What do you think when you hear the term “self-care”? Some people may think of selfishness or self-indulgence. These common misconceptions of self-care keep many from including it in their busy schedule. However, achieving overall health and happiness for the long run is not possible without doing things that reduce the stress in your life. Also, self-care helps you to be the best version of yourself, which helps you to be better for other people. Incorporating these five practices into your everyday life will help you manage stress and achieve a higher quality of life.
Nothing will affect you physically, mentally, and emotionally on a daily basis more than what you put into your body. You can workout every day, but if you follow a poor diet, you won’t be doing too much for your health. There are as many diets as there are opinions about what the best ones are, but a good place to start is by cutting out processed foods and opting for whole foods.
Care for Your Gut
One aspect of health that you may not think much about is your gut health. However, whether your body has the right amount of bacteria can have a significant impact on your overall well-being. There are many different bacteria that live in your gut (i.e. akkermansia, bifidobacterium, lactobacillus, etc.), and when there are too many or too few of any one particular kind, it can affect your immune system and digestive system, among other parts of the body. Learn more about the flora of your gut and you will know more about any lifestyle, diet, or antibiotic changes you should make to reach optimal health.
Get Some Sleep
Along with eating, sleep is among the most important parts of living a healthy life. When you get busy, sleep is usually the first thing to be sacrificed; however, not getting enough rest wears your mind out, harms your immune system, and keeps you from being productive. If you get in the habit of prioritizing sleep, you will quickly realize how much better you feel because you will be allowing your mind and body to properly regenerate throughout the night. However, for those who are having trouble sleeping due to anxiety, depression, or insomnia, that’s easier said than done. In this case, CBD oil may be a good option. Derived from cannabis, it can help you get a better night’s sleep by reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Ask your doctor about taking CBD oil and research the best brands on the market.
Perhaps the most obvious way to reduce stress and give your mind a break is to do something relaxing. But when your schedule is hectic with work, family, and other commitments, doing something for yourself is typically not your first priority. Nonetheless, it’s essential that you carve out some time every now and then to read a book, go to the spa, go swimming, take an impromptu trip, or do anything else that brings you relaxation. This also means saying no to people sometimes so you can kick up your feet for an evening.
Unplug from Electronic Devices
Finally, turning off or leaving your phone, tablet, or computer packed away for a time can go a long way in relieving stress and giving your mind a much-needed break. We live in an age where news updates come to us at all times of the day, and spending some time away from those notifications has a way of regrounding you. Trade your social media time in for reading before bed, or take a camping trip and turn your phone off to clear your head. You don’t have to swear off all electronics forever; just take a break!
Forget about the misconception that self-care is selfish; we all need it to live healthy lives. Pay special attention to your diet, look into gut health, make sure you get enough sleep, schedule time to relax, and unplug from electronics every now and then. You may be surprised by how much making these practical changes can positively impact your overall health and well-being!