Summer is the season for self-care. Although self-care does not get nearly as much attention as it should, it is exceedingly important for the integrating systems of the spirit, mind, and body. So great are the health benefits of self-care that it deserves to be an integral part of our everyday life. People who practice self-care are evidently more stable, present, and centered in their lives.
The question arises: what does practicing self-care really mean? The basic principle of self-care is setting aside time to tend to your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. In today’s modern, fast-paced era, it is challenging to slow down. Here are tips for slowing down and setting aside time for self-care.
Schedule Your Breaks
As you make your schedule, be sure to include break time too. Here’s how you can do it:
- Daily breaks: How do your mornings usually begin? The start of your day is the perfect time for prayer, meditation, reflection, and affirmation. Your day will undoubtedly be hurried – try to take care of yourself and take it easy. Turn off the news, read meaningful things, and make a list of things you are grateful for.
- Weekly breaks: Try to take at least one day off per week in which you do no chores or work. There is something spiritual about taking a rest day. Resting helps elevate your spirit, mind, and body to heal and regain strength.
- Monthly breaks: Practice taking one weekend off each month for your wellness. It can be a staycation, a get-away, or whatever you like.
- In the warm and inviting summer months, you can exercise in many ways, such as swimming, jogging, and bicycling. Exercise is not only excellent for shedding pounds but is also a great way to improve your mental health.
- Getting your heart pumping during exercise enhances blood flow to your brain and improves brain chemistry. Aerobic exercises that are high-intensity help release endorphins – chemicals that, in turn, promote the release of feel-good neurotransmitters such as dopamine.
- Moreover, exercise keeps your levels of cortisol and epinephrine in check. Epinephrine is released in the brain during the fight-or-flight response. Lowering their levels prevents unnecessary stress.
Summer is the perfect time for refreshment and rest. Spending time outdoors is great for re-energizing the soul. Try taking a walk in the woods or hiking in the hills. If you have access to a beach, you can relax by laying on the warm sand or strolling near the shoreline. Just sitting in a peaceful environment and allowing your mind and body to quiet down can help you feel invigorated.
Take Breaks to Breathe
Breathing is not only an essential life process, but also an excellent tool for lowering stress, heart rate, and blood pressure if done correctly. I strongly recommend diaphragmatic breathing or calming breaths. This breathing helps:
- Increase the levels of the mood-boosting hormone serotonin in the blood
- Detox blood of lactic acid which is responsible for anxiety
- Increase your sense of calm by increasing alpha brain waves
Sleep is Important
The key to self-care is being aware of and trying to meet your body’s requirement for sleep. You may notice that your sleep patterns change during summer. Since light hours are extended in summer, melatonin release gets delayed, and we don’t feel tired until dark. Melatonin is a hormone released in the dark that signals our brains to sleep by making us feel tired. Changes in melatonin release patterns alter our circadian rhythm – our body’s natural clock which controls the sleep-wake cycle. Remember the last time you were unable to get enough sleep? Your entire day was probably affected. Not sleeping enough negatively impacts your productivity, emotional well-being, relationships, and general health. This summer, don’t forget how important getting adequate amounts of sleep and resting is for your body
Set Aside Time for Leisure
Whatever activities are leisureful to you – whether it is book reading, watching movies, or getting massages, setting aside time to enjoy them is crucial for your mental well-being. Practicing hobbies such as gardening and painting is a great way to practice self-care. With the days being warmer and longer, summer is the perfect time for trying out leisure activities.
Have a Good Diet
During the warm summer months, many different fruits and vegetables are available, and adding nutritious food to your diet becomes very easy. You are what you eat so eating healthier food improves your health. You can enhance your brain health by:
- Incorporating complex carbohydrates (present in vegetables, whole grains, peas, and beans) in your diet
- Avoiding processed food such as cookies, crackers, and chips
- Trying to stay away from additives and preservatives by opting for organic fish, beef, and poultry as protein sources
- Decreasing alcohol, sugar, and caffeine consumption as much as possible
- Consider supplementation as great way to ensure you get all of the nutrients your body needs to perform at optimal levels. An all-in-one multivitamin such as HPD RX ONE is worth taking a look at.
Remember, health is wealth! You want to be as rich in good health as possible to enjoy every moment this Summer.