In today’s society, many of us feel selfish when we put our own needs first. However, by not taking proper care of yourself, your health may falter. When you commit to self-care, you might find yourself flourishing in ways you have missed.
Master the Basics
Often, we neglect our health to work or socialize. Yet, by learning to say “no” to bosses and friends, we can get more sleep and exercise, both of which are vital for health. Unfortunately, if we cut back on sleep too often, it can become difficult to be well-rested. To get back on track, get more sun, avoid tech at night, limit caffeine, and adopt a consistent sleep schedule. By doing so, you may even see your fitness routines improve. If you don’t have a solid workout routine yet, you can get started by combining cardio and weight work. This will give the best results, but be careful to avoid straining yourself.
Improve Your Diet and Fitness
How well we eat directly impacts how we feel, yet it's easy to lapse into the habit of eating fast or fried food after a long day. To turn your meals around and get on a healthy diet, take time to plan out how you’ll eat during the coming week. This way, you can prep ahead to make your weeknights easier. Just as important, get a few good-for-you snacks, so when you’re craving something crunchy, you have healthy options on hand. Add colorful fruit and veg to each meal to ensure you get all the vitamins and minerals you need.
The benefits of regular exercise include improved sleep, energy, and mood, but many struggle with motivation. One way to boost your motivation is start using a fitness tracker along with your exercise routine. Fitness trackers and smartwatches can help you track your progress which can provide the encouragement you need to keep exercising. There are many cool models with all kinds of exciting features. For instance, one of Apple’s newest smartwatches, the Apple Watch Series 4, had features that can help in case of emergency like emergency SOS and fall detection. Or the Garmin Vivosmart 4 can track your heart rate and has a long-lasting battery.
Destress with Help
When we feel our time is stretched too thin, our stress increases. Yet, you can help ease that by hiring a cleaning service, or getting those who live with you to pick up a few more chores. A professional service might seem like an expense, but it can be worthwhile since they can get everything organized and sparkling. Or, teach yourself to ask for support when needed from coworkers or housemates. Whether you are struggling to get all your tasks done on the job or around your home, by directly requesting help, you’re less likely to be overwhelmed.
Doctors and dental hygienists are beginning to understand the connection between poor oral health and many serious health conditions, including depression and anxiety. When we ignore our teeth, we’re more likely to suffer from a vicious cycle of depression and lack of self-care. To prevent this, you need to see a dentist regularly to ensure your mouth is as healthy as can be. Finding a good hygienist can be difficult at first, so be sure to read reviews and double check that they are in your insurance network before scheduling an appointment.
An often-overlooked way of improving our mental and physical health is heading out into the great outdoors. Whether that’s spending an hour gardening, walking the dog at the park, birdwatching, or taking a stroll through a forest, being around plants and nature is beneficial. Of course, getting there can be a hassle, which is why an electric mountain bike could be a good swap from the traditional car. With an electric bike, you get even more fresh air, all while saving money on gas, especially if you decide to ride one to work during rush hour.
Relax and Unwind
We all need time to reduce stress and unwind. That may mean telling friends “no” on Friday nights and staying at home for some much-needed relaxation instead. Yes, you could binge favorite shows, but you might also meditate, do yoga, or even write a gratitude list. What you do is up to you, and it's best to experiment until you find what works. After all, life comes at us fast, and we deserve to do what we can to reduce our anxieties.
When you master the basics of self-care, you’re starting on a journey to complete well-being. Explore nature, take care of your teeth and diet, and learn to let others help when you need it. All of us deserve to treat our bodies and minds with compassion.
Article curtesy of Brad Krause.