Self-care is important to maintain your mental health
Self-care isn’t just about getting pedicures and massages, though those are nice, too. Daily self-care is about the small changes you can make to improve your life. Choosing to eat better and add healthy habits can help you tremendously.
If you’re in addiction recovery, self-care is extremely important. Some self-care practices to include in your life are managing your environment to reduce stress and triggers, and avoiding negative influences, such as old friends who still drink or use drugs. Avoiding the things that encouraged you to use will help you avoid that desire to partake. Know what your triggers are, and have a plan for how to overcome them when they pop back into your life. Surround yourself with friends who are supportive of your new lifestyle, and you’ll be more likely to stay sober.
Here are some often-overlooked ways to incorporate self care into your life.
1. Get some sleep -- When we’re busy and stressed, sleep is one of the first things to go. But sleep is so important to our health. It can keep your heart healthy, prevent headaches, reduce stress, clean out your brain, improve brain function and prevent degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Sleep can also prevent weight gain and improve your mood. That feeling you get when you’ve had a good night of sleep is more than just happiness -- it’s healthful!
2. Relax -- Easier said than done, we know. But taking some time to relax when you feel stressed can help you in many ways. Make time in your week to do the things you enjoy, such as spending time with family or friends or participating in hobbies. Taking the time to have fun will help you face your weekly responsibilities with renewed gusto.
3. Reduce stress -- Just like relaxation, this can be a challenge. But it’s worth the effort. Ways to reduce stress include fine-tuning your morning routine, adding exercise to your day and listening to music while you work. Exercise is one of the best stress reducers, so going for a walk during your lunch break or joining a fitness class can make all the difference. Exercise boosts serotonin and dopamine, the feel-good chemicals in your brain.
4. Say no -- We naturally want to please the people around us. It’s in our basic makeup. So, saying no to them can feel really scary, but it’s important to do so to keep yourself from being overwhelmed. Saying yes to everything can add to your stress and feelings of frustration. So be clear with yourself about what you want and what you can do. Then allow yourself to say no to everything else.
5. Drink water -- Water is so good for you for many reasons, and staying hydrated can help keep you healthy and feeling well. Water is great when your energy starts to lag or when you feel hungry but don’t want to binge eat. It keeps your skin and kidneys healthy, as well as all your other organs. Drink up!
When you need help, ask for it. Then, work on these small changes in your life to keep you healthy and happy. You’re your body and mind’s best advocate, so keep up the work of staying healthy. You’ll reap great rewards for doing so. And you’ll be able to live the life you’ve always dreamed of.
Brad Krause, graduated from collage in 2010 and went straight to the corporate world at the headquarters of a popular retail company.But what started as a dream job soured quickly.After four years of working 15-hour days and neglecting his health,he decided enough was enough.Through aiding a friend during a tough time,Brad discovered his real calling-helping people implement self-care practices that improve their overall well-being.He created SelfCaring.info to share his own knowledge and the many great resources he finds on his self-care journey.
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