I’ve already written about the Five Habits That Changed My Life. That article was about productivity and efficiency. This time I want to share with you the five habits that changed my life, self-care edition.

Self-care is so important for our sanity. It allows us to deal with stress, it strengthens our mind and body, and helps to keep us in good health. I’m not talking about pampering, manicures, and shopping, although those practices will make you feel good. I’m talking about how we take care of ourselves.

Here are the five habits that changed my life, self-care edition:

1. Mediterranean Diet

If you want to know the health benefits of following a Mediterranean diet, you can read all about it in my article, Stay Younger Longer: Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet. I believe my mission in life is to convince busy people that cooking is not hard and does not take a lot of time. The ingredients that you choose can make all the difference in your energy levels, the clarity of your thoughts, and most importantly the numbers you get back when your doctor tests a full metabolic panel. I’ve seen improvement in my weight, cholesterol, blood sugar, and all the other numbers that make up who I am, based on my eating habits over the past few years.

2. Meditation

I know some people think meditation is a bit of an eye-roller. It sounds so woo woo and new age. But don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Meditation has changed my mental state by helping me through some stressful times, opening my mind to new ideas, allowing me to focus, and most importantly providing me with a feeling of connection to life. I’ve even started writing and recording my own meditations. You can listen to them for free on my YouTube channel.

3. Skincare Routine

When I was 14 years old I got sun poisoning on my shoulders. I not only burned, but I got blisters that left me with freckled skin across my shoulders. I was trying to get as tan as possible while on vacation and I went way too far. I cringe when I think about it. That was when I decided it was more important to have healthy skin than to look tan. I’m naturally fair-skinned and need a good sunscreen. I also make it a practice to wash my face and moisturize every night before bed. Again, I cringe when I think about my teens and twenties when I dropped into bed in a full face of makeup because I was too lazy to take a few minutes for myself. Now that I am a woman of a certain age, I realize how important skincare is to our health and beauty.

4. Movement

I’m sort of a lazy person and exercise does not come naturally to me. But I’ve never regretted a workout, a walk, a dance class, or a trip to the gym. I remind myself of this when I’m feeling too lazy for the treadmill. We need to move every day, especially now that we are older. I remember a conversation with my doctor years ago when he told me I needed to exercise more. I told him I do the Wii Fit regularly. And he said, “My grandmother does the Wii Fit. At your age you need to work out until you are sweaty and gross.” Slap. OK, doc. Now I have a membership to Planet Fitness and a habit of 50 push-ups a day. I see people waddling around town, looking like their ankles, knees, and hips are killing them. I don’t want to be restricted like that. I want to be as independent as possible for as long as possible.

5. Time for Myself

Sometimes I’m an introvert and sometimes I’m an extrovert. I enjoy being alone but I also enjoy the spotlight. I like to spend time with friends and family. I enjoy parties, social engagements, dating, and romance. I share myself regularly on video. But I cherish time to myself. I’ve learned to say no when I don’t feel like doing something. I used to feel guilty when I turned down invitations. But now that I’m older I realize my time is my own, and I don’t need to do things I don’t want. I’m not rude. I don’t make up excuses to get out of things. I’ve learned to say, “no thank you.” And my friends have learned not to take it personally. When I’m alone that is when I am at my most creative. That’s when I plan and dream and recharge.

Your Thoughts?

I’d love to hear about your life-changing habits of self-care. I’m always interested in learning from you too. Let me know your best self-care habits in the comments below. If you enjoyed this article, Five Habits That Changed My Life, Self-Care Edition, please share it with your friends. Thanks for reading.