This article was submitted to us by guest contributor Jennifer McGregor
A recent article by Energy Fitbox notes that busy people are the most likely to neglect self-care and suffer from burnout. As the world around you accelerates, it can be difficult to even think about slowing down. Fortunately, you can practice some well-needed self-care by making simple tweaks to your daily schedule, as opposed to adding more things to it. Let’s look at some ways you adjust the little things and reap big benefits.
Start Your Day the Right Way
You can do more with your mornings than dread the day ahead and rush through the house so you can be where you need to be. In fact, the author of this Thirteen Thoughts article extols the virtues of developing a self-care morning routine. If you can get out of bed at least 20 minutes earlier, it makes it easier to find time for activities that will calm your mind and get you ready for the day ahead. You can listen to an audiobook or a self-affirmation tape while getting ready. Meditation is also an excellent and relaxing way to start your day. It can help you focus on the activities ahead without feeling overwhelmed before you’ve even started. If all this seems too much to start with, you can try placing self-affirmation tips throughout the house in areas where you will see them. Putting them up will be the only thing that takes time, but reading positive or funny things to yourself first thing in the morning helps put you in a good mood.
More Water, Less Sugar
The Harvard Health Publishing division of Harvard Medical School has purported the benefits of not only incorporating more water into the diet but also cutting down on added sugar. When you keep hydrated, you help your body maintain its balance of electrolytes, maintain its temperature, and aid digestion, among other things. On the other hand, when you consume excessive sugar, you could be negatively affecting your body’s ability to maintain a healthy weight and fight the development of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
Go with Your Gut
A number of studies have shown the link between the human gut microbiome and overall health. The gut microbiome is a collection of over 10 trillion microorganisms that live in the human stomach. It has been shown that changes in your gut microbiome can have adverse effects on your physical and emotional health. In fact, one study showed that people who were depressed also had a proliferation of the bacteria most associated with Crohn’s disease. Other beneficial bacteria are associated with boosting the body’s immune system and reducing inflammation. With that in mind, it makes sense to undertake measures that maintain balance in your gut. This includes incorporating prebiotic foods that encourage bacterial growth as well as probiotic foods that are comprised of live bacteria and yeasts into your diet. Examples of prebiotic foods are whole wheat, garlic, onions, and leeks, while probiotic foods include fermented foods such as miso, tempeh, and kimchi.
Develop a Menu Plan
There are many benefits to developing a workable menu plan. It saves time and money as well as gives you total control over what you put into your body. You learned a bit about your gut microbiome in the previous section, so creating your menu plan is how you can put that knowledge to work. In order to develop a menu plan that you’ll actually stick to, it’s important to cut the activities into manageable tasks that you can fit into your schedule. Once you get the hang of splitting these smaller tasks throughout your regular schedule, it will become easier and easier to reap the benefits of this important aspect of self-care.
Schedule Breaks throughout the Day
If you can take a break from your desk or work activity, then do it and reap the benefits that come right along with it. Schedule a walk, time in a nearby park, or green space, or take a brief break in a secluded area where you won’t be bothered during your lunch break. If none of these are a viable option for you, you could take advantage of short relaxation exercises while at your desk. Relaxation exercises are a collection of brief movements that have beneficial effects on your mental and physical wellness. For example, they can help reduce muscle tension and the stress that is invariably associated with a workday.
The tips included in this article are meant to improve your general physical and mental health without making any major changes to your daily routine. Perhaps as you go along, you’ll find that there’s more room in your schedule than you thought, which can up the opportunity to expand your self-care activities and stay in the best possible health.
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