Easy Self Care
This time of year can be stressful after all the hustle and bustle from the Holiday Season. Often times we feel a crash or holiday hangover. The New Year is a great time to reestablish healthy goals to take better care of yourself. These healthy habits will not only bring those stress level's down but will also bring your immune system up, helping you to fight off any germs being passed around.
Here are a few easy self-care tips to fit into your routine:
1) Sleep-It can't get easier than this folks! Make sure you are catching enough Zzzzzs. Not only does sleep help to keep you alert, it also helps to reduce depression and inflammation in the body and wait, drum roll please-can even help you lose weight-What?! Having difficulty sleeping? Starting a night-time routine of turning off electronic devices and lowering the lights 30min to 1 hour prior to bedtime can assist with shifting our bodies into rest or sleep mode. Still not sleeping? Talk to your doctor about taking a low dose magnesium supplement or melatonin to help you sleep.
2) Exercise-I know, let's try to pack in yet another activity into our busy schedule, Right? Just 5 minutes of moderate exercise can improves your mood. It produces changes in the parts of the brain that regulate stress and anxiety. It can also increase brain sensitivity for the hormones serotonin and nor-epinephrine, which relieve feelings of depression. Additionally, exercise can increase the production of endorphins, which are known to help produce positive feelings and reduce the perception of pain.
3) Slow Down-Managing our time and re-prioritizing to put our needs first is an essential piece of creating balance and making time for self-care. Slowing down often times means learning to say no, or not now, or later. You can't pour from an empty cup. Learning to assess where you are energy level wise on a daily basis can help with reaching our self-care goals. Are you depleted? Are you stressed? What do you need today to help restore you? What do you need to feel nourished? A Hot bath? Alone time? Sleep? Maybe a date with a friend or partner? Checking in with yourself and identifying self-soothing strategies based on your needs can do volumes for restoring balance and helping you feel your best.
4) Massage Therapy-Honey, my doctor said I had to do it. Research has shown that massage therapy has a direct impact on lowering the levels of stress hormones that create the “fight-or-flight” response, and can boost “feel good” neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin and endorphins.
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