Top Five Self-Care Tips for a Healthy, Beautiful Life
Everyone seems to always be in a rush, in a rat race rushing to meet work deadlines, beat traffic, attend that event, or meet up with that business partner. It’s a cycle of endless pursuits and tasks. While these activities are extremely important to help you pay bills, reach your career goals, and achieve your financial targets, it often takes away from the most important person in your life - you.
You know how thrilling it feels to drive a new car around town, cruising like there’s no tomorrow; but the thing is if the car is not properly maintained, those experiances might not last as long. From electrical faults to mechanical wear and tear, these incessant car troubles from poor maintenance will not only frustrate you but will also rob you from you.
This same thing is true with human psychology. When we work tirelessly and continuously without taking time out to unwind and nourish ourselves, having a nervous breakdown becomes inevitable. Self-care has several definitions but it largely involves nourishing ourselves - emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
Perinatal mental health and psychology expert, Kirsten Brunner, defines self-care as “any activity or choice that allows a person to replenish, rejuvenate, or preserve energy. She describes it as prioritizing our needs so we can be fully present when meeting the needs of others.
Without self-care - just like a poorly-maintained car - we become prone to not only emotional and mental dysfunction, but also at a higher risk of physical ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.
Here are our top five self-care tips for a healthy and beautiful life.
Most adults require an average of eight hours of sleep every night, but more than 60 percent of adults report being sleep deprived as a result of work, school, or other activities.
Sleep is a crucial component of a person’s health and wellbeing. During sleep, the body repairs itself and builds our immune system. Studies reveal that having healthy amounts of sleep improves blood pressure, mood, and memory.
But many adults continue to have insufficient amounts of sleep; the result? Increased stress levels, increased risk of diabetes and heart disease, and mental fatigue.
What to do: You need to find time to sleep - and adequately - to keep yourself refreshed and rejuvenated. Learn good sleep hygiene practices such as limiting daytime naps, avoiding phones during the evening, keeping your room dark and noiseless at bedtime, and avoiding stimulants such as caffeine before sleep.
2. Eat Healthily
When we are stressed out, our craving for sugar and unhealthy food spikes: we swiftly grab a bottle of soda, eat junk, or binge drink to cope with the stress. This is both unsustainable and unhealthy.
A high-sugar diet causes a crash that makes you feel anxious, restless, and irritable. Furthermore, such foods will also increase your risk of mental problems including depression, as well as medical conditions such as diabetes.
What to do: Choose a healthy diet: This includes a low-fat, low-carb diet consisting of lots of fruits, veggies, and fatty fish. After a day’s work, treat yourself to an evening in trying out new healthy foods to keep yourself healthy.
3. Practice Mindfulness
The focus of mindfulness exercises is to be fully present - to stay in the moment. While we may be exasperated by work or family concerns, mindfulness takes our minds away from these external anxieties to what your senses can perceive at a given moment.
Mindfulness is a powerful tool that soothes and rejuvenates your mind. Mindfulness draws all your mental energies to focus on, for instance, the air blowing on your skin, the taste of fresh fruits in your mouth, and the smile on your child’s lips.
What to do: You can practice mindfulness using meditation and yoga. You can choose anywhere to meditate; on a train back home, during your work breaks, or when you’re stuck in traffic.
4. Evaluate and Change your Mindset
Our outward activities are often hinged on our thought patterns and mindset. How we respond to stress most often depends on our perspective on life.
How do you feel when you fail a school test? Do you mad or shrug it off to re-strategize? How do you feel when your boss complains about your work? Dispirited, carefree, or motivated?
How we respond to life’s challenges draws from our mindset and belief system. Work on how you think, feel, and respond. Train your mind with positive and uplifting thoughts and shift your focus from the negative.
What to do: Read a self-help book, consider therapy, or build your spiritual values and beliefs. While doing these things does not stop negative things from happening in your life, it insulates you from the negative emotions they produce and keeps you feeling positive in spite of them and better able to handle them.
This self-care tip has enormous physical and mental health benefits. Research shows that regular exercise relieves stress, improves memory, boosts your mood, and promotes better sleep.
Exercise practically refreshes the body. Studies show that people who exercise regularly tend to have a stronger sense of wellbeing, feel more energetic during the day, and have better brain health.
What to do: Start little: do not force yourself to do strenuous exercises as this will only leave you feeling exhausted. Perform at least 30 minutes of mild exercises every day, working your way up as tolerated.
Self-care is to the mind and body what routine maintenance is to a vehicle. If you deprive your body of those things that nourish and refresh it, you may end up developing stress-related illnesses. So ease up on yourself; take time off work, relax, sleep well, and give your body the nourishment it needs for a healthy and beautiful life.