Self-Care Is the New Health Care Prescription
“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” This Maya Angelou quote rings true to all of us who’ve come to realize that being a good person starts with being good to yourself.
While the importance of self-care cannot be overstated, it’s not always easy to figure out how to start taking better care of ourselves.
If it’s been a while since you did something just for you, try these simple steps to help you get on the path to true self-care:
You are what you eat. It might be a cliché, but like most clichés, there’s a great deal of truth to this old adage. If you’ve decided to dedicate more time to self-care, start by changing your eating habits. I’m not talking about giving up your favourite foods and embarking on the latest fad diet. The best thing you can do to build a healthy relationship with food is to practice mindful eating.
Mindful eating involves learning how to pay attention to the actual experience of eating and drinking. Start by thinking about how the food came from the farm to your plate and make it a point to chew every bite slowly and thoroughly. Turn on all your senses while eating in order to fully appreciate the colour, smell, and texture of your meals and make sure you stop eating once you’re satisfied, not stuffed.
Besides minimizing distractions during meals and being fully present for each bite, there are other tips you can use when you first start eating more mindfully. These include upping your fibre intake to help control blood sugar levels and making apple cider vinegar a part of your diet. With its anti-inflammatory, apple cider vinegar can do wonders for your health. Not everyone, however, enjoys its tart taste, so you might want to consider taking apple cider vinegar capsules to get the same benefits without having to deal with the strong smell and taste of the vinegar.
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word meditation? If you’ve never given meditation a try, you probably associate it with spirituality and religion, or you might think it’s yet another new age wellness trend that makes outrageous promises it can’t deliver. While meditation does have its origins in ancient Taoist and Buddhist traditions, it is now practised independently by millions of both religious and non-religions people. So what is meditation and why should you make it a part of your daily self-care routine?
Meditation, in simple terms, is a set of techniques used to enhance mindfulness, strengthen concentration and, most importantly, quiet the racing mind. The proven benefits of regular meditation practice are too many to mention. By incorporating meditation into your life, you will notice tremendous positive changes in your mental health – the most important part of your overall wellbeing.
If you’re new to meditation, start by setting aside a few minutes every day to sit or lie in a quiet, comfortable place and simply – breathe. Some people choose to keep their gaze locked on an object in the room or an imaginary spot on the wall, while others prefer to keep their eyes closed. Whichever way you pick, just make sure you focus on your breathing without trying to control its rate and pattern. Do this for several minutes every day, and once meditation starts to feel ‘natural’, start gradually lengthening your practice.
Take a break from technology
It’s easier said than done, but once you hear about the numerous health benefits of unplugging from technology, you’ll want to try it out as soon as you’re done reading this article. Whether we like it or not, we are living in an increasingly digital world and technology is virtually inescapable. But that doesn’t mean you should accept becoming a slave to it. The harmful effect of technology dependence on your health include everything from eyestrain, headaches, and back pain to impaired memory function, sleep deprivation, and anxiety.
Here’s what you need to do to take a much-needed break from technology. First of all, start leaving your phone at home when you go out for a walk or to grab a coffee with friends. Trust me: the world won’t come crashing down if you don’t answer a call or text back within seconds. If you do bring your phone, turn off all the notifications and make a conscious effort to stop checking the screen every ten minutes. At home, create a technology-free zone and spend at least a couple of hours unwinding there before bedtime. Finally, go on a social media detox to really reap the benefits of a tech-free life.
Remember, self-care is a process and it starts with baby steps. Do something small for yourself every day and you’ll soon notice how those little things can make a profound difference in yours and the lives of your loved ones.
Contributed by Mianna Korben
Mianna is a passionate writer currently living and dreaming in Europe. She’s an unapologetic lover of premium makeup, fashion and champagne with a bit of a bag fetish.
See some more of Mianna’s posts here: