It is fair to say that the last couple of years have been quite interesting and often a struggle. We go through our daily routines and generally roll with the punches when plans are derailed. As a society, we pride ourselves on strength, stamina, and the ability to power through the ups and downs that life sends our way.
With that said, managing the curve balls each day throws at us can be a lot to handle. This is why it's important to make time for self-care.
The notion of self-care sometimes gets batted around and distorted to convince people that it is perfectly fine to be self-centered and indulgent. While the term self-care may appear to be focused on little luxuries that make us feel better in the moment, it truly means something that holds longevity and a sense of well-being.
Where Do You Want to Begin?
After some introspection and maybe a few external nudges, you have begun to realize that incorporating some self-care practices can add to your quality of life. All fuel eventually burns out. Fires are reduced to embers and batteries lose their charge. This same depletion can happen within our minds and bodies.
Doing a little assessment of what areas in your life feel drained can help lead you to some best practices for self-care. It's important to examine all aspects of your health:
Once you have taken stock of where your health ranges in these categories, taking action by adding self-care activities and routines will gently lead you to a place where you feel rejuvenated.
Eating mindfully with nutrition as a focus is essential to maintaining health. Reaching for foods that have no value may be satisfying in the moment but are detrimental in the long run. Choose foods that are fresh and colorful. Learn to enjoy making meals at home so you know that what you are putting into your body is healthy and will sustain you physically but won’t act as an emotional crutch.
When it comes to eating better, you may be wondering how to make healthy food taste good. What if we told you that you could still enjoy all the foods you love by making a few small tweaks to the ingredients you use to make them? For example, some of the healthiest flour for baking preserves the flavor and texture of the dish. Baking with gluten-free flour, if done right, can be just as tasty as regular flour.
We all know exercise is key to preserving physical health. Move your body. Stretch, walk, run, jump, climb - you don’t need gym memberships or fancy equipment. You only need to set your body in motion for a little bit every day to improve your physical well-being.
Personal connections have taken a massive hit during the last two years. Many of us feel thankful that phone calls, video chats, and even the ubiquitous Zoom meetings allowed for some sense of being together. But the abrupt elimination of face-to-face communication, hearing laughter at parties, and the absence of a tight embrace have exacted a toll.
Take this time to renew connections with family and friends - the people you love and who love you back. They are your support system and your common ground. They need you as much as you need them.
Plan a coffee date or take walks together. Branch out and start a book club or make your elderly neighbor a casserole. Even in our often-disconnected world, you can ensure that every day you cultivate personal connections so that your social health is robust and vibrant.
Mental and Emotional Health
These two are peas and carrots. Both are at the center of a plan for self-care. Simply ask yourself, “What am I dealing with? How do I feel? What can I do?” This is a critical first step and can open the door to numerous possibilities to improve your health in this capacity.
Think about what is weighing you down. What are your stressors? What makes you want to pull the blankets over your head and hide from the world? No one is devoid of issues that negatively affect the state of our mental and emotional health. Try to answer these questions as best as you can and if you get stuck, ASK FOR HELP.
Self-care is not selfish or self-centered. It is self-loving. For you to maintain your physical, social, mental, and emotional health, it is vital for you to add practices that facilitate wellness. Self-care is about making small changes within an overall holistic process for well-being. Do something every day that you enjoy and feeds your mind, body, and spirit. This approach not only directly helps you but also extends to the world around you by being a catalyst for good health.
Want to start making dietary substitutes that support wellness? The healthiest flour for baking is great for making foods like pizza, pasta, fried chicken, and pastries for mindful eaters. By baking with gluten-free flour, you'll never have to worry about how to make healthy food taste good - we dare you to try to find the difference.