”Extra Ways to Take Good Care of Yourself” is a collaborative post and includes affiliate links. Please see the disclosure page for more information. Disclaimer – always verify medical information with your doctor or a professional.
Everyone knows that eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of regular exercise is a major key to taking care of ourselves, but they are far from the only things we can and should be doing for our mental and physical health.
There are lots of simple and effective changes we can make to daily life, which will help us to achieve our healthiest lives yet…
Get up early
Okay, so this certainly won’t be for everyone, but a lot of people reading this could really benefit from getting up an hour or more earlier each morning. Why? Because the more time you have to start your day in a relaxing way, the less stressed you are likely to be throughout the day. Waking up early enables you to take things at a slower pace, setting you up for a much more sedate and efficient day.
Learn about health and well-being
Thanks to the internet, it has never been easier to get clued up on every health-related issue from ones no one wants to think about like herpes vs genital warts to what causes anemia, all you have to do is type a few words into Google and you can get the answers you are seeking. So, why not spend some time learning all you can about your health such as common symptoms of various illness and so on? That way, you’ll have a far better idea of how well you’re doing and can be more informed when you visit your doctor. Just make sure that you only visit professional website sources like the Mayo Clinic’s website, and avoid the various quack sites out there or you could end up doing more harm than good.
Start your day with prayer and Bible study
Prayer is a big part of my life and so is reading the Bible. Right now, the world is going through a perilous time with the pandemic and hope seems out of reach. Praying with God has helped keep my heart and mind grounded. Reading parts of the Bible like Psalms has helped keep my negative thoughts at bay and journaling all of this is a great way to look back on how God has helped me through tough times. Doing this might help you too and can’t hurt to try!
Drink plenty of water
Water is free and pretty much always available, so one of the simplest things you can do to take good care of yourself is to start drinking more water. It’s so easy to get dehydrated and when you do, you will start to feel sluggish, get headaches, experience dry skin and, well you’ll generally start to feel less than optimum in yourself. Aim for 8 glasses a day and you will notice the difference.
Add an extra portion of veggies
Another really simple thing you can do for yourself is to add an extra portion of veggies to each meal. It won’t cost much more or feel too difficult to achieve, but it will give you an extra boost in the vitamins and mineral department, which will have you feeling better in no time at all.
Take up mindfulness meditation
Mindfulness meditation are great ways to destress, stop worrying about the future, which you can’t predict, and the past that you can’ change, and focus on the now. It can help to alleviate stress and anxiety, keep depression at bay, and help you to be more positive in day to day life. Best, of all, it’s really easy to learn and can be as simple as focusing on each breath you take for a few minutes each day. What do you have to lose by giving it a try?
Free up your schedule
Freeing up your schedule by getting rid of unnecessary and unwanted commitments is amazingly liberating. It is also great for your mental health because when you don’t have to worry about giving your friend a ride after work or helping your colleague with that project THEY should have completed a week ago, you have more time to de-stress and do the things that will actually benefit you. It can be hard to say no to people, but if doing so is more important to your mental health than simply doing what you’re asked very time without question, you need to learn how to do so. You can still help out when you want to and when it won’t affect your own health, but you don’t have to do it every time!
If you’re sick and tired of feeling stressed out and overwhelmed with life, it might be time to simplify as much as you can. As well as freeing up your schedule and saying no more often, you might want to look at decluttering your space, so that you have fewer possessions to worry about cleaning and looking after. Simplify meal time by investing in a slow cooker to make mealtimes easier. Automate your bill payments so that they don’t take up any headspace and…well anything else you can think of that will make your life simpler for you and your family.
Cultivate a positive mindset
Being positive isn’t always easy, especially when life has a habit of throwing your lemons, but it is possible. Really, it is! It’s a good idea to make an effort to be more positive if you want to improve your mental health. How do you do that? One good way is to start a gratitude practice. At the end of each evening, simply sit down with a notebook and think of 3-5 things that have happened that day that you’re grateful for. This may be tough at first, but the more you do it, the easier it will get because this practice actually trains your brain to look for the positives in each situation.
Try something new
How often do you try something new? How many times each month do you hit up a new restaurant, tackle a new craft or visit a city you’ve never visited before? If you rarely do any of these things, you should definitely start. Why? Because trying new things can help to keep your brain healthy. It can also stimulate more creativity in your life, give you a greater sense of purpose and give you a positive way to cope with mental health issues. Oh, and it’s a lot of fun too!
Having fun — the kind of fun you used to have when you were a child — is an easy way to bring more joy into your life and to help take good care of yourself. So, don’t worry about how you look an put on those roller skates or dig out that Lego and have a blast — you’ll feel all the better for it.
Spend time in nature
Spending more time in nature is like a tonic. It can help you to feel calmer and more relaxed. It can also boost your concentration levels, enable you to be more productive and ensure that you get lots of fresh air and exercise. Plus, this is a way to get out of the house while still practicing social distancing during these crazy times! What better excuse do you need to hit the trails this weekend?
It may be a cliche, but laughter really is the best medicine. Studies have shown that laughter is able to relax the body, boost the immune system, release feel-good chemicals and improve the function of the heart. I love searching YouTube for funny videos or using apps like the Dry Bar Comedy. Who would have thought that an hour on the couch watching funny cat videos could be so good for you?
Connect with people
Connecting with people you love, and who you always seem to have a good time with, is a great way to stave off feelings of loneliness and depression. People who have lots of friends, and see them regularly, are also likely to live longer than individuals who are typically lonely. So, even when you might not feel like it, it’s important that you do make an effort to connect with people, even if that just means spending a few minutes chatting on FaceTime when you’re feeling down.
Helping others is a great way to help yourself too. When you volunteer, you’re able to get out of your own head and do something useful for someone else, which can stop you from ruminating on negative thoughts. Not only that, but it’ll give you a greater sense of purpose in your life too.
A lot of people think that aromatherapy is nothing more than quackery, but there is evidence to suggest that certain scents such as lavender and orange can help you to de-stress, achieve greater levels of clarity and get a better night’s sleep so it is always worth trying them out because they might just work for you.
Get a massage
Massages aren’t indulgent — they’re essential. When things are back to normal, this might be the first appointment that you book! Not only can they soothe your aches and pains, but they can also soothe the mind, reduce stress levels and help you get a better night’s sleep. Don’t ever feel guilty about booking a massage! Just make sure you choose a qualified and experienced practitioner so you can get the best possible results.
Make an effort
To take good care of yourself and health requires a constant effort. You have to keep practicing self-care for it to keep working for you, so make the time! If you don’t take care of yourself, eventually you will not be able to care for others.
This might seem like a lot to take in, but you really don’t have to do everything on the list — not all at once at least! Have a read through and think about the ideas to take good care of yourself that most speak to you. Start by incorporating them into your life and then keep adding stuff until you feel as happy, healthy and fulfilled as you would like to be. Better health is possible and it doesn’t have to be hard!
If you are feeling down or depressed for more days than not, please seek medical attention. If you are feeling like you cannot go on, please call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or chat here>>> https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/ Or visit the suicide prevention lifeline at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/