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Thinking Outside the Self-Care Box: Nurturing Your Gut Health and Wellness

In this day of TikToks, #selfcaretok, targeted ads selling facial creams, bath bombs and luxurious spa trips, and a world of other things, the TRUE meaning of self-care has gotten lost. It literally means CARING for yourself. YOU. Your body. Taking care of the vessel that is you: Mind, body, and spirit.

I’m going to toss a little challenge your way: Think outside the bougie box and look for some down-to-earth ways to authentically take care of YOU.

True self-care defies commercially pitched ideas. It’s about nurturing your body, your mind and your spirit in ways to make health a priority and a natural outcome, focusing on what works for you and is best for you. We are all unique individuals with unique needs, backgrounds, and lifestyles. One size doesn't fit all.

What makes you genuinely happy and content?

If this question makes you a little squirmy, you’re not alone. Just lean into it. Make friends with the idea that it might take time to answer this question fully. And your answers are going to change on some level throughout your life. But asking the question opens your heart to see the answers when they arise, noticing and embracing the little joys in your day, whether it's sipping a warm cup of tea, enjoying a special meal, taking a leisurely shower, or reading your favorite book. These are all forms of self-care, and they should be celebrated.

If you’re stumped, here are some other old-school ways to take care of yourself:

  • Journaling: Putting your thoughts on paper can reduce stress, benefiting your gut health through stress reduction.

  • Engaging in Creative Activities: Painting, playing musical instruments, or any creative outlet can elevate your mood and positively impact your gut-brain connection.

  • Mindful Handwashing: Small, ordinary tasks like handwashing can be transformed into self-care. taking the time to engage in the moment fully and enjoying the water is very grounding. It’s also the best way to prevent the spread of harmful pathogens.

It might not be obvious, but there is a significant tie between these things that feel like they target the mind and your gut health. The gut-brain connection is very real. You’ve probably felt it. If you’ve ever thought about eating something and your tummy reacted before you even took a bite, you’ve felt that connection. Or if you’ve had a lot of stress and your digestion feels OFF, you’ve felt it. So, it makes perfect sense that taking care of your mind is a big step in taking care of your gut, which in turn helps take care of your whole body.

A balanced gut is crucial for your overall immune system and well-being. Changing how we perceive and engage in even the smallest actions plays a huge role in our overall health.

Isn’t THAT the kind of self-care we can ALL get behind?



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