By Brad Krause
The best gift you can give yourself is to practice proper self-care, or thoughtful, deliberate acts made with the purpose of improving your overall health. You only get one body and one brain, so it makes sense that you’d do everything you can to optimize their performance. Here are some acts of self-care to consider today.
Focus on Your Gut
Many important things — from digestion, immune response, and even mood — are tied to your gut. More specifically, the healthy bacteria that live there. When levels of certain bacteria are out of whack, you can experience problems. As an act of self-care, learn more about your own gut bacteria and decide whether you need to alter your diet or take supplements to regulate certain strains. Adding bacteria like L. helveticus and B. longum has been shown to help reduce cortisol (stress hormone). Bifidobacterium, on the other hand, helps protect you from bad microbes.
Get Some Massage Therapy
It feels awesome to get a massage. However, did you know that there are a ton of other benefits to weekly or monthly massage therapy? Reducing tension in your muscles can help relieve headaches, improve blood flow to all parts of your body, and manage pain. Massages aren’t a luxury; for many, they are an important part of a well-rounded self-care regimen.
Get Some Extra Sleep
When you deprive yourself of good, quality sleep, bad things start happening to your mind and body. You become more likely to be irritated, which can affect your relationships and parenting. Your risk of anxiety and depression increases. You bump your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. With that in mind, it’s clear why getting enough sleep is an act of self-care. Sleeping better happens when you stick to a schedule, employ relaxation techniques as you wind down at night, and eat right and exercise during the day.
It seems to be a hot topic these days, but all for good reason. Research continues to mount in favor of using Cannabidiol, or CBD, as a highly beneficial holistic supplement. CBD has been shown to reduce inflammation, boost appetite, and decrease depression. Other people find it has incredible benefits for joint health, and there have been promising outcomes in its use for epilepsy. But it’s still not a widely-adopted treatment, so if you’re considering giving it a try you’ll want to be thorough in your research. Check out sites like Remedy Review, which has whittled down information on the best oils of 2019 and lists things to look for in dosage, manufacturing and taste.
Take a Vacation
Whatever you have to do to get out of town for a bit — you deserve it. Spend a little extra money to board your dog. Have someone watch the kids. Leave that stack of work on your desk — it’ll definitely be there when you get back. Even if it’s just a weekend getaway, taking a vacation every once in a while is a crucial act of self-care. Vacations reduce stress and recharge your battery. Also, a study found that “taking vacations, contributed to higher positive emotional levels and less depression among the participants … other benefits include lower blood pressure and smaller waistlines,” according to USA Today.
Relaxation doesn’t simply mean not working. In fact, you may have to trick yourself into relaxing. However, without true relaxation, stress will overwhelm your body and mind, and when that happens it’s almost impossible to be healthy or happy. As an everyday act of self-care, learn how to truly relax. Some techniques for this are as simple as slowing your breathing and releasing the tension in your shoulders, neck, and jaw. You should experiment and find what works for you, whether it’s reading, watching a TV show, cooking an elaborate meal for one, or going for a jog with your dog. Whatever helps you relax, make time for it. You deserve it.
Self-care is self-preservation. It’s self-love. It’s what you do to ensure you’re the best you that you can be. Taking time every day to do things specifically for your body, mind, and soul is as vital as anything else you do. Just remember to prioritize it.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash
About the Author: Brad Krause left the corporate world to promote the simple notion of self-care. After realizing he had spent far too long neglecting his own self-care, he became a full-time life coach. Visit his website for tips, self-care information and links.