Article by Brad Krause
Ways to Start a Self-Care Routine
Today, self-care is arguably becoming our most effective tool against the demands of this fast-paced world. With its many known benefits to your holistic well-being, including mental health, it will definitely serve you in more ways than one to incorporate self-care into your daily routine.
Let us count the ways to start a self-care routine:
Take Care of Your Body
First things first – to take care of your mind, you need to take care of its vessel. We are, of course, referring to your body. For this reason, it is important to view staying healthy through good diet and exercise as an effective self-care method and not as a chore. By adopting this mindset, you not only create healthy habits but stay motivated enough to keep at it, too.
If you don’t have time to hit the gym during the week, look for alternative ways to squeeze in some exercise. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or park farther away from your workplace to get in a few minutes of walking.
Another idea is to keep an elliptical exerciser under your work desk, so you can still exercise your muscles even while sitting down. Before purchasing an under-desk elliptical, consider customer reviews, price, durability and performance.
Yoga Offers Physical and Mental Health Benefits
Regardless of age, yoga, in particular, is a worthy type of exercise to get into because of the holistic benefits it offers. On the physical side, it’s been known to increase flexibility and strength, as well as lessen chronic pain, to name a few. Best of all, yoga is also recognized as a great way to increase mental clarity, sharpen concentration, and relieve chronic stress.
Of course, what you put into your body is just as essential for your well-being as physical activity – maybe even more so. Paying attention to your gut health, therefore, is another good practice since it can significantly affect your overall health.
Case in point, bifidobacterium is good bacteria that promote digestion and fight bad bacteria, while akkermansia is another, affecting your metabolism and helping blood sugar levels. It is this intimate knowledge of your gut’s flora and how certain bacteria contribute to better digestive health that will help you determine which foods or supplements are worth adding and eliminating.
Take a Breather
Moving on, relaxation is the very tenet of self-care. But as obvious as the need for quality relaxation time might be, it’s surprisingly something that many people struggle with. It actually all boils down to making time. As for how, the sky’s the limit, as long as it floats your boat, from reading to journaling to even just making a cup of tea.
Of course, sleep is always the best place to start. Countless studies support the benefits of sleep, yet still, countless people are not getting enough of it. It’s important, therefore, to sleep more and sleep better and take great pains to do so.
Take the Reins
Lastly, you should know that much of self-care relies on being in charge—of your needs, your time, your life. It’s unsurprising, therefore, just how much the very act of saying “no” can contribute to reducing stress, not to mention your sanity. While the opposite may seem to be the path of least resistance, it really does add up in the long run. This is why learning to say no, despite being difficult at first, is a self-care must-have.
Reducing stress can also be as simple as spending time outdoors. The beauty of this is that there are just so many things that you can do outside that not only relieve stress but also let you clock in some exercise time, too, such as yoga, hiking, running and cycling.
Indeed, self-care is needed more than ever today. So take what you need to satisfy what your mind and body crave, and go out into the world in peace and gratitude.