How often are you running on all cylinders without a break? If you can relate, you may be putting your health and happiness at risk. Many of us suffer from a “time scarcity” mindset where we feel there aren’t enough hours in the day to be what we consider productive, often at the expense of self-care. However, if you don’t take time to care for yourself, it can have a serious impact on how you feel physically and mentally, not to mention how well you perform your job and fulfill responsibilities. Left unaddressed, overworking yourself can lead to burnout.
The Self-Care Diet
The phrase “you are what you eat” may sound trite, but it’s true. Eating a healthy and wholesome diet supports your overall wellbeing. Not surprisingly, when a person is stressed or time crunched, it often manifests in problematic changes in diet, whether it be overeating, bingeing on junk, or avoiding food. Being proactive about consuming fresh, whole foods can help people with stress and mental illness recover and transition to a healthy lifestyle.
One of the hardest parts of transitioning to a healthy diet when you’re managing your mental health is finding the motivation to plan meals, go grocery shopping, and prepare the food. A convenient way to get over this hump is by enrolling in a healthy meal delivery service. Many of these services do the planning, prepping, and shopping for you. Recipients get a variety of wholesome meals that support their diets and tastebuds to inspire healthy eating habits and get them back on track toward mental and physical wellbeing.
Exercise is another crucial aspect of self-care, yet so many of us avoid it. Researchers estimate a mere 21 percent of American adults meet the country’s physical activity guidelines, with less than 5 percent exercising at least 30 minutes every day. Working out is an important tool that helps humans regulate their body weight while preventing various chronic illnesses, but it’s also beneficial for one’s mental health. Even light exercise triggers the release of feel-good neurotransmitters and hormones into the body. These biological chemicals relieve feelings of depression and anxiety while making it easier for the body to fall asleep and stay asleep. While it may not be enough on its own sans medication, physicians recommend adding exercise into your daily routine as an effective means of managing physical and mental health.
The Self-Care Bedtime Routine
Taking time at the end of the day to relieve stress and relax is one of the most important things we can do, yet many of us avoid this in favor of working into the wee hours. The body needs rest for its physical and mental health. When you fail to take time to decompress, you increase feelings of time scarcity and the anxiety that comes with it. Having a calming bedtime routine that allows the body time to unwind and prepare itself for sleep can help get the body back on track for optimal health.
When it’s time to get ready for bed, turn off your computer, television, and other blue light-emitting screens that instigate excess brain activity. Enjoy an activity that is calming to you. Make sure your room is a conducive environment for rest by turning the temperature down to 65 to 68 degrees F. Finally, meditate before bed. Mindfulness meditation trains your brain to let thoughts come and go at will without looping your consciousness into fixating on them. Furthermore, the calming deep breathing associated with meditation encourages both the mind and body to relax. A regular bedtime meditation practice can help mentally separate you from the day, combats insomnia, and contributes to your health and happiness the next day. Think of it as a pause and reset.
When you fail to take the time for self-care practices, you put your health at risk. The human body cannot run full throttle day after day — it needs healthy food, exercise, and rest for optimal wellbeing. Commit to YOU! Add wholesome foods to your diet, perform light workouts, and establish a healthy bedtime routine to support your mental and physical health.
YOU ARE WORTH IT!
Author: Brad Krause. Brad can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org