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How to prioritize and nurture yourself

When I say prioritize and nurture yourself what I mean is choose yourself. Folk who struggle with codependency and people-pleasing tend to self-abandon when it comes to loved ones. Therefore I I like to explain exactly what I mean when I say make your self-care a top priority.

What it means to choose yourself.

"Choosing yourself" is a concept that encompasses the idea of prioritizing your own well-being, needs, and happiness over external demands, expectations, or the desires of others. It involves recognizing your self-worth and making decisions that are in your best interest, even if they may differ from what others expect or desire.

Here's what choosing yourself means in practical terms:

  1. Self-Care: Prioritizing self-care activities, both physical and emotional, to ensure your well-being. This can include exercise, rest, mindfulness, therapy, and relaxation.

  2. Boundaries: Setting and enforcing personal boundaries to protect your physical and emotional space. This might involve saying no to requests or situations that are detrimental to your well-being.

  3. Pursuing Your Goals: Working toward your own goals and dreams, whether they are related to your career, personal development, hobbies, or relationships.

  4. Self-Respect: Treating yourself with respect and kindness, just as you would with others. It means refraining from self-criticism or self-sabotage.

  5. Authenticity: Expressing your true self and your authentic feelings, opinions, and needs in relationships and situations.

  6. Independence: Recognizing your ability to make decisions independently and not feeling compelled to seek constant approval or validation from others.

  7. Resilience: Building emotional resilience and the ability to bounce back from setbacks, using your own strength and support system.

  8. Well-Being: Focusing on your mental, emotional, and physical health, and making choices that support your overall well-being.

  9. Pursuing Happiness: Seeking and prioritizing happiness, even if it means leaving toxic relationships, changing careers, or making other significant life changes.

  10. Mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness and self-awareness to make conscious and considered choices that serve your best interests.

Choosing yourself doesn't mean neglecting responsibilities or becoming selfish. It means recognizing that taking care of yourself is a prerequisite for effectively fulfilling your responsibilities and being present for others. It's about maintaining a healthy balance between your own needs and the needs of those around you.

Ultimately, choosing yourself is an act of self-love and self-respect. It's a declaration that your well-being and happiness matter, and you are worthy of taking care of yourself just as much as anyone else. It's a journey towards personal growth, self-empowerment, and a more fulfilling life.

What is Self-Care

Self-care is a fundamental practice for maintaining physical, emotional, and mental well-being. It involves taking deliberate actions to prioritize and nurture yourself. Self-care is especially important during the recovery process, as it can help prevent relapse and promote overall health. Here are some self-care practices to consider:

Physical Self-Care:

Regular exercise: Engage in physical activities that you enjoy, whether it's walking, jogging, yoga, or dancing.

Healthy nutrition: Maintain a balanced diet that provides the nutrients your body needs.

Adequate sleep: Ensure you get enough quality sleep to support physical and emotional recovery.

Emotional Self-Care:

Journaling: Write down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences to process and release emotions.

Mindfulness and meditation: Practice mindfulness to stay present and manage stress.

Therapy or counseling: Attend regular therapy sessions to address emotional issues and gain insight.

Mental Self-Care:

Learn something new: Pursue intellectual interests or take up a new hobby.

Set and achieve goals: Establish personal and recovery-related goals to foster a sense of accomplishment.

Relaxation techniques: Practice deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or guided imagery to reduce stress and anxiety.

Social Self-Care:

Maintain healthy relationships: Cultivate and nurture positive relationships that offer support and understanding.

Seek social support: Connect with support groups, recovery communities, or online forums to share experiences and encouragement.

Set boundaries: Establish clear boundaries with individuals who may cause stress or emotional harm.

Spiritual Self-Care:

Explore your beliefs: Reflect on your spiritual or philosophical beliefs and engage in practices that resonate with you.

Nature and outdoors: Spend time in nature to connect with the natural world and find inner peace.

Creative Self-Care:

Creative expression: Engage in creative activities like painting, writing, music, or crafting as a means of self-expression.

Play and joy: Rediscover the joy of play and engage in activities that make you feel childlike happiness.

Organization and Time Management:

Maintain a structured routine: Create a daily schedule with allocated time for recovery-related activities, work, and self-care.

Manage stressors: Identify stressors and develop strategies to mitigate their impact on your life.

Positive Self-Talk:

Practice self-compassion: Replace negative self-talk with kind and compassionate words of self-encouragement.

Health Maintenance:

Regular check-ups: Schedule regular health check-ups to address any physical or mental health concerns.

Medication management: If prescribed, adhere to your medication regimen and communicate any concerns with your healthcare provider.

Celebrate Achievements:

Recognize and celebrate your accomplishments and milestones in your recovery and personal growth journey.

Remember that self-care is highly individualized. What works for one person may not work for another. The key is to identify self-care practices that resonate with you and make them a regular part of your routine. Self-care is not selfish; it's a vital part of maintaining balance and well-being during the recovery process.


Minimizing idle time and maintaining a structured routine

Minimizing idle time and maintaining a structured routine can be instrumental in preventing relapse and promoting recovery. Idle time can be a trigger for relapse because it may lead to boredom, isolation, or negative thinking. Here are some strategies to help you make the most of your time and reduce idle moments:

Create a Daily Schedule:

Develop a detailed daily schedule that allocates time for essential activities, including therapy or counseling, support group meetings, exercise, self-care, and work or productive tasks.

Set Specific Goals:

Establish clear and achievable daily, weekly, and monthly goals to give your routine purpose and direction. These goals should align with your recovery and personal growth objectives.

Prioritize Self-Care:

Incorporate self-care activities into your daily routine. This might include mindfulness, exercise, healthy eating, and relaxation techniques.

Engage in Productive Activities:

Include productive activities or hobbies in your routine, such as volunteering, working, studying, or pursuing a passion. These activities can fill your time with purpose and fulfillment.

Use Time Blocks:

Divide your day into time blocks, each dedicated to a specific task or activity. Set time limits for each block to maintain focus and avoid procrastination.

Minimize Unstructured Time:

Reduce unstructured time by planning your day in advance. This leaves little room for idle moments and discourages spontaneous relapse triggers.

Stay Accountable:

Share your daily schedule and goals with a trusted friend or family member who can hold you accountable and provide encouragement.

Limit Screen Time:

Be mindful of screen time and social media, which can lead to idle moments. Use technology for productive or educational purposes.

Maintain Regular Check-Ins:

Stay in regular contact with your support network, therapist, or sponsor to reduce the chances of isolation and to seek help when needed.

Have a Backup Plan:

Prepare a list of activities or tasks you can engage in when you have unexpected idle moments. This can include reading, journaling, or going for a walk.

Practice Mindfulness:

Incorporate mindfulness techniques into your routine to help you stay present and avoid getting lost in idle thoughts.

Reward Yourself:

Celebrate your achievements, both big and small, as a way to reinforce positive behavior and motivation.

Evaluate and Adjust:

Regularly assess your daily routine to identify areas where you may be wasting time or falling into idle patterns. Adjust your schedule as needed.

Stay Active:

Physical activity can be a great way to avoid idle time. Consider incorporating regular exercise into your routine.

Seek New Interests:

Explore new hobbies or interests to fill your schedule and add variety to your routine.

By structuring your routine, setting goals, and engaging in purposeful activities, you can reduce idle time and minimize the risk of relapse. A well-organized and meaningful daily routine can provide a sense of direction, purpose, and accomplishment, which are vital components of recovery and personal growth.


Need Help Developing A Plan For Self-Care

Do you want help developing a self-care plan that works for your busy schedule? Do you want accountability in implementing a self-care plan? If you or someone you love is struggling to maintain optimal mental and emotional health, consider reaching out to Spiced Life Conversation Art Wellness Studio and Botanica. We are a Metro Atlanta, Conyers Georgia area. We are a coaching and counseling practice with empathetic, skilled counselors and recovery coaches who can help you set goals, develop a self-care routine, and move forward to build a more fulfilling life. Our team would be happy to work with you either just for a couple of sessions to develop and implement a Self-care plan or longer term to work toward overall better mental health within our membership site or other programs.

Dr. Nikki LeToya White

About The Author:

Dr. Nikki LeToya White MSEd-TL, Ph.D. RHN is the founder, director, and full-time board-certified trauma-informed nutritionist, folk herbalist, and wellness consultant at Spiced Life Conversation Art Wellness Studio and Botanica. She created Spiced Life Conversation, LLC

Art Wellness Studio and Botanica to provide the Metro Atlanta area with counseling and coaching services where clients are carefully matched with the right program for healing abandonment and childhood emotional neglect trauma that cause codependency, emotional eating, financial stress, and imposter syndrome as it relates to fear of success and being abandon. We help you begin your emotional healing journey with ease. Recently, we have expanded to include an online membership site so we now provide support to people living all over the world. All of our recovery coaches provide at least one evidence-based treatment to assist in your recovery. Dr. White is a big proponent of self-care and helping people live a fulfilling life! She has been in full remission with both codependency and emotional binge eating disorder since 2016. In living a life in recovery from sugar addiction. Loving her low-sugar balance lifestyle.

Warm Regards

Dr. Nikki LeToya White


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