Coffee or tea? Treadmill or track? Early morning or late at night? We’re all unique, and we all need a unique combination of healthy choices to feel our best. Still, there are certain wellness best practices that all of us—regardless of age, fitness level, gender, or habits—should engage in regularly to maintain an optimal physical, emotional and spiritual balance. Start incorporating these five self-care tips into your routine today, and feel the benefits of a happier and healthier you tomorrow.
- Prioritize Sleep. We don’t all need the same total number of hours of nighttime ZZZs, but we do all need quality sleep. If your current sleep schedule is anything but consistent, make an effort to regulate your REMs. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every morning and night—even on weekends. Slowly power down your mind at night by turning off all your electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Adjust your surroundings to make your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet. By creating a routine and environment that will foster deep sleep, you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and having the mental and physical energy needed to take on the day.
- Reflect on What Makes You Happy. Spend a few minutes every day, putting into words what you are grateful for or excited about in a journal or notebook. No matter how bad of a day you’ve had, or how nervous you are about the events to come, find joy and appreciation in something—anything—and write it down. It could be a person, a random act of kindness, a skill you’ve developed, or anything that is a source of contentment in your life. Keeping positivity in perspective helps us to maintain an emotional balance when times get tough so that we don’t spiral into an unhealthy place.
- Be Active. Obtaining regular exercise does not have to include any activities you dislike or require more intensity than you’re able to give. Find an activity, habit, or hobby that you enjoy, and carve time out of your week for it on the regular. It could be an evening yoga class, walking your dog, or jogging in a park on your lunch break near your office. Even 30-minutes of moderate activity three times per week helps to boost the feel-good hormones we all need for a healthy mind and body.
- Fuel Your Body. You’ve heard the expression, “You are what you eat,” and it’s true. If you don’t fuel your body with the vitamins, nutrients, and balanced meals it needs for energy and immunity, you’ll feel the negative results mentally and physically. Superfoods like broccoli, nuts, blueberries, and fatty fish help to regulate weight, prevent short-term memory loss and reduce inflammation, which all keep you feeling fueled and fit.
- Ask for Help. One of the most daunting challenges that many of us face is learning when to ask for help when we need it. It could be help from a co-worker on a project, help from a spouse with household chores, or help from an expert to take the first steps toward battling an addiction. There is no shame in asking for help. Life is full of challenges, and all of us will face times in our lives when we need the support and expertise of those around us. By learning to say the three words, “I need help,” to a trusted friend or expert, you can protect your health and gain the strength you need to make positive, powerful, lasting change.