4 Key Ways to Take Care of You
By Sandy Schroeder
This blog is talking about you. Not your kids, your spouse or your parents, just you. After all, how can you look after all of them if you are falling apart?
Recently Harvard Health’s contributing editor, Monique Tello, MD, MPH, who is also a parent, defined self-care as “paying attention to our own needs and supporting our own physical and mental health.”
Tello maintains self-care is one of the first things to go if we become caregivers for our parents. And we all know how quickly our fashion sense slips when we have small children. There are just too many pressing matters to worry about coordinated outfits or a much-needed haircut.
Instead we press on, making sure everybody else has everything they need. Tello suggests we focus on four basics to make sure we practice the self-care that will nourish us so we can nourish others.
Eat healthy - Start your shopping with fruits and vegetables and keep going with low-fat dairy, healthy oils, nuts and seeds, and lean meats, poultry or fish. Hold all of the processed foods and franchise trips down to a minimum as you skip the cookie, pastry and cake displays, and drive right past your favorite taco or burger place.
Rest well – Getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night can make your mornings much better. Sleeplessness from too much stress or too tight a schedule can be dangerous, leaving you irritable and impatient with slower response times. Those are the ingredients for accidents in the home, at work, or on the road. Create a sleep haven as you boot the electronics and bring in white noise air filters, and light-blocking drapes. Limit caffeine, alcohol and heavy meals before bedtime.
Stay active – Keep moving throughout your day, breaking up work sessions with short walks, and adding another run, jog or walk after work. Make fitness selections at the gym, on the dance floor, in a yoga or tai chi class. Doing stretching while you fix dinner, or polishing off household vacuuming or gardening works, too.
Let your stress go – Where are you most comfortable? That may be the place to ease your mind as you chop vegtables, knit, weed in the garden, or putter around the house. Or a mat workout or brisk walk in the park may be all you need to shed your worries and come back smiling.
Self-care is an ongoing habit that may add years to your life and pleasure to your daily activities as you function better. Do as much as you can to stay calm, keep moving, eat healthy and rest well.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Phoenix, Ariz.