“PUT YOURSELF AT THE TOP OF YOUR TO-DO LIST EVERY SINGLE DAY AND THE REST WILL FALL INTO PLACE”
Whether you’re committed to a healthy diet, working out five times a week, or getting eight full hours of sleep a night, there is one underlying habit that allows all of this to happen: self-care. Practicing self-care regularly, in small or big ways, is integral to your overall health.
With a myriad of positive effects, one of the most beneficial results from self-care is lower levels of cortisol. Cortisol, the stress hormone, is released in response to fear or stress by the adrenal glands signaling to your body to take action. This is better known as the fight or flight response. A natural body mechanism that, when in danger, can quite literally save your life in more serious cases. However, for people, daily stress from work, commute, relationships and the need to over-perform keeps them in a state of elevated cortisol levels. This can lead to adrenal fatigue with more long-term negative effects like lower immune system function, mental health issues, weight gain, high blood pressure, and more.
Needless to say, maintaining a healthy level of cortisol is important. A way to combat high levels of stress? Self-care! Being too busy to carve out a few minutes a day for yourself is the biggest deterrent to making self-care a daily practice. It doesn’t have to be hard, and in fact, the me-time moments you grant yourself a day can be short but have a major positive impact. Here are 5 ways to make you the most important part of your day.
Say Yes To Self-Care In 5 Easy Ways
Start Small and Start Early
Forego reaching for your phone as the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning. Instead, leave your phone tucked away and head toward some light. Open your windows, walk out to the end of the street and back — do anything to instantly get your grounded and calm before you begin your day. This can be drinking even as simple as drinking a glass of water in silence. For people who sit in front of a computer most the day, giving yourself some extra time away from the blue light emitted from screens is especially important.
Commit To Your Boundaries
This is usually perceived as tough, but it doesn’t have to be. Again, start small by creating and committing to healthy boundaries. The easiest form of this? Saying ‘no.’ Where can you say no throughout the day? Where can you begin to put yourself first instead of pleasing everyone else? Tune into how you are feeling, whether you are depleted or fulfilled by an action or person and decide accordingly. Setting boundaries is like a muscle – the more you work it, the stronger it will get.
Take A Technology Detox
Phones, laptops, TVs, iPads — we are connected and plugged in all day long. And though there are major conveniences around having everything at our fingertips, studies have also shown that between the blue light emissions from all the screen time as well as the constant distraction, influx of information and perceived need to check in, tech can be harmful to your health. It can lead to weight gain, negatively affect your sleep patterns and lower productivity. The way to cut the addiction to tech is to put the phones away, which also includes getting off of social media! Start with one night; no phone or technology on Wednesday for example. Instead, read a book, play a board game or maybe just go to bed earlier.
We hear this everywhere, but the average American is more sedentary than generations before, which can cause to your overall health. From unhealthy weight gain, increased stress levels, increased risk of heart diseases or heart conditions, the dangers of sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day are mounting. So take care of yourself throughout the day by standing up and walking around, ask your office for a stand-up desk, and be sure to move around for at least 10 minutes every two hours. You will be surprised how much better you feel. From increased productivity to the overall improvement in energy levels, this simple act of self-care has long-term benefits.
Get Quality Sleep
And finally, no self-care routine is complete without quality sleep. It is on nearly every type of “self-care” list for good reason. This is the time that your body regenerates from the day. You give your body a much-deserved rest and it will perform more optimally for you the next day. Your cognition improves when you get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, as well as your digestion, immune system, and mood. Begin your nightly routine early to signal to the body that it is time to unwind and turn off. Leave your phone outside of the bedroom if you can and trade in your phone alarm with an alarm clock. Then, be ready to start the day over feeling refreshed and taken care of.
Need assistance implementing any of these ideas;
Schedule a consultation with a NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR or HEALTH COACH and GET STARTED TODAY!