Self-care has become a hot topic in the wellness industry and popular media lately – the idea that little acts of tuning into ourselves, listening to our instincts, and taking small steps to address potential problems or complications can have a big impact in our lives. And it’s true that small steps over time can have a large cumulative impact, especially when it comes to our health. Our daily routines can introduce steps that lead to great well being – and it can all start with the simplest of actions.
Start The Day With A Cup of Hot Lemon Water
Instead of turning to the caffeine the second the alarm goes off, why not start your day off with a cup of hot water with the juice of half a lemon instead? This wonderfully simple ritual has some huge health benefits. It kickstarts good digestion that will help your gut to process food better, gives your metabolism a boost, alkalizes the body, supports your liver to cleanse itself, and hydrates you. Consuming caffeine on an empty stomach has been shown to up our levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. This slows down the body’s natural ability to eliminate toxins, deal with fatigue, and burn fat efficiently. Adding raw apple cider vinegar to the mix can boost positive effects even further.
Connect With Nature
Studies have shown that immersing ourselves in the natural world has a huge impact on our sense of well being. Spending just 30 minutes a day outdoors lowers stress levels, boosts our cognitive abilities, and leads to enhanced problem solving skills and creativity. So create the opportunity to be out in nature, like using your lunch break to fit in a walk or switching your gym membership to an outdoor workout.
Book Those Tests
Good health relies on intercepting small problems before they have the chance to turn into larger ones, and that means keeping on top of routine health checks. So make sure you have that check-up at the dentist, book for an eye test, and visit your audiologist. Far from being a waste of time, you are proactively taking care of your health and identifying problems before they worsen to the point of needing major treatment. Similarly, if you have any recurrent injuries, like that bad back you ignore and just pop a pill to deal with, meet them head-on and find a decent chiropractor who can work with you to identify and solve the root cause of your discomfort and stop any further complications developing.
Often when we eat our meals or a snack, we do so without conscious intention. We are watching TV or reading through the paper, even scrolling through our social media feeds mindlessly. This means that we consume far more calories than we need to, as we block out the natural signals the stomach sends to the brain that it’s feeling full. Make a habit of eating mindfully by banishing outside distractions. Concentrate on the sensations of eating and fully engage your senses with each bite. Not only will you feel more satisfied with what you eat, but you won’t be at risk of overeating by default. Taking the time to chew your food thoroughly also releases more digestive enzymes that help the body to break down and process your food and use the nutrients from it more efficiently.
Practice Stress Management
Stress, anxiety and unfortunate events are a part of most people’s lives, but it’s the way we deal with them that counts. Taking the time to practice a few simple techniques, made easy with a mindfulness app, can really reduce your stress levels and help you to deal with negative situations in a calm, collected manner. It introduces positive perspective and helps you to manage any negative effects in your life. Some deep breathing techniques have the potential to make a lot of difference in how you handle and react to external stress factors, such as work and family.
Balance Work, Exercise, and Relaxation
The key to taking care of yourself is to balance the different elements of your life, and schedule in enough time to get active but also to relax. Even light exercise is hugely beneficial both mentally and physically, so find the form of activity that inspires you – whether that’s running, yoga or something different like sailing or boxercise. Just 30 minutes three times a week will make a big difference to your well being. Then also create time for relaxation, like taking an aromatherapy bath with relaxing oils or just taking the time to read a really good book for some mental escapism.