Self-Care Sunday

 

It’s been a long and stressful week. You’ve been bombarded with calls, texts, and emails coming from every which way. Maybe you’ve been in charge of carpool or been asked to take on a big project at work. Whatever it is that’s causing you that added stress, you are relieved to finally get some rest. How is it that you unwind and decompress after such a busy week? Do you take time out of your day to perform self-care, or are you quick to put that “me time” on the back burner?

What is Self-Care?

Self-care is any activity that you do to take care of your mental, emotional, and physical health. Good self-care is key for improved moods and reduced anxiety. Although it seems like a simple concept, it is something many people often overlook. But why is it that we forget to perform self-care?

Oftentimes practicing self-care is easier said than done. Most of us are crazy busy – stressed out by our jobs or by life in general. Even when we get some time to ourselves we are faced with another culprit: technology. Many of us are just too consumed with technology. Instead of doing something for our mental or physical health, we find ourselves mindlessly scrolling through our phones. This is why having a habitual self-care routine can be a challenging, yet rewarding, feat. 

Forms of Self-Care

Self-care can take many forms. It can be emotional, physical, mental, social, or spiritual. And while every individual is unique, so are self-care routines. For someone looking to incorporate more “me time” into their life, here are 5 self-care activities anyone can accomplish:

1. Exercise

Exercise has an enormous impact on our moods. Studies have shown that exercise is just as effective as anti-depressants in treating mild to moderate depression. Even just 30 minutes a day 5 days a week is enough for you to reap the benefits of exercise. But how exactly is exercise so effective? 

When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins reduce your perception of pain and trigger positive feelings in the body. Your body’s reaction to exercise not only boosts your mood, but also reduces stress, improves sleep, strengthens your heart, and increases your energy levels. Try incorporating supplements into your physical activity for added benefits. One supplement in particular that has been proven to have numerous health benefits when combined with exercise is CBD. Read more about how you can make the most out of your workouts with CBD here.

Many people don’t have the time to make it to the gym on a regular basis. But here’s the good news: just a few minutes a day of moderate exercise is enough for your body to reap the benefits of exercise. Not sure what moderate exercise is? Any physical activity that causes you to breath heavier, makes conversation a little more difficult, and makes you sweat after about 10 minutes is considered moderate physical activity. Try making a habit of taking a walk after dinner or pick up a hobby like biking. Even just choosing more active options – like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking instead of driving – are ways you can fit exercise into your busy schedule.

2. Meditating

The benefits of meditation on your mental and physical health are immense. Studies have shown meditation can help alleviate stress, control anxiety, enhance self-awareness, strengthen memory, and improve sleep. 

Meditation is a process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts. It is not about turning off your thoughts or feelings, rather it is about learning to observe them without judgment. This can be done by concentrating on your breathing or repeating a mantra. But while meditation is a skill, learning to meditate takes consistency and a lot of practice. 

Luckily there are many avenues of instruction for learning how to meditate. Try following Youtube videos or downloading free meditation apps to help you become a master at meditation. Just a few minutes everyday are enough to strengthen your abilities. Meditation is another activity you can do anywhere, without special equipment or memberships. Try it now to increase your physical and mental health.

3. Nutrition

Have you ever noticed how you felt after eating a healthy meal? It’s no surprise that nutrition plays a major role in how we feel both mentally and physically. Studies have shown that what you eat directly affects the structure and function of your brain and, ultimately, your mood.

About 95% of your serotonin is produced in your gastrointestinal tract, which is lined with neurons – or nerve cells. This means that your digestive system not only digests food, but also guides your emotions. It would be smart to assume that these neurons are then highly influenced by what you consume.

Despite misconceptions, eating healthy does not mean restricting yourself. Eating healthy means getting in the right foods that your body needs to thrive. (Of course this doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself here and there, but moderation is key.) Think of your brain as an expensive car: it runs best when you give it premium fuel. So eating high quality foods that contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are key to promoting both physical and mental health.

4. Cooking

Another form of self-care that goes hand-in-hand with nutrition is cooking. Cooking a meal can be something peaceful you do alone or something fun you do with a loved one. When you have a hectic day it’s easy to pass on cooking and order takeout or throw something in the microwave. Next time you get that urge remember that cooking is a great form of self-care and an easy way to add “me time” to your day.

Cooking meals yourself is not only a healthier option, but also a chance to pause your day and take some time for yourself. Enjoy the process by listening to some music or an audiobook, or cook with a loved one for a bonding experience. Making your own meals also gives you a chance to sneak in supplements. Next time you’re cooking try incorporating some CBD Oil into your recipe for an added health boost.

5. Laughter

Do you remember the last time you really laughed? That deep-belly laugh where tears are streaming down your face and your cheeks hurt? Studies have shown the many benefits laughter has on our health and body. Laughing reduces blood pressure, stress, anxiety, and depression. Laughter even burns calories and boosts our immune system!

Next time you want to take some time for yourself, try watching a funny show or calling a friend you always seem to laugh with. The benefits of laughter on your emotional and physical health are immense and it is one of the easiest forms of self-care that you can fit into even the busiest of days.

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