Guest post by: Brad Krause
There’s a common misconception that self-care is selfish and self-indulgent, and this keeps many people from incorporating it into their everyday lives. But the truth is, self-care is vital to our mental health and overall well-being. In order to truly be healthy overall, it’s not an option — it’s a necessity. If you want to foster your mental health and live a thriving life, don’t buy into the misconception. Here are five ways to improve your life through self-care.
Eat for Nutrition
What we eat is among the most important factors in self-care. Not only does a healthy diet reduce the risks of chronic disease and poor general health, but it can also provide you more energy throughout the day, better rest at night, sharper concentration, improved memory, better mood, and many other benefits. Depending on your lifestyle, current health conditions and other factors, what diet is best for you may be different from what’s best for your next-door neighbor. To find the right one for you, it may take some research, but healthy eating is imperative if you want good health. Check out this article for some popular diets of 2018.
Sleep is just as important as eating well, and too many people let their sleep routine fall by the wayside when life gets busy. Just as nutrition helps us thrive during the day, sleep is how our minds and bodies regenerate through the night so that we can function well the following day. Getting adequate rest can also reduce your chances of anxiety, stress, and depression. Move things around in your schedule if you have to, but be sure to get enough sleep.
Exercise is also vital to mental health and overall well-being. Breaking a sweat releases endorphins, which creates a feeling of euphoria and significantly reduces stress. It’s also known to boost mood and decrease the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Furthermore, a regular exercise routine can boost your brain power, lead to higher self-esteem and self-confidence, and help you sleep better at night.
Add Fun and Relaxation to Your Routine
Along with dieting, sleeping, and exercising, it’s important to do things that are fun and relaxing. Think of something you have always enjoyed or have always wanted to do, and try to make it part of your daily or weekly routine. It can be anything that relaxes you or adds joy to your day. You could join a dance class, research a new topic, learn how to cook, catch up on reading all those books you’ve been meaning to read — the possibilities are endless. For some people, frequently trying something new and switching up their routine keeps things fun and interesting.
Start a Gratitude Journal
This is a simple practice, but it can be hard to maintain on a regular basis since it’s easy to skip a day here and there. Purchase a journal that inspires you, and start a daily or weekly gratitude entry. Make a point to set aside time each morning or evening for writing. You can start by exploring five things you are grateful for, three funny things your kids said, one unexpected thing that happened, and so on. It can also be effective to introduce a new prompt each week to kickstart your writing. Gratitude journals can help you keep a healthy perspective by reminding you of the good things in your life.
If you’re wanting to improve your overall health and everyday life, self-care is essential. Remember to find a nutritious diet that works for you, get adequate sleep, and establish an exercise routine. Also, find ways to add joy and relaxation to your life, and try starting a gratitude journal to keep things in perspective. Once you start prioritizing your mental and emotional health, you’ll quickly realize how much happier you can be.
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