Self-care is your ability to give your mind and body what they need in order to stay healthy.
This includes eating well, being active, de-stressing, getting enough sleep and engaging in leisure-time activities that bring you joy and help re-charge your batteries.
Healthy eating and living are all about finding foods and activities you enjoy and without feeling deprived.
However, for many, self-care can get pushed aside due to one’s life demands such as working, parenting or going to school.
Here are some tips for creating daily self-care health rituals that you can incorporate into your busy life:
1-Determine Your ‘Why’?
Ask yourself why you want to improve your health.
Some common examples may include:
- To feel better
- To have more energy
- To be able to play with children or grandchildren without getting tired
- To live longer
- To avoid diabetes or get off of blood pressure medications
Write down your ‘why’ and refer to it as you’re developing your daily self-care plan; the list will come in handy when the going gets tough and you need a reminder.
Creating daily self-care health rituals that are small and doable can help you feel successful. Here are some examples to think about:
- Keep water bottle at your desk to help you stay well hydrated
- Start each day with a healthy breakfast meal
- Pack a healthy lunch to bring to work the next day
- Practice slow, deep breathing or use a short, meditation app when feeling stressed
- Break up sitting time by standing up and stretching
- Take movement breaks during your work day for 5 minutes each hour
- Take an outdoor break each day, even if it’s to walk your dog
- Use a wearable activity tracker as an incentive to get in more steps during the day
- Follow your sleep routine, such as reading, not doing work and not discussing anxiety-producing topics before bed
- Make time each day to engage in leisure-time activities you enjoy such as reading a good book, writing in your journal, taking a warm bath, listening to music, dancing, gardening, knitting or just catching up with a friend
When you can follow self-care practices regularly, this can be a reminder that your health is worth the time and effort.
3-Enjoy the Benefits
Once you’re following some healthy self-care practices daily, I encourage you to pay attention to how you’re feeling.
With time and regular practice, I hope you see your energy level, mood and overall health improving.
Daily self-care health rituals are beneficial for both your body and mind.
Better self-care practices can also help you better manage weight.
Know that being busy and living healthfully are not mutually exclusive.
Robert Kushner, MD