Self-care is a buzz word all over social media these days, but it's more than just bubble baths and face masks.
In this week's “Your Best Live” 6 News’ Leslie Draffin chats with a yoga instructor whose job is focused around self-care to find out what this practice is all about and how we can all get in on it.
Serena Lewis is a yoga instructor at Temple Yoga Wellness who says self-care is part of her job.
“Self-care, to me, means doing the things that I’d rather not do-- the things that I’d rather not feel," Lewis said. "It means to tend to my body when I would like to pretend that I don't have one."
For Lewis, self-care means “to take care of yourself or honor yourself.”
That definition comes in many forms.
Lewis said self-care is taking bubble baths, journaling, walking in nature, reading a book-- anything that makes you take a moment to yourself.
For her, it’s often hitting the yoga mat.
"When you come to your practice - whether you practice in a cushion on a mat or in a chair- you're coming to the practice for you," Lewis said. "You're showing up for yourself. It doesn't matter where you are, if you have the strength, if you have the flexibility because yoga doesn't ask you to be anything but yourself. I think that's beautiful."
Studies show self-care has many positive effects on mental and physical health.
Doctors say it also triggers the relaxation response which in turn can prevent chronic stress from damaging your health.
But Lewis said it isn’t always easy to do the things you know your body needs.
"Self-care is hard. It takes a lot of work," Lewis said. "It takes a lot of effort, and I think that if your self-care practice doesn't look like what you want it to look like it's okay. It’s hard. It takes time, but to practice self-care is to congratulate yourself for the little things that you did accomplish.”
Lewis often uses social media to get ideas for her own self-care and showcase her practices for her clients.
"When I post on my social media about self-care, I always post what I’m doing, why I’m doing it and how it's helping me," Lewis said. "It's motivating other people to want to take care of themselves. I think that's important. When you practice self-care, you're allowing yourself your life to be important. And when you allow your life to be important, you can allow other people's lives to be just as important as your own.”
One specific self-care technique Lewis uses every day is setting an alarm on her phone to remind her to write three things she loves about herself in her notes.
She says it’s simple but effective when it comes to boosting her feelings of self-love and is an easy self-care practice.
If you’d like to learn more about self-care, Lewis is hosting a “Self-care and Yoga” event this Saturday, July 27th from 10:30 – 12:30 at Temple Yoga Wellness in Temple.
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