Now more than ever it is important to ensure you are taking care of yourself. Studies have shown that individuals who practice self-care have a better quality of life, are shown to check-in at the hospital less and have longer lifespans than those with poor self-care. So it’s not selfish, it’s vital. The question is, how do you practice self-care?
The first thing you can do is prioritize working out. Working out improves multiple aspects of your daily living:
1. Studies show that physical activity stimulates brain chemicals that make you feel happier and calm. Exercising can also be a helpful tool to help symptoms of depression and anxiety.
2. Regular exercise can improve your strength by delivering oxygen to your muscles, help your cardiovascular system, and boost endurance. Additionally, exercise helps the health of vital organs such as the heart and lungs. When your heart and lungs are strong, you have more energy for daily activities like walking.
If you need a place to take sixty-minutes to yourself to focus on your self-care, try Florida Personal Training.
After exercise, it’s important to focus on a healthy diet. Food can be used to nurture our bodies or used as a coping mechanism. Try to find a healthy balance with good nutrition to support self-care. This can be done with mindful eating practices, which is bringing awareness to our actions, thoughts, feelings and motivations.
When you are aware of your internal and external surroundings when eating, it can bring a balance between good nutrition and the enjoyment of eating. To practice mindful eating, focus on listening to your body. It may be a difficult practice at first, however working to be attuned with cues of hunger and satiation from your body to guide your eating is a great start.
Sleep is an important part of self-care. Sleep helps to improve memory, concentration, productivity and increases your energy levels throughout the day. Sleep also helps maintain a healthy weight, strengthens the immune system and has been shown to allow people to live longer and happier lives. The amount of sleep is important, but you also need to focus on the quality of sleep.
Tips for your best night’s rest:
- Follow a consistent sleep routine.
- Avoid caffeine 8-10 hours before bed.
- Manage stress throughout the day and don’t bring it to bed.
Speaking of managing stress…
One of the best ways to manage stress, and the next self-care tip, laugh more. Did you know that laughing increases endorphins and improves mood? Well it does. It also enhances the intake of air rich in oxygen that helps stimulate the heart, lungs and muscles. So much so that the oxygen to your muscles can cause it to increase your pain threshold and tolerance. And finally, laughter has been proven to improve your immune system by releasing neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more serious illnesses.
And the final step to self-care is to keep track of your health. With the wonderful invention of the smartphone it is now easier than ever to keep track of your health, because there is an app for everything. If you want to track how well you are sleeping, there’s an app for that. If you want to set a reminder to take your vitamins in the morning, there’s an app for that too. Being on top of your self-care can seem like a chore, so why not make it easier by downloading an app to help? How do we practice self-care? First and foremost, make sure you are getting regular exercise–and if you need a great place to start or continue your health journey try Florida Personal Training. Be sure to pay attention to your diet and practice mindful eating. Work on getting not only enough hours of rest, but quality sleep. And when you’re stressed look around for a laugh. Even in the hardest times, you can always find something to smile at. And be sure to track your progress along the way.