Wellness Tips — Caring for the Self, Not Selfish
In the past few years, taking care of our health has become more prevalent than ever. As a society, we’re becoming more aware of what we eat and the type of lifestyle we desire to have. Caring for the self is one of the most popular topics today. Whether is on social media or a magazine, we’re beginning to see that wellness isn’t just for body builders and fitness experts. But, what is wellness exactly and what can we do to keep our self-care a priority?
Wellness: What Is It, Really?
What is wellness? In a nutshell, wellness is being in overall good health. Eating right and exercising ensure our wellness and self-care are heading in the right direction. We all want that healthy body and mobility, so it’s important to keep active and eat right as the years pass and practice self care ideas. Yet, it is equally important that we look at a third and crucial component of wellness, which is mental health.
Being in a healthy state of mind is not regarded as wellness as much as diet and exercise, but it may just be the most important aspect of wellness. How we feel about ourselves is key. Poor mental health has several negative effects. If our mental health isn’t good, we may not be able to achieve our goals of having a good diet and exercise. Our brain power has to be willing and able to help us accomplish overall healthy habits and goals.
When Life Gets Busy
You live a busy lifestyle that likely goes something like this: wake up, work out, work, sleep, eat and snack in between. Not bad and we agree it’s fantastic you’re incorporating exercise. Still, it’s important to incorporate being good to your mind as well. With over 50% of Americans feeling stressed, we want to help.
Below, we share five tips for mental health and self-care to include in your daily or weekly routine.
Tip # 1
Don’t use your phone as an alarm clock. In this day of technology (even if you have a flip phone) you’re tempted to reach for that phone and check your text messages or email after the alarm goes off. You’ve just come back from a deep state of relaxation, and you’re giving your brain a shake by going directly for the texts or email. Instead, we recommend dusting off that old alarm clock and using it again for its intended purposes.
Try leaving the phone out the door so that you’re not tempted to reach for it in the mornings. If you’re worried about a loved one having an emergency, set the priority calling on your phone and leave it at the foot of your bed. If they call, you’ll be able to hear it. If they don’t, let the alarm clock wake you up. It has nothing to say to you about texts and emails. Your mental health will thank you for the technology break.
Get up slowly. After your turn off the alarm, realize you’re awake and open your eyes slowly. Give yourself a chance to enjoy a good 60 seconds of “awake bed time.” Stretch and don’t think about your to-do list. Your brain needs that break. It will be going full force in just a few minutes, so give it some time. Be patient with yourself. Additionally, getting up too fast can cause strains on your body because you’re going from a state of relaxation to full activity. Make it slow and your body and brain will thank you.
If you have to reach for your phone to check if any of the people on your priority list called, do it. If they didn’t call, let it go and give yourself a good 15 minutes of “you” time. You’ll have time to check your texts and emails soon. Giving your brain this break lets it know there’s no need to be “on” quite yet. Play some music or meditate. The latter has been linked to reducing stress by just doing it 10 minutes a day.
Don’t beat yourself up. Whatever happened the day before it’s done. Focus on how great you can make the day today because you’re at choice to do so. When you think about the past, depression has the potential to kick in and this doesn’t help your mental state. Think about today and the solutions you can bring to it. Stay present and know today brings a different set of ideas and solutions you didn’t think about yesterday.
Focus on your strengths. You’re fantastic at what you do and it’s important you keep it in mind. When we make mistakes, we tend to beat ourselves up and focus on the negative aspects of us. This doesn’t feel good and keeps us in a rut. While it’s important to acknowledge how we can improve, it’s just as important to move on and know we’ll do better next time, given the chance. Don’t linger on the negative. We all have strengths and it’s important to celebrate what we do well.
Surround yourself with people who care about you. Hang out with friends and family who support who you are and move you forward in life. Social support is important for mental health and self care, and it is key in a healthy group of friends. If you’re surrounded by nay-sayers, your mental health will suffer little by little. Take inventory of the people in your life who support you, and of those who put you down. Hang out more with people who support you most, and be sure you bring the same courtesy to the table.
Caring about you has to start with you. Take care of yourself and exercise self-care, and your support group will grow organically. People are naturally attracted to people who are like-minded and have goals and dreams for their lives.