Take Time for Self Care
Self care is not selfish or self indulgent. It is taking care of yourself so you can be healthy, well, do your job, accomplish what you want to do, and take care of others. Consider these tips when evaluating your self care strategies.
Keep to a routine
- Sleep: A regular bedtime and wake time that allows for 7 to 9 hours of sleep is optimal. Have a wind-down routine that includes limiting screen time and being in a dark, cool room.
- Exercise: Incorporate physical activity into each day. Stand, rather than sit; take the stairs; stretch; garden; go for a walk. Remember that any movement is better than no movement.
- Nutrition: To balance mood and stabilize blood sugar, eat complex carbohydrates found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds at regular intervals throughout the day.
Listen to your body
Know the signs of too much STRESS, and ask for help before you think you need it. Watch out for: muscle tension, headaches, upset stomach or difficulty sleeping. Be compassionate with yourself as well as with others.
Water consumption for hydration is vital! Daily goal for men: ~15.5 cups (3.7 liters). Daily goal for women: ~11.5 cups (2.7 liters).
Reach out to friends, peers, older adults and family by phone, email, text, or social media platforms. Even brief virtual connections improve your mood and immune response.
- Don’t rely on alcohol as a stress reducer
- Respect your emotions
- Establish “no judgment” rules for yourself and your family as you experience a full range of human emotions: fear, anger, gratitude and grief.
Reference: American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Everydayhealth.com