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How Self-Care Benefits Your Health (and How to Start)

The topic of self-care is a broad one, but it generally refers to any activities that reduce stress and improve the health of an individual. For each person, the specifics of how they practice self-care are likely to be unique, but there are some universal methods of self-care that can help anyone who practices them. If you’re looking for ways to boost your overall health and well-being, here are some self-care benefits to consider, as well as advice on how to get started.

Self-Care Benefits

Benefits of Self-Care

One of the best parts of self-care is how it benefits your mental health. Whether you have a mental illness or not, engaging in healthy and relaxing activities can help you manage stress on a daily basis. This is critical because stress can be the culprit of countless mental, physical, and emotional health problems. Not only can eating well, exercising and de-stressing reduce anxiety and depression symptoms, but it can also strengthen your immune system and reduce chronic diseases. Ultimately, self-care helps you to live fully and to be of more help to others.

Getting an Exercise Routine

When it comes to self-care, it’s hard to exaggerate the importance of physical activity. Along with the immediate feel-good sensation that comes from endorphins being released in the brain, exercise helps to foster long-term cognitive function and emotional well-being. Then there are all of the physical health benefits, such as improved cardiovascular health, lower risks of cancer, and stronger muscles and bones. In order to stay with a solid exercise routine, it’s essential to find one that you enjoy. Walking, running, hiking, yoga, weightlifting, or any other physical activity can benefit you as long as you stay committed.

Many people find that using a fitness tracker benefits their fitness routine and makes it more enjoyable. Fitness trackers can track many figures, such as calories burned, steps, and distance, and many models even have movement reminders if you’ve been sedentary for too long. The most recent models are high-tech instruments that can reveal your heart rate and blood sugar levels and even track your sleep. For instance, the Apple Watch Series 4, one of Apple’s newer models, can produce an ECG and has safety features like fall detection. A cheaper alternative is the Fitbit Charge 3, which has a sharp display, swim tracking, and long battery life.

Being Intentional with Your 'Yes'

One thing that tends to make life stressful for many of us is when we don’t know how to say "no" to people. It’s important to realize that you can’t be everything for everyone and that you must prioritize the most important people and things in your life. This might mean saying “no” to working overtime so that you can take your family camping over the weekend. Or, it might mean cutting down on certain commitments in the community. Be intentional with your “yes”; otherwise, you won’t leave yourself any time to take care of yourself.

Allowing Your Mind and Body to Regenerate

Finally, it’s essential that your mind and body get the rest they need. If you’re not currently getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night, try developing a new bedtime routine, changing up your bedroom, and anything else that can help promote sleep. Sleep is how you recover and regenerate, and it’s impossible to live at full potential without it. Also, be sure to take time out of your week to do something relaxing and unrelated to work, whether it’s practicing a hobby, going to get a massage, going to the movies or any other activity that helps you de-stress.

When you practice self-care consistently, you are fostering your overall health and well-being, which means you can be there for others as well. So, find a type of physical activity you like to do, don’t be afraid to tell people “no,” and prioritize sleep and relaxation. A little bit can go a long way with self-care, and starting with simple tips like these may motivate you to go even further in improving your health and well-being.

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