The word “health” is oftentimes associated with one’s physical or mental well-being. It might sometimes seem that you must choose between focusing your attention on one or the other, but the two are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they are so interconnected that it is nearly impossible to consider one without the other.
It is well documented that emotional, psychological, and social stressors produce a stress response in the body’s biology. This stress response may manifest as inflammation, which is correlated with all chronic illnesses. On the flip side, someone who does not exercise and/or eats a Standard American Diet (abbreviated SAD!) is at an increased risk for developing mental disorders like depression and anxiety.
A holistic approach to health and well-being starts with self-love or self-care. These terms encompass the whole being: body and mind. To love and care for one’s self is to nurture both the physical and mental–filling both buckets simultaneously.
So how does one practice self-love or self-care and how in the world do you find time between work, school, practices, training, games, friends, maintaining social connections, and attending to the multiple tasks and directions we are pulled in in a single day?
Well, the truth is this practice looks differently for everyone, but is equally important to everyone.
Here are some evidence-based ways you can include self-care into your daily routine:
- Choose nourishing, whole foods.
- Exercise and eat consistently on a schedule.
- Do breathing exercises.
- Meditate daily (try Insight timer here).
- Journal about your day or start a gratitude journal.
- Practice positive self-talk and mindset.
- Do yoga, tai chi, or qigong.
- Explore your creative side—drawing, coloring, crafting.
- Spend time in nature, phone-free!
- Consider activating your Rest, Digest and Heal parasympathetic nervous system to move out of Stressed and Breakdown fight or flight response with NuCalm.