Taking Care Of #1

Who is no: 1 in your life? Many of you have been told that it’s selfish to put yourself first. Have you ever struggled with that knowing what’s right for yourself while trying to accommodate the needs or demands of others?

I can think of a few instances when this could be an issue for people, for instance where your values conflict with your employment circumstances, when you want to eat more healthily, but you live with unsympathetic adults, or perhaps you feel guilty about taking a night off from the family…

Sometimes we believe that it’s just plain selfish to put yourself first, especially if you’re responsible for nurturing and caring for others who may be more vulnerable than yourself. But self-care is an essential component within a caring and nurturing role too, since it's impossible to sustain quality giving, without the input that will enable you to be at your optimum best.

Self-care is an all encompassing term used to describe the ways in which you can take care of your personal emotional, physical and spiritual needs — self-love, personal development, self-esteem, all form part of it's infrastructure. Self-care is provided by you for you, after identifying what your needs are, in a loving and kind way.

The emphasis is on improving and transforming your life to create a consciously lived experience that is radiant health and optimum wellbeing. It's literally looking after yourself well enough to be able to dance with the nature of life (resilience) and not be floored by it (although that too may be a temporary condition), perhaps recovering faster than you might have done otherwise.

This means that you are likely be affected by the events that happen to and around you, but conscious self-care is about improving your strength and ability to deal with whatever may come along, from a position of garnering your vulnerability into resilience and strength. That strength comes from developing enough self-awareness to understand what your needs are and how to take care of them, enough to develop a self-nourishing mind-set and lifestyle.

Many of us are overloaded with stress, grief, fear, anxiety and anger without sometimes being aware of it. Making YOU your #1 priority, instead of leaving your wellbeing to chance on the back burner of life, means taking personal responsibility for your self-care. Self-care activities are voluntary daily choices and activities that help you to maintain your equilibrium for physical, mental or emotional and spiritual health and holistic wellbeing. Self-care activities support your healing processes and can help to release any pent up emotional burdens.

There are a range of breaking techniques to choose from that can enhance your wellbeing...

There are a range of breaking techniques to choose from that can enhance your wellbeing...

Making a conscious decision to develop a healthy lifestyle can have a ripple effect on those around you, but it may also repel some who are not ready to make the same kind of commitment to themselves, so beware. Take some time away from the doubters while you gather your clarity. Knowing just what your unique needs are requires your commitment to a non-judgemental process of self-discovery, spending time with yourself, exploring the landscape of your life and how you feel about yourself in order to select and adopt healthier habits.

New habits are relatively easy to adopt by creating a plan of repetitive activities, backed up by finding out which new self-care activities would best suit you. This is your first task.

By encompassing more self-care strategies into your lifestyle, you can create evolving opportunities for becoming a flourishing, more well-rounded human being, with an optimisstic outlook and life. Not only that, you can become more hopeful, resourceful and creative, which is a mind-set choice. So much has been written about how our diet, emotions and health are interrelated, so beware of the importance of covering all areas of your life and the need to recognise this as a gift to yourself which is an unhurried, life-long process...

This therefore means your adopting a totally holistic approach to your personal development through healthy dietary habits, emotional intelligence, spiritual grounding and regular physical movement.

Here's a simple jumping off exercise for you to try out...

There are a vast number of self-care tools available for you to employ, from massage to meditation, aerobics to affirmations and deep breathing to dietary solutions, get the picture? 
Decide, delve in, there’s no need to rush. Here’s a quick list of low and no-cost possiblioties which you try out…

Here are 10 Deliberate Self-care Activities for Healthy Time Alone and for Exercise and Fun

  1. Unplug from stressors and information overload! Try a regular digital detox for anything from an hour to a full weekend.
  2. As Joseph McClendon III would put it “shake that ass”! Dance at home like no one is watching (or go dancing), Physical movement is a must for your health. Adopt activities suitable for your level of mobility.
  3. Stimulate your cognitive abilities. Vary your route to university, college, work etc.
  4. Upscale your food choices. Find a dietary style (not a diet) that enhances your energy and health, get support and stick to it.
  5. Try a 1-minute meditation and breathing exercises to start off with and feel the difference. Increase the time as it becomes more familiar. Proper breathing helps to oxygenate your blood and cells and meditation can support mental clarity.
  6. Try sky watching. Lay on your back and just drift with the clouds, feel the warmth of sun, or listen to the rhythmic patter of rain.
  7. De-stress through bodywork, touch therapies or safe a good hug, which provides relaxation, grounding and safe human touch reassurance, especially if you lack safe touch in your life.
  8. Use your sense of smell with natural diffusing essential oils to aid relaxation, emotional calm, mental clarity etc.
  9. Spend some of your time in the calm and beauty of nature, every chance you get (weather permitting). A walk, a jog, a climb, a swim, a ride, can help to produce endorphins (happy hormones) and
  10. Journal your thoughts and feelings. Not necessary to hold on to them, record them as future reminders, so you can rev-visit if you want to.

Remember to that most activities can be adapted as needed and that any change takes time, so be patient. Your safety is the most important consideration.

One love,
Sistahintheraw x

p.s You can also use the Raw Soul Food Map as a tool for your journey that is focused on your health and wellbeing.

As July is my annual special month, I've designated it as Sistahintheraw's Self-Care month, in 2017. Watch out for more self-care prompts and tools coming your way during the rest of the month. You can also sign up and stay updated and connected with the Raw Soul Food community here

Want to know more? Click on the link below.

Resource and Research:

Living Food = Vibrant You - Create healthier habits, try out one of my online wellness programmes, register here

You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Anita McKenzie, is a Raw Soul Food and Holistic Health Lifestyle Mentor, she is founder of the brand "Sistahintheraw" and "Raw Soul Food" and a leading authority on Raw Food Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make healthier choices, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Sistahintheraw now at: www.sistahintheraw.com

Medical Disclaimer
Sistahintheraw.com provides information on this website as an educational service. This website does not provide medical advice. The information and reference guides in this website are intended solely for the general information for the reader. The contents of this web site are not intended to offer personal medical advice, diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. The products is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications and medical conditions.

Mindset is Everything!


You've heard it before, and nothing could be truer than, 'Mindset is everything'! This saying is a wonderful summation of the mind-body (physical and mental) link to our wellness. Basically what we think or chose to focus our attention on, and the quality of our corresponding thoughts, has a direct impact on our emotions, our attitude to ourselves, our lives, our choices etc. We are what we think, kind-of....but this does not have to be our reality.

There is a process of developing self-awareness that we must cultivate in order to gain the insight we need to make any positive changes needed to our mindset. In reality, we are not really our thoughts, nor are our lives determined by past events.

My initial way of making sense of this mindset business, is gleaned from an awareness of my own personal thought processes. For instance, I used to worry about many things in my life 24/7, therefore the quality my thoughts were often centred  around anxiety. I found it hard to switch off my unhelpful self-talk, and spent wasted hours just thinking about "what if this, or that happens". When you are constantly anxious, your body and senses are on 'alert' mode, and your decisions are based on this perception, which is not an actual reality.

Additionally, did you know that how we think also affects our body's chemistry too? For example, stressed out thoughts can lead to an elevated heart rate in some people. Feelings of disgust, fear, sadness, guilt, anger, anxiety and shame all also have an impact our physical health and of our body's ability to heal itself. 

Improve Your Mindset
Becoming aware of our thinking processes can help us to improve our mindset immensely. So, more than focusing only on improving what we eat, "resolving what's eating us" is also a crucial part of our wellness journey. It is important to learn how to listen to ourselves and recognise that we have a choice, so that we can then take action. Focus on what you want to achieve, rather than any obstacles.

Once we have made a commitment to deepening our self-awareness, which includes our mindset, there are many mindset tools and resources at our disposal. Exploring them, is a journey into self-awareness itself. We also need to be careful where we look for inspiration. Our focus needs to be on creating more balance and equanimity in our lives, often referred to as being grounded, or more enabled and empowered to deal with what life presents us with. For some us, some of these tools will be more challenging than others, some offer techniques to use in our daily lives, while others offer an opportunity to go deeper into healing and resolving our issues.

Whatever resources we choose to explore, we will quickly discover which strategies resonate well with us. For those techniques that don't quite work, we will have been given an opportunity to get back on track by making the necessary adjustments to our personal exploration.

Over many years I have chosen to utilise different types of resources to help to calm my anxiety and become a more positive, 'can do' thinker and person. I meditate, walk, dance, journal, belong to support groups, have mentors and supporters. I take time out and I focus on what brings me a sense of fulfilment. As a result, I am much happier and optimistic than I have ever been, plus I look forward to even more joy in my life every day. Life is not always cool and wonderful, but I don't get knocked side-ways as often as I used to; And, I love my life!

You will know when your efforts are paying off - your re-newed attitude will lead you to attract the type of experiences you desire for growth and your decisions can therefore be made on those more positive experiences.

Try this:
Try to imagine yourself being on an up for a longer period of time!
What does it feel like, look like, taste like, sound like?

Journal your answers to this question. Don't worry if immediate answers are not forthcoming, give it some time and see this as an opportunity for the type of 'self-reflection that' will enable you to practice with this tool, while you develop more self-awareness.

Another tool that has been created especially for you to use is my Raw Soul Food Map. If you are new journalling, it's a great creatively designed tool which encourages you think about your food-related wellness. Find out more here.

Having said all that, all the while that we are pursuing our positive mindset goals, remember this, a new, positive mindset, leads us towards new (and eventually better) life results...

One Love...

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Sistahintheraw's Raw Soul Food Writing Map

Sistahintheraw's Raw Soul Food Writing Map


You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Anita McKenzie, is a Raw Soul Food and Holistic Health Lifestyle Mentor, she is founder of the brand "Sistahintheraw" and "Raw Soul Food" and a leading authority on Raw Food Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make healthier choices, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Sistahintheraw now at: www.sistahintheraw.com