Posted by Anita Sun
Obviously, we’re all about taking care of your skin. But taking care of your skin is just the tip of the iceberg, a small part of something even more important - and that’s taking care of yourself.
Taking care of your mind, body, and spirit - also known as self-care - is one of the most important things you can do for your long-term health. So today, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we want to talk about the importance of self-care, how it can affect your health, and share some of our self-care tips that will have you feeling amazing - mind, body, and spirit - in no time.
You know when you’re traveling on a plane and they show you the safety video? And they tell you that in case of an emergency, if the oxygen mask drops, you should secure your own before trying to help anyone else?
Well, life is the same way.
If we’re not taking proper care of ourselves, we can’t take care of any of the other important things in our lives - our family, our friends, our careers, our hobbies, passions, and interests. If we don’t give anything to ourselves, we’ll have nothing to give to anyone or anything else.
Self-care is to humans what gas is to cars; it’s the fuel that keeps us going. And without it, we might be able to run on fumes for a while, but eventually we’ll putter out and stall - or worse, crash and burn.
Taking care of our mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health gives us the fuel we need to live happy, healthy, and productive lives.
And it also has a direct impact on our health.
We live in a chronically stressed culture, where people think being busy, overwhelmed, and stressed out all the time is some kind of badge of honor.
But the truth is, there aren’t many things worse for our overall health than stress.
Just a few of the health issues caused by stress include insomnia, migraines, fatigue, weight gain, muscle pain, stomach pain, digestive problems, increased irritability, fatigue, restlessness, and lowered immune function. Stress has also been linked to increased risk of heart attack and certain types of cancers - including breast cancer.
Which is why it’s so, so important to keep stress to a minimum.
And the key to managing stress? You guessed it - self-care.
When we make ourselves a priority and do the things we need to do to care for ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, we’re better able to handle challenging situations and keep stress at bay, which not only keeps us happier - but keeps us healthier, too.
Cultivating a self-care practice that incorporates physical and mental health can boost immune function, decrease the risk of depression and anxiety, and significantly lower stress levels - all of which equal a healthier human.
So, now that you know you should hop on board the self-care train, let’s talk about how to make that happen, shall we?
Here are some self-care tips and tricks that will have you feeling like a self-help guru (and enjoying all the benefits) - in no time:
Adding nutrient-dense foods to your diet (think leafy greens, berries, and healthy fats - aka “the good stuff”) is one of the best forms of self-care you can practice. Eating more nutritious foods will lead to increased energy, wellness, and an overall better mood.
There’s something about being outside that lifts your spirits. But spending more time in nature does more than just improve your mood - it can actually change your brain and improve brain function.
There are few lifestyle practices more damaging than a sedentary lifestyle. Even if you work at a job that has you chained to a desk for most of the day, it’s important to get up and get moving. Set an alarm to go off every hour, and take five minutes to walk around, stretch, and loosen up.
You should also aim for 30 minutes of exercise every day. If 30 minutes feels overwhelming (we’ve all been there!), try breaking it up into two 15-minute sessions or even three 10-minute sessions.
The more you move, the better you’ll feel - and the healthier you’ll be.
If you’re attached at the hand to your phone (who isn’t?), one of the best ways to practice self-care is to put the phone down.
Let me say that one more time: Put. The. Phone. DOWN.
So put down your phone and tune into the present moment. Your health will thank you.
One of the best ways you can take care of yourself is to relax, so make relaxation a priority. Meditate. Take a bath. Plan a spa night with your friends (or your Netflix queue). Whatever it does that makes you feel chill and happy, do more of it.
Like the old saying goes, “your health is your wealth.” And practicing self-care is one of the best ways to protect your mental, physical, and emotional health. So up your self-care game - and up your health in the process.