Thanks to Brad Krause of selfcaring.info for providing another guest blog! Since we are heading into summer, it is the perfect time to do a little refresh on great self-care tips. Brad's ideas for taking care of one's health have been shown to increase positive mental health. Check out his latest piece:
There is a link between how we feel mentally and emotionally, and how well we are taking care of ourselves. We don't just need to rest and eat; we need to do these things well. To improve how you feel, you need to improve how well you look after yourself.
We are a nation of fast, convenient eaters. After all, shopping, prepping, and cooking all take time, of which we are in short supply. That's why more than one out of three people eat fast food every single day. It's easy, somewhat cheap, and it's one thing less to do after a long day of work. You can start changing how you eat in a few ways, however. Don't keep unhealthy snacks at home, and instead opt for healthier, pre-made things, such as sliced vegetables, no-added-sugar yogurt, or hummus. When you can, cook in batches and make enough to freeze leftovers for future meals. Throw together some fruits and vegetables to make smoothies. If you choose the right immersion blender (models are available for under $30), you can make smoothies faster and easier. These blenders are also versatile and can easily be stored.
You will be shocked how changing how you eat affects your energy and mood. Of course, if you don't have any time to spare, consider a meal delivery service. There are lots of health-focused plans available, which can keep you from being bored with your choices, and give healthier eating habits a much better chance of success.
We all need to sleep more. The average American sleeps less than seven hours a night, which is far from the recommended eight. When you don't get the right amount of sleep, bad things start to happen to your body. You increase your risk of disease, obesity, and heart problems, and you can also start to develop mental conditions such as depression or anxiety. Thankfully, there are ways even the worst sleeper can be better rested. Create a sleep schedule and stick to it, even on days when you can sleep in. The routine will help you get sleepy at night — and stay asleep. Make sure your bedroom is comfortable, dark, and cool. A weighted blanket can help comfort you if you wake often. Use lavender scented lotion, incense, or candles, as the flower can help us relax and prepare for sleep.
Wherever your stress comes from, it can be a killer. Work is often the main contributor to rising anxieties, so it's imperative you find healthy coping mechanisms and ways to relax. Spend some amount of time, even just 10 minutes a day, doing something you enjoy — if only for the reason you enjoy it. We all need fun in our lives, after all. Listen to music that calms you while you make art, even if it’s just filling in an adult coloring book. Go for a walk after work, on weekends, or whenever you have a free moment. Sometimes, we need to take a step back from things to focus on ourselves, whether at work or within our social spheres. Telling people “no” can be intimidating, but you deserve to have time to look after yourself properly.
Clutter can also be a contributor to stress. Studies show that people who live with clutter experience a rise in cortisol— the stress hormone — as the day goes on. It can also lead to depression, lack of focus, and weight gain. The best solution is to simply get rid of things you haven’t used in a year. Just 10 minutes a day can help create a more relaxing home. If cleaning sounds unpleasant to you, hire a cleaning service to remove dust left behind by the clutter. The average cost of a cleaning service in Towson, MD, is $110-$252.
Working out is good for us. It can be a form of relaxation, but it also helps us process stress in a healthy way. You need to make time for it, and there is no getting around it. That may mean multitasking, such as doing a workout while you watch your favorite show after work. Even light exercise done for 30 minutes every day can have an impact on how you feel. If you don't have a long commute, consider biking a few days a week. Twice an hour, take a minute to do some squats at work to keep your energy up. These things add up and can make a difference.
It doesn't take many changes to see an improvement in how we feel. Our mental health is just as important as physical, and the two often go hand in hand. Learn how to relax, trim your schedule, and eat healthy meals. You may find yourself feeling better in no time!