The topic of self-care has been gaining traction over the years, but many people still see it as another term for selfishness. However, self-care is the exact opposite of selfishness because it refers to taking care of your own physical, mental, and emotional health so that you can be the best version of yourself. This means that you have more to give others.
No one should feel guilty about practicing self-care. It should be a priority in everyone’s life (even super-busy people), and you can even use technology to help. If you want to start taking better care of your overall well-being, here are some practical self-care methods you should consider.
Let’s start with one aspect that is often underestimated: dental health. Although it’s easy enough to practice basic dental hygiene, it’s essential to a person’s health and well-being. It affects more than just your physical health, as there is a profound connection between dental health and depression. Along with the basics of brushing and flossing, it’s important to go to regular check-ups and cleanings at your dentist.
Everyone needs natural sunlight in their lives. Along with providing a good dose of vitamin D, spending time outdoors can go a long way in relieving stress. There are plenty of fun activities that you can enjoy in the sunshine, such as:
What you put into your body makes a big difference in how you feel. We are made for nutrients, so when we deprive ourselves of proper nutrients, it affects every aspect of our health and well-being. Clean eating primarily means choosing unprocessed foods that you could grow in a garden, along with fish, lean meats, eggs, nuts, and seeds. You can even use healthy-eating apps to track what you’re eating each day.
To better understand how your diet affects your health, you should really become familiar with your gut microbes. For example, Bifidobacterium can really benefit your intestines, and your mood can improve thanks to L. helveticus and B. longum. Each type of microbes plays an important role in determining your physical and emotional health, so you need to work on balancing your gut microbiome to help you stay healthy. You can do this by taking the right supplements and, of course, eating a healthy diet.
Having a regular exercise routine can do wonders for your physical, mental, and emotional health. Along with making your body stronger, it can help relieve stress and anxiety, improve your concentration, and boost your self-esteem, among many other benefits. There are many ways to exercise, so find one you like and try to do it three to five times a week.
Look for ways to stay motivated to keep up with your fitness routine, whether it’s working out with a friend to keep you accountable, or listening to your favorite adrenaline-boosting tunes. Another way to stay motivated is to track your progress by incorporating a fitness tracker in your workout. Check out some of the latest models, including the Apple Watch Series 5, which was just released, has 18-hour battery life, and can track your heart rate, steps, and activity. Or if you prefer a Fitbit, the Versa 2 is lightweight and can store music.
This one may sound obvious, but relaxing is vital for self-care. And many people neglect to do anything relaxing because they don’t see how they could fit it into their life. But here’s the thing: You will never find the time for it, so you have to make the time for it. Carve out a slot in your schedule each week to do a hobby or activity that helps you unwind from your weekly obligations, and prioritize it to make it happen.
Sometimes saying “no” is the best thing you can do for yourself and others. It can also be one of the hardest things to do. However, if you say yes to everyone, your over-committing will make it difficult to do all those things well, and you’ll probably end up burning out. Think of it this way: Every time you say “no,” you leave time open for something else. This could mean declining to work overtime over the weekend or opting to recuperate at home on a Friday night instead of going out with friends. Whatever your “no” needs to be, don’t feel guilty about it.
Self-care is critical for anyone who wants to live a happy and healthy life. Remember to care for your dental health, get outdoors, and try to clean eating. Also, find fun ways to exercise and relax, and don’t be afraid to say “no” to people. The more you take care of your own needs, the more you will have to give to others.
Author: Sheila Olson of fitsheila.com