Self care is the new health care

When you hear the phrase "self care," what's the first thing you think of?

Maybe it's those crazy people who meditate for an hour each day and ferment their own kombucha. Or your peers who get weekly massages and you just don't understand how they can swing it. You may think of that perfect morning routine that you always strive to create for yourself, yet never seem to get out of bed early enough for.

Whatever it may be for you, the phrase "self care" gets used A LOT in the health community. So much so, that it can almost be taken for granted, like if you "think" about doing something (i.e. going to yoga later), it counts as self care. I know I've certainly taken it for granted, especially this week (more on that further down, keep reading). We can sometimes brush over exactly what it means to take full care of ourselves. So let me be crystal clear:

Self care is the ritual you create for yourself to most deliciously nourish your body and soul in any given moment in time. 

That means that our self care practice can change. For me, that means staying in on a Saturday night to watch Netflix or read, while other times that means staying out late on a Thursday night to connect with friends. It may mean eating nourishing vegetables, while other days it my nourishment may come to me in the form of homemade cookies. I am constantly learning what I need, and re-learning what my new needs are. Our self care routines are fluid. They change moment by moment, and it's only you who will know what that means for yourself. 

Which brings me to my current self care routine. Get ready for some BIG NEWS: In one month, I will be leaving NYC for the foreseeable future! My fiancé and I will be temporarily relocating to NJ to finish planning our wedding, getting married in September, and then taking a honeymoon road trip across the U.S. to find our next city to plant our roots. We're about to embark on the adventure of a LIFETIME, and we are SO EXCITED!

As amazing as all of these changes are, their cosmic combination all at the same time has been a true lesson in ultimate self care. My needs can change from day to day -- heck, sometimes within the span of an hour. And it's been a challenge for me to commit to taking the utmost care of myself. What I used to do before all these changes just isn't working anymore. The beauty is, all I need to do is check in. I ask myself: "What do I need in this moment? What is my soul calling for?"

Just a few things that have helped me in the last few weeks: morning tea, outdoor walks, holding friends' babies, pedicures, journaling, the occasional sweet treat (yes, really), and most of all, home cooked meals.

The last few weeks have been bonkers busy -- running around to different meetings, juggling wedding and family details, hosting visitors, creating new projects that I'm so excited to bring to you -- have you ever felt like you wanted more than 24 hours in a day? Yet again, batch cooking has literally SAVED my life (and you'd think this would have been a "DUH" moment for me, I mean this is why I created the Real Life Retreat for all you busy women out there). When I'm not gonna be able to come home for dinner, I pack my dinner and bring it with. When I'm working straight through the day and don't have a second to think about lunch, I remember that it's already made for me and all I have to do is throw it into a bowl. The time spent batch cooking each week actually SAVES valuable time and sanity in my life as the week goes on. No overpriced greasy takeout, no sad can of soup meals. Real, whole-foods meals that (once made from earlier in the week) require zero thinking to throw together. And I'm really getting, once again, the beauty of batch cooking as the ultimate act of self care. It may change tomorrow -- heck, it may change later tonight -- but for right now, in this moment, AMEN FOR THE BATCH COOK.

So you tell me. How do you feel when you batch cook? Do you have any tried and true ways that you take the best care of yourself? What are you craving right now? Let me know in the comments below, I can't wait to hear from you.

Happy & healthy,
Michelle