8 Ways To Practice Self-Care

 

Here are eight simple ways you can practice self-care, feel good and prioritize your health. 

1. Meditate in the morning for 5-10 minutes. This one action boosts mood, improves focus, increases productivity and calms the nervous system helping our body better manage stress. That’s something we all need right now! Start with five minutes and increase your time gradually. If you need some guidance, try the Headspace app.

2. Say “No” to others & “Yes” to yourself. One of the best ways to practice self-care is to get comfortable saying “NO” without any guilt. If we don’t prioritize what we need, who will?? We all have to find time for the things that will help us feel good, reach our goals and connect to what really matters.

3. Eat more veggies, fruits and healthy fats. This is one of the most important things we can do to improve our overall health. Eating dark, leafy greens and a rainbow of vegetables along with good healthy fats from foods like nuts, seeds, avocado and wild salmon lowers inflammation, improves gut health, helps with weight loss, improves cholesterol levels, and boosts mood and focus.

4. Take a mindful walk outside over lunch. Taking a break from our busy schedules to get outside, see some daylight and breathe fresh air is a wonderful way to clear your mind, get our blood pumping and be more productive in the afternoon. It also helps us fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly through the night.

5. Connect with someone you really enjoy. We’re all busy, but taking the time to actually call someone we love can really lift our spirits and help us reset. If we’re able to talk to friend or family member who makes us laugh a little bit, even better!

6. Take deep breaths through the day. Most of us shallow breathe through the day and that same old air remains down deep in our lungs. So make a point to take at least three deep inhales and exhales several times a day. You belly goes out on the inhale, hold your breath for three seconds and then belly goes back in as you exhale all of the air out of your lungs. I like to practice deep breathing on my walks, in the car and anytime I’m feeling anxious.

7. Turn off electronics 1-2 hours before bed. Few of us are getting the sleep we need and our electronics are a big reason why. All of our screens emit a blue-white light that tells our brain it’s daytime, so staring at our phone, tablet, computer or TV makes it much harder for us to fall asleep and stay asleep. When we turn our screens off between 8-9pm, our brain releases the hormone melatonin that helps us fall asleep faster and experience a deeper, more restful sleep.

8. Create a PM routine & go to bed by 10. Bedtime routines aren’t just for kids! If you’re staying up too late, waking up through the night or not feeling rested when you wake up, creating a bedtime ritual may be just what you need! Here’s what I like to do: Stop eating after dinner, dim the lights and take a hot shower or bath. Then I do some stretching, yoga poses and/or breathing exercises to get my body ready for bed. If you have a dim, amber light by your bed, you can also journal or read a slightly boring book that won’t keep you up all night!

 

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