Change is in the air—which makes it the perfect time to reflect on your self-care!
At the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy (FMCA), we understand the importance of self-care for overall mental and physical health. As a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach (FMCHC), there are two ways clients can look for your guidance: for medical purposes referred to by a practitioner or independently, OR for support with a specific topic, such as goal setting, nutrition, hydration, sleep, anxiety/stress management, or work-life balance!
Here are our top 6 fall self-care tips from our FMCHC Staff!
In Functional Medicine Health Coaching, we use SMART goals to help clients achieve their goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. By taking the same approach and applying the SMART goals to self-care is an excellent way to stay focused, relieve stress, and establish a strong foundation of security and self-worth. The SMART approach can be shared with friends and family, and applied to anything, from fitness goals to professional successes. The process is flexible and can be customized to fit your specific requirements or schedule.
“Self-care happens best in a community. Experiencing the joy of connection, feeling both supported and supportive, showing appreciation, and reaching out when you need help, can be profoundly restorative. When you meet your own needs in these ways, everyone in your life benefits.” – Sandra Scheinbaum, PhD, Founder and CEO of FMCA
Good nutrition is an essential part of good self-care. Good nutrition is self-care because your relationship with food has the ability to create a better sense of balance in your life. This is reflected in how balanced and varied your nutrition is, and how well your food is serving as your fuel.
When studying to become a Functional Medicine Health Coach, you learn to use a tool called the Diet, Nutrition, and Lifestyle Journal, taught by Deanna Minich, PhD. This journal goes in depth to get a more comprehensive look than just tracking food, and examines how to create coherence and highlight positive change in your life. Another tangible way to find balance with good nutrition is by incorporating a conscious eating practice, so you can really listen to your body.
“Trust your gut and turn the volume way up on your intuition. It always knows the way.” – Elyse Wagner, MS, CN, LMHCA, FMCA Co-Founder and Chief Wellness Officer
Staying hydrated is arguably the most important self-care act available to us, as we can only survive a matter of days without water. Water is involved in numerous physiological functions and chemical reactions in the body, including but not limited to regulation of body temperature, brain function, digestion, absorption, transportation of nutrients, and excretion of waste.
“Water is life! Living in the desert has certainly made that even more clear, so we stay super hydrated. I drink 4-5 mason jars daily, which is about 128 oz. In the summer I add cucumber, lime and a bit of ginger shavings. I also drink quite a bit of coconut water.” – Mare Tomaski, FMCHC, LMT, CST, RYT, FMCA Course Facilitator
Sleep care is crucial to self-care. So, why is sleep so important? It’s a vital part of your health and wellness. You may not realize it, but the amount and quality of sleep you get each night can impact your immune system, your mood, and much more! Now, with booming technology in artificial intelligence, we are able to track our sleep to see how much deep sleep our bodies are really getting.
“Of all the modifiable lifestyle factors, I view high-quality sleep as a foundation for success in long-term wellness. Sleep is a chance for every part of your body to enter a deep state of recovery and restoration. My personal favorite tip for getting a good night’s sleep is to finish eating at least 3 hours before going to bed.” – Jordan Swartz, FMCHC, FMCA Course Facilitator
5. Anxiety and Stress Management
We are all less able to handle the stresses that come our way when we’re depleted by physical and emotional exhaustion. Or, to frame that in a positive way, we are more resilient and more able to handle life’s stress when we are feeling our best, both physically and emotionally.
“We all experience feelings of overwhelm in our busy lives. Engaging in stress resiliency practices like meditation, deep breathing, and gratitude journaling along with taking time to experience joy every day can be powerful antidotes to stress. These sorts of practices can cultivate calm and counteract stress and are well worth the effort, so we can live fully and experience vibrant health.” – Jan Goldberg, M.Sc, CN, M.Ed, FMCHC, NBC-HWC, FMCA Course Facilitator and Alumni Support
6. Work-Life Balance
Over the past few years, there’s been a significant shift from the hustle mentality to an emphasis on relaxation and personal boundaries. These self-care boundaries are ultimately about reducing burnout and creating a sustainable work-life balance. When you are able to create a work-life balance you are able to develop a more positive attitude, reduce your stress levels, improve your overall health, while also increasing engagement and focus.
“Life is so much more than our work, so take time to enjoy it! While it is tempting to stay later to get things done, or if you work from home, work an hour or two more—it is important to pause and refocus on what is important to you. Take time off, turn off your phone, be truly present in what you are doing, and who you are spending time with. Work will always be there tomorrow or when you get back.” – Stefannie García-Donato, FMCHC, FMCA Marketing and Social Media Specialist
Self-care is about the practices, habits, behaviors, and mindset you have around your well-being. It’s about creating a lifestyle that fulfills you and helps you keep your stress to a minimum.
Published: October 15, 2021