Like many busy adults, fitting in self-care can be challenging. However, if I want to bring my best self to the table at home and work, I can’t pour from an empty pitcher. Therefore, I prioritize showing care for myself.
Like you, I’m only one person with the same 24 hours as everyone else. Self-care may not look the same one day or week as it does the next. What I have found is that consistency matters.
You, too, can learn how to supercharge your well-being. Add these activities to your must-do list ASAP.
1. Eat nourishing meals.
You wouldn’t expect your car to start without gas. Yet, how many times have you tried to power through till lunch on an empty stomach? Even though some disagree on the importance of eating breakfast, I find I function better with it. I’m not alone. New research suggests skipping your morning meal can increase painful inflammation, a condition related to nearly every disease known to humans.
I strive to consume a nourishing diet rich in phytonutrients. To achieve this goal, I make fresh fruits and vegetables the basis for the majority of my meals. Do I occasionally indulge in a french fries craving? Sure, but I make sure I get my fruits and veggies first.
2. Pace yourself.
I lead a hectic life, and it’s tempting for me to go, go, go. However, I know that if I do, then I will push myself to burnout and lose effectiveness. I also know I’ll make careless errors that end up taking more time to correct.
Therefore, I schedule regular mini breaks into my workday. According to Dr. Bob Pozen from MIT Sloan, taking regular timeouts helps you to refresh your focus and get more done. If I can’t maintain my attention, then I’ll take a brisk walk or do a few stretches to get the blood flowing to my brain.
3. Drink up.
As a vegan, I’m accustomed to paying attention to what I eat, but I paid little heed to what I drank until recently. For example, I used to fall into the diet soda trap, but I felt much better once I started drinking cucumber water. Additionally, I traded in some of my coffees for herbal teas. They provide a host of health benefits, depending on what varieties you choose. Also, the reduced caffeine intake calms my jittery nerves.
I have migraine disease, an extremely debilitating collection of neurological symptoms that usually includes severe recurring pain on one side of the head. I’m not alone. Fifteen percent of individuals living with chronic pain have headache disorders. While you may think this keeps me on the sidelines, I find that regular workouts decrease the intensity and the severity of my attacks.
I am kind and listen to my body on days I feel lousy. I’ll do my workout in the water or do some gentle yoga instead of hitting the treadmill. I find that when I move, it eases my pain significantly.
5. Take vitamins.
Because I follow the lifestyle I do, I’m prone to deficiencies in some nutrients. I consulted with my physician, and I now take regular supplements to keep feeling my best. Vegans are prone to low levels of iron and vitamin B-12. I take both in the morning to boost my energy and stamina.
It is a great idea for just about anyone to ask their doctor to check for vitamin deficiencies. I’ve been low on vitamins that had nothing to do with whether or not I eat animal products. It can be surprising what you find and subsequently relieving to know you’re on your way toward being back on track.
I consider my meditation time as weightlifting for my brain. It significantly reduces my anxiety and helps me remain mindful in the present moment. I’ve learned how to quiet my panic attacks with deep breathing and mindfulness practice. I mentally go inside when things get chaotic in life and regain my center.
7. Spend time with loved ones.
What makes life worth living? While accomplishments feel fantastic, basking in the glow of affection from people who care is even better. Sometimes, life gets so hectic that we neglect those we love most. My relationship has improved significantly since I started a standing weekly date night with my significant other with no devices, just togetherness for at least an hour.
You might wonder how doing good deeds for others qualifies as self-care. However, when you volunteer, your body releases feel-good chemicals like oxytocin that give you a mental health boost. Plus, you get the satisfaction of knowing you made a difference. To me, that’s the ultimate gratification.
9. Get an adequate amount of sleep.
I make an effort to keep a regular sleep schedule, even on the weekends. Plus, I decided to remove the television and all electronics from my bedroom. Once I did that, winding down in the evening became easier. While I previously would hop on the computer and surf social media, now, I practice yoga and meditation, pour myself a hot bath or both.
Take better care of yourself today. If you want to feel better inside and out, then try adopting your own self-care routine and habits. You’ll reap the benefits of taking extra time to think about your body!