With today marking International Self-Care Day, July 24 will hopefully serve as a reminder that looking after yourself is always important. With everybody around us busy working, taking care of loved ones and living in today’s fast-paced digital society, it can be tough to achieve a healthy, balanced lifestyle. From creating work-life balance to wellness and nutrition, many aspects of our lifestyles can affect our energy levels. From exercise to our environment and activities, there are many factors that can contribute to elevated stress, tension or health concerns.
Speaking of food, our nutrition does have the ability to alter our moods. Since it’s important to stay fuelled throughout the day, it’s a smart idea to avoid skipping meals and also to have a proper breakfast. If you’re wondering what to add to your diet, consider foods which contain Vitamin B, and will keep the body’s homocysteine levels low. Homocysteine is an amino acid, and having too much of this amino acid in the system has been tied to depression in women. Incorporating more vegetables in your diet will help to increase the amount of Vitamin B in your diet. Foods high in fibre will not only help you with your bowels, but can also increase your levels of serotonin. Foods high in protein will help keep energy levels up, and will release more dopamine as a result.
Many of us dread exercise, but it actually can improve our mood immensely. Go for a walk outside or take 30 minutes out of your day to go the gym. Exercising can help your body produce endorphins, which have people feel happy. You may hate exercising, but it can help people feel a sense of accomplishment. Eventually it will become a routine and getting up for those early morning runs won’t be so difficult.
Another aspect of self-care is surrounding oneself with positivity. Being in a negative professional or personal environment can be stressful, while an encouraging, uplifting environment with supportive people can contribute to healthy self-esteem.
Whether it’s an errand, completing your duties for work or sending an email, there will always be one last thing to do on your list of tasks. Try to take one day out of the week for yourself and remember all there is to be thankful for. Whether you like to unwind by making a bath for yourself, putting on a face mask, getting a manicure and pedicure or reading a new book, remember that this is your day for you!