September can be a perfect time to embrace a fresh start and prioritize self-care. Sure, the days are getting darker, colder, and well, that’s kind of depressing but, now is the most important time to fill your own cup and take care of you! September Self-Care Awareness Month, or as we like to call it SeptemCare Month, welcomes the opportunity that as the leaves fall, you can focus on YOU! Invest in your personal well-being and make positive choices or changes. One way to kickstart this journey is by engaging in activities offered at a wellness center, but of course, we are partial! Perhaps because we see daily, how our community provides a contagious environment that promotes physical, mental, and emotional well-being and has many people celebrating SeptemCare year-round! Self-care is the practice of taking deliberate actions to do just that, care for yourself, with the added intention of improving your overall wellness and well-being. It can include nurturing your physical, mental, and emotional needs, and quite often, these “self-care” practices are things we should be doing every day. September, designated as Self-Care Awareness Month, serves as a reminder to prioritize self-care and make it a part of our daily routine so that we are caught unaware when the effects of stress or other less healthful practices catch up with us. Self-care in many ways is a verb! A call to action. A call to be who we should be and an investment in how we want to feel in the future. Places like The Wellness Center are perfect places to begin or continue a journey towards self-care. Yes, we offer a wide range of classes and programs that cater to different aspects of well-being including yoga and meditation, fitness classes and workshops, and opportunities for individuals to explore, connect, and play. Being out of your own space and away from distractions at home or the office allows you to, just be YOU! If you are struggling with motivation, and focus, or just need guidance, joining a group may be what you need to start a new routine. Sometimes our self-care needs are just a few boundaries away! The boundaries may be setting up specific times or spaces where we can’t be interrupted or bothered so we can have that personal time to renew, recharge, and reemerge.
Self-care may have gotten a bad rap as being, lazy…which maybe some of you need! But, for many people self-care is the opposite with physical activity at the top of the list! Taking care of
your physical, emotional, and mental health needs can happen by moving your body! Fitness classes help improve physical health by increasing strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance but, physical activity also becomes self-care as it releases endorphins, those “feel-good” hormones that boost mood and reduce stress. Physical activity helps us to process thoughts, and emotions, find clarity, enjoy music, self-regulate and so much more. Many group classes focus on self-care by engaging a sense of well-being through mind-body movements such as yoga, Yogalaties, or Piyo™. Meditation and mindfulness that are incorporated into these gentle movement classes can help us find ways to move in our own bodies that we actually enjoy, and that feel good, all while promoting relaxation, empowering one to know oneself, and offering tools for coping with daily challenges. The deep breathing that is welcomed into these classes helps us to soothe our nervous system and leaves us relaxed and yet, re-energized as we leave the practice. Self-care awareness is about getting to know what you need to be your best, healthiest, and most balanced self. Often, we can’t do that alone, or at least not for very long. Participating in group activities allows us to have an independent practice, routine, or workout, but in a group of like-minded people, offering a community. While people may come and go without engaging too much with others if they choose over time there is support and comradery that grows in a group. You start to connect with your classmates, maybe over topics shared in class or by someone talking about a book they love or an upcoming event. Before you know it, you have a new social circle. A circle made up of people who also take time to invest in their own self-care, how cool is that!
September can be that fresh start we had hoped for in January but only now are we ready to prioritize our health, goals, or self-care. By taking advantage of Self-Care Awareness Month and engaging in your well-being, you are taking advantage of a new future! Be deliberate about the life you want and deserve to have and do something about it! Start with some self-care, some YOU care, as we all start fresh this SeptemCare!
Director of The Wellness Center