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Self-Care

September 27, 2022

Self-Care

Living life to the fullest!

 

Paying attention to what is happening in our body, both physically and emotionally, helps us identify when something is affecting us.

 

Self-care is NOT an 'Emergency Response Plan' to be activated when stress becomes overwhelming. Instead, it is an intentional way of living by our values, attitudes and actions, and integrating them into our daily routines.

 

Simple Self-Care Practices

Sleep

Did you know that poor sleep is linked to weight gain, depression and increased inflammation, as well as the reduced ability to respond to social cues and interact socially?

 

Sleep has a HUGE EFFECT on how we feel emotionally and physically; so how can we make sleep part of our self-care routine?

 

Start with thinking about your nightly routine:

  • Reduce caffeine and sugar, as they tend to keep us awake
  • Make your bedroom free of distractions (no TV, laptop or mobile phone)
  • Room darkening curtains will keep the sun from waking you up too early. Getting to bed a little earlier also helps!
  • Try some meditation techniques like deep breathing, and practice mindfulness by keeping a gratitude journal

Being grateful also focuses our mind toward one thought, helping our brain to switch off and not keep us awake by reliving the day's events over and over. 

 

Exercise

Daily exercise can help us both physically and mentally, boosting our mood and reducing stress and anxiety (not to mention helping us shed any extra weight!!).

 

This doesn't have to be an expensive program like joining a gym. Try things like walking, jogging, tennis, swimming etc. to fit into your schedule.

The important things to think about are:

  • Make it fun! Exercise is not a chore, so think about what you enjoy doing
  • Start small! Don't incorporate a big exercise regime that you're not able to keep up with. Start with walking around the block 3 times a week before work

 

Food

The food we eat has the potential to keep our body healthy and our mind active and alert. Eating the right foods can help prevent short-term memory loss and inflammation, both of which have long-term effects on the brain and, in turn, the rest of the body. Some of the most amazing self-care foods include fatty fish, blueberries, nuts and green leafy veggies like broccoli.

 

Boundaries

Learning to say NO can be hard but is so important! Many of us feel obligated to say yes when someone asks for our time or energy. 

Saying yes, however, when you are already overloaded or stressed can lead to burnout, anxiety and irritability. Like a boundary fence in your backyard, the word NO does the same: it keeps the bad out and the good in. You can created good protective fences with your words.

 

What are some non-threatening ways to say "no" and keep your boundary line secure?

  • "Let me get back to you as I need to check with my spouse/family/calendar"
  • "I need more information before I can commit"
  • "I will definitely think about it and let you know"
  • "Not right now as I have a full plate at the moment but maybe later in the year"

Keeping this boundary line will help towards a healthy work-life balance.

 

Rest

This type of "rest" is much more than just sleeping well, but actually refills our tank. We can go on a holiday and still come back tired because we haven't replenished ourselves in the areas we need. These areas can include:

 

Physical : the chance to use the body in restorative ways to decrease muscle tension, reduce headaches and promote better quality sleep

Mental : the ability to quiet the cerebral chatter and focus on things that matter

Emotional : the freedom to authentically express feelings and eliminate people-pleasing behaviours

Social : the wisdom to recognize relationships which revive from those that exhaust, and how to limit exposure to toxic people

Sensory : the opportunity to downgrade the endless onslaught of sensory input received from electronics, fragrances and background noise

Creative : the experience of allowing beauty to inspire awe and liberate wonder

 

Self-care will help us live our life to the fullest!

 

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