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Guest post by: Brad Krause
Are you participating in a balanced, wellness-oriented lifestyle? When it comes to delving into a self-care plan, there are several important components many people miss. Keep these aspects in mind when configuring your plan for ensuring good mental and emotional health and well-being.
Provide proper nutrition. The meals we eat fuel our minds and bodies, but in our hurried world we often choose convenience over health. There are many mental health benefits to be found in enjoying a nutritious, balanced diet. Being hungry can lead to irritability and restlessness. However, a satisfying meal can improve energy levels, increase productivity, and promote feelings of calm. Family Doctor suggests a diet aimed toward promoting mental well-being should be comprised of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products. You might feel you are too busy to prepare adequate meals, or to even go to the grocery to purchase the ingredients. If you are living a rushed, on-the-go lifestyle, there are ways of incorporating a healthy and interesting variety of food into your self-care plan, such as a meal delivery service. Conveniently delivered straight to your home, carefully chosen fresh foods mean portion control and nutrition are readily available, freeing you up to do other things.
Enjoy some downtime. Having obligations is part of life, but if you don’t have time for relaxation you put yourself at risk of burning out. Enjoying downtime on a routine basis offers many important benefits to mental wellness, such as reduced stress and anxiety levels. Participating in relaxing activities such as taking walks and chatting with friends can help to recharge your battery on busy days. Learning some relaxation exercises can also help you feel better in stressful moments, helping to settle your mind and body regardless of where you are and what is happening.
Set compassionate boundaries. Do you have trouble saying “no” when you are asked to do something that makes you uncomfortable, or do other people’s problems tend to become your problems? Being able to set boundaries that are kind and compassionate both to yourself and the other person should become a priority in your life. If you consistently put yourself last, you actually damage both yourself and the other person. It’s disrespectful to not tend to your needs, and it teaches the other person unrealistic expectations. Cultivate compassion both toward yourself and the other person through open communication and consideration. Be prepared to let go of issues and relationships which are toxic, and rest in knowing it’s a healthier choice.
Get adequate sleep. It can seem as if you aren’t accomplishing anything when you’re sleeping, but as Psychology Today notes, sleep is actually critical for good mental health. During sleep, your brain processes information and helps you cope with difficult situations, to the point those who are not allowed to sleep within a few hours of traumatic events are more inclined toward post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you tend to feel tired during the day or toss and turn at night, look for ways to optimize your sleep habits and environment. For instance, getting into a bedtime routine can tell your body and mind it’s time to unwind. It can be as simple as washing your face, brushing your teeth, and spending some time meditating in dim lighting. Consider adding a soothing scent to your bed linens, such as lavender, and make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet for slumber.
Are you taking good care of yourself? Making choices that promote your well-being is necessary to maintain overall health, but many people miss vital elements of self-care. Ensure your mind and body have proper nutrition, take time to relax, set boundaries which are kind, and tend your need for sleep. Choosing well means feeling better and enjoying a fuller life.
By Brad Krause