• Courtney Ustrzycki

8 Tips for Self Care

Prefer to listen to this instead? Turn on episode 53 of the Courtney For Life podcast on your favourite app:

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/courtney-for-life/id1269505486 Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6EC3kOifB5PV9HGEnn9VTf?si=D1Wsxf9nT1GT7-4yupOBpA SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/courtneyforlife or on my website: https://www.courtneyforlife.com/podcasts



I feel like more and more we see SELF CARE showing up, almost like it’s becoming a buzz word. Memes these days basically call everything self care.


Go to the spa, that’s self care.

Take a day off work, that’s self care.

Eat an entire pizza, that’s self care.

Put on an exfoliating face mask and binge on 11 seasons of Modern Family, that’s self care.

Light a bag of poop on fire on your neighbour’s porch; that’s definitely self care.


SELF CARE is the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.


I made a wonderful list of tips on HOW you can manage and practice SELF CARE.


Stress management

Seemingly yet the most challenging but agreeably the most important practice. Stress can literally cripple us. It can cause us to feel cranky, cloudy-minded, over-react in situations and reek havoc on our bodies and minds. It can inhibit our daily essentials like water intake, sleep quality, nutrition choices and exercise performance. It causes weight inflammation and can prevent fat loss.

Maybe that means slowing down, asking for help or support, using a calendar or schedule to be a little more organized. By managing your stress you can reduce the cortisol in your body and therefore take better care of yourself.


Protect your energy

The energy we focus on or give into, is what we can expect more of in our life.

If we’re constantly talking about drama or bringing up toxic topics, that negative energy we are breathing into existence is just going to grow on us like a gnarly fungus. No one likes a gnarly fungus.

That might mean saying NO to some people or situations, but remember that therefore means saying YES to your self care. Listen to my recent episode #52 about the Power of Yes and No.

When you can learn to protect your energy, you can ensure you are truly taking care of yourself.


Be organized

Feeling like you’re not organized, constantly running late, forgetting appointments or not completing what needs to get done can make you feel stressed AS F.

Not just being organized on pen and paper with tasks and errands, but being CLEAR on what you want and need. From people, including yourself.

This could look like daily journalling or doing frequent brain dumps where you just write down anything and everything on your mind at any given time. When I’m feeling overwhelmed, a good brain dump always helps me to see a little more clearly of what’s important and where my wants and needs are at.


Get some daily movement

That doesn’t mean you have to do strength training or be in a gym. Any kind of movement like walking, yoga or even some dancing is so good for the body and mind.

Daily movement can improve your mental health, reduce joint pain, improve blood flow, promote better digestion and bowel movement regularity, and help with better weight management.

Better yet: get TF outside! Soaking up a little bit of Vitamin D can help improve your mood. Natural sunlight is the best way to absorb Vitamin D, so the more skin you have exposed, the more you can absorb.


Shut down the screens

Our bodies and minds are being stimulated all day long with communication, conversations, what we eat, what we think and say, how we move, where we go, employment, relationships, traffic... There’s a seemingly fine line between turning on Netflix to wind down at the end of the day, and actually winding down at the end of the day. Even watching TV or scrolling on your phone, no matter if it’s in ‘Night Mode’ is still stimulating your body and mind a lot more than you’re thinking. The blue light that shines through is really damaging to your eyes and this damage cannot be reversed.

Setting a limit and being ore aware of your screen time can reduce anxiety and improve your mindset. It can break from being sucked into mind-numbing news stories, believing dumb shit that people post on their timelines, unnecessary drama, being caught up in comparison and overall wasted time. I guarantee there’s a lot of other much ore beneficial things you can be doing with your time!


Stop hitting snooze

One of my strong friends told me this thought process and it’s stuck with me: every time you hit the SNOOZE button you accept self-inflicted failure. You are allowing yourself to fail first thing in the morning. We know that the first 20 minutes of your day can literally dictate how your day will unfold, so start on the right foot – or the left! But not by hitting FAIL.

If you’re telling me that you have back-up alarms in case you don’t hear the first one, crank up the volume and put it away from your bedside. You’ll hear it loud and clear and you’ll be forced to get out of bed and turn it off. Then you’re up. Don’t choose failure by going back to the bed. Make your bed, start your day with a positive and successful 20 minutes, and improve your self care.


Make a gratitude list

What better way to make you feel good than to remind yourself of all the GOOD things in your life? Even in the seemingly most trying chapters of our lives, there is always something if you look deep enough, to be grateful for. And it can honestly be the simplest things like the smell of fresh coffee in the morning, finally developing a healthy wind down routine and improving the quality of your sleep, feeling organized, or being able to get the F outside for daily movement. Even the little action of getting out of bed the first time your alarm goes off in the morning can be a great win to celebrate. Nothing is ‘too small’ if you decide it’s not. Set the tone for positive actions and daily self care. Because if you’re not going to celebrate yourself, why would you expect others to?


Break the self-doubt

I feel like this stems from comparison; could be how we were raised and what our childhood was like, or maybe from what we choose to focus on with social media (again, focusing on the negative energy) and we get sucked into this mangey hole of doubt and “I’m not good enough.”

There is only ONE person who can control your thoughts: YOU.

You choose the comparison. You choose the doubt. You choose that you’re not good enough.

You can change this. How? By taking action. Where are the trigger points? People? Social media platforms or apps? Get rid of them. Worried that you might hurt someone’s feelings? Who’s feelings are more important, yours or theirs? Who’s feelings do you need to focus on first?


*cue: video of putting on your own oxygen mask in the airplane*


So to recap my 8 tips for self care:

  1. Stress management

  2. Protect your energy

  3. Be organized

  4. Get some daily movement

  5. Shut down the screens

  6. Stop hitting snooze

  7. Make a gratitude list

  8. Break the self-doubt


You are absolutely possible of managing all of these things, but it comes down to your choices. You have the power to choose, just like I said with breaking self-doubt. You choose. I’m not saying it’s easy, but I am definitely saying that it’s hella worth it!

I hope you wrote down these tips and can begin to apply them to your life today. Don’t wait until tomorrow, Monday or next month. Start now. Start with where you are and with what you have. There’s not going to be a better time to start taking care of yourself, so get going.

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© 2019 by Courtney Ustrzycki. Photos credit of Georges Schemagin (video) & Workout Magazine Mexico. All rights reserved.