Self-Care Matters: 5 Tips for a Healthy Mind & Body

Taking time for yourself and listening to your own needs is not selfish or indulgent – it is crucial for your mental and physical health. If you’re making time for a few minutes of self-care every day, you’re less likely to feel stressed, unfulfilled, and overwhelmed.

There is no one correct or perfect way to practice self-care. It can include everything from taking a bath to cancelling your dinner plans because you really feel like staying in. But at its core, self-care is about regular activities you do for yourself that help you recharge and feel healthy.

To get you started, we got 5 self-care tips for you that can help you take care of your mind, body, and soul.

Make sure you get enough sleep

Our sleep is likely the number one area where we can improve our health and well-being, as it can have a huge effect on how we feel both emotionally and physically during the day.

And yet, 40 percent of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep a night, a 2013 Gallup poll found1. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 35 percent of Americans rate their sleep quality as “poor” or “only fair”2.

Establishing a nightly routine can make it easier to sleep well and feel rested. Try to go to bed at roughly the same time every night and make sure you get around 8 hours of zzz’s. Using an electronic device before sleeping keeps your mind active, so ban your phone and everything else that has a screen for half an hour before you turn off the lights. Reading a book can do the trick if you feel like easing up your mind before you close your eyes.

If you are dealing with a lot of stress that troubles your sleep, you can try out simple meditation techniques like focusing on your breathing for a few minutes.

Does your back pain cause you trouble sleeping? In our blog article on how your sleep and back pain affect each other we give answers to some of the most important questions on sleep disorders and back pain.

Improve how you deal with stress

From an evolutionary point of view, stress is a natural reaction to life experiences. While it is meant to be a temporary state, the demands of modern living can cause prolonged levels of stress. If we do not find healthy ways to handle our daily pressures, they may take a toll on our physical and mental health. Chronic stress can lead to an increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and other health issues.

The following tips can help you deal with stress in a healthy manner:

  • Manage your time
    If you find yourself with too many commitments, take some time to consider which ones you can delegate, move, or eliminate completely. Think about your daily priorities each morning and limit them to a reasonable number whenever possible.
  • Ask for help
    If you feel overwhelmed or unable to do something, don’t feel ashamed to ask someone in your support network – a colleague, a friend, or a therapist – who can help you out.
  • Take some time to actively relax
    Meditation or relaxation techniques can help you relax in between. The Kaia App relaxation exercises can be done anywhere and anytime.
  • Set realistic goals
    Being organized and managing your time efficiently can help you relieve stress. However, it is crucial to be realistic about what’s achievable and what’s not when making plans. Planning to do too much in a too short time can stress you out even more.

Exercise daily

Besides a good night’s sleep, exercise is one of the most fundamental things you can do to improve your health and well-being. Daily exercise can help you both physically and mentally, boosting your mood and reducing stress and anxiety as well as the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes or heart diseases.

The most important thing is to create an exercise routine that works for you. Forcing yourself to do an activity that you dread is the opposite of self care, so try to find something that you enjoy doing at least a little bit.

If you are suffering from back pain, doing only a few exercises a day can help relieve the pain. The Kaia App provides you with a personalized program that combines a variety of mobility, strengthening, breathing, and wellness exercises to manage your back pain at home in only 15 minutes a day.

Reward yourself for your achievements

Did you give a great presentation at work today? Did you complete your back pain exercises for a week in a row? Did you tick off all the boxes on your to-do-list? That’s great! Acknowledge that you did a good job and reward yourself from time to time. It doesn’t need to be expensive, in fact, it doesn’t need to cost anything. You can reward yourself with activities you enjoy, with your favourite food or taking a hot bubble bath.

Rewarding yourself is going to help you keep up your motivation and keep you focused on maintaining your self-care routine.

Plan enough time for yourself

Practising self-care is all about taking time for yourself. However, it is important to consciously schedule regular me-time in your calendar and plan activities you like doing. Try to make self-care an integral part of your everyday life and see it as a priority, not a luxury.

This also includes saying no when someone asks for your time or energy. Respect your own limits and avoid overextending yourself.

Sources:

  1. https://news.gallup.com/poll/166553/less-recommended-amount-sleep.aspx
  2. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/press-release/lack-sleep-affecting-americans-finds-national-sleep-foundation
  • Posted by Kaia Health Team on May 15, 2020
  • Posted in For Individuals, tagged with Chronic Disease Prevention

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