Practicing self-care is an important part of maintaining your health and well-being. It can improve your life in many different ways.
So, what is self-care? In essence, it’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s any conscious activity or action undertaken to improve your physical, mental, or emotional health.
That being said, here are six ways you can practice self-care that will likely pay dividends in the future.
Get a good night’s sleep
Getting the sleep you need should be an essential part of your self-care routine. It has a ton of amazing benefits that can improve your mind, mood, and overall health.
In addition to providing your mind and body with the rest it needs, sleep has many other proven benefits. It can lower your blood pressure and blood sugar, help your heart’s health, and strengthen your immune system.
The amount of sleep needed depends on the person, but most adults should be sleeping for seven to nine hours per night.
Consume a healthy diet
The food we eat doesn’t just impact our body—it affects our mind and our mood as well. Make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need every day to feel your best. This doesn’t mean you have to follow a strict diet, but you should pay close attention to what you put in your body.
Try to avoid processed foods rich in sugar and refined carbohydrates, and incorporate more fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, and nuts into your diet. Your gut health has far-reaching effects, and consuming healthy foods can improve your physical and emotional well-being, in addition to cutting down the chances of contracting illnesses in the future.
Movement has positive benefits for both your physical and mental health. Yes, exercise can burn calories and build muscle— but did you know it can also reduce stress and anxiety?
Regular exercise can promote positive moods and relieve feelings of depression by producing endorphins in your brain, thereby giving you a “runner’s high”.
Ideally, you should do some kind of exercise every day, for at least 30 minutes per day. It doesn’t have to be a grueling high intensity workout or anything. You don’t necessarily even have to go to the gym. Just do what works for you, whether that means taking long walks, doing body weight exercises, or going for a run or bike ride.
Not only does getting outside feel nice, studies have also shown that it can actually improve your overall well-being. Getting outdoors can provide you with an energy boost, strengthen your immune system, and provide you with your daily dose of vitamin D.
It also can be very pleasant to exercise outdoors. You get to breathe in fresh air, take in the natural surroundings, and you don’t have to pay for any gym membership.
Prioritize your health
Make it a point to seek out professional healthcare experts for regular check-ups and treatment when you need it. By visiting a medical doctor for a regular physical examination, you can make sure that you’re in good health and address any existing issues. Visiting a good therapist can also help you work through any personal stresses or mental health issues you’ve been experiencing.
However, seeking out healthcare is easier said than done. It can certainly be expensive. Maybe you went to the dentist and they advised you to get a problematic tooth taken out. Worried about how much that tooth extraction cost is? That’s normal, but don’t put it off for too long.
Your physical and mental health is worth investing in. The more research you do into insurance plans and medical treatment options, the more likely you are to save money in the long run.
Limit screen time
Now more than ever, it seems that we’re plugged in 24 hours a day. You check your phone in the morning, use your laptop at work, come home and watch television, check your social media accounts…it can all be very overwhelming.
Try setting aside a period every day where you can take a break from technology. A few hours before bed would be a great time to unplug. Instead of scrolling through your phone, try meditating, reading a book, or writing in a journal.
Keep in mind that self-care is broadly defined. It can really be anything that makes you feel like a better, happier, more productive person. And there’s no magical formula you can follow, it’s just a process of trying things out for yourself and seeing what works for you.