.
Most importantly, acknowledge that you’re doing the best you can each day with the tools and information you have at the moment. Never be intimidated by those people who seem to manage their lives with perfect flow. Their ability to move through life with ease and grace didn’t happen overnight. It takes effort to make changes and remember that you don’t have to do everything overnight. Taking baby steps for learning and creating positive self-care habits is the key to success.
Photos courtesy Equestrian wellness
Valerie Breslow is a clinical nutritionist & holistic health coach as well as a wellness products entrepreneur. She is Founder / CEO of Equestrian Wellness, a holistic health Website focused on enriching the mind, body and spirit of the equestrian. EW connects riders to the world of nutrition and wellness by providing the tools, products and education to make better choices when it comes to healthy food, lifestyle habits, wellness products and mindfulness.
Visit equestrianwellness.com, to discover the complete Equestrian Wellness line of non-toxic body care products as well as informative blogs written for and about equestrians. Valerie’s expert training in the field of health and wellness, along with her own personal, life-changing experiences enables her to coach her clients to reach their maximum athletic potential both in and out of the saddle.