THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF CARE

Life can be stressful due to everything that comes associated with work, family, school, etc. However, taking time for ourselves helps our mental and physical health. There is more to it than just eating three meals a day and getting enough rest. Our health is important as it helps prevent diseases and long-term illnesses. By being healthy, the reduction of developing diseases like cancer and diabetes decreases. Our health is broken down into physical and mental health.

SLEEP
To start, getting enough sleep increases concentration and in turn productivity. It is important to stay away from caffeine and physical activity late in the day as these things get your heart rate up. When your heart rate is up, you in turn cause your body to stay awake which will cause the body to not relax and sleep. Now that we’re adults it is still okay to take a nap, however, keep it short. About 10-20 minutes is strongly recommended. If you go into a longer sleep, you can cause yourself to feel more tired than before as your body tries to go into a full deep sleep cycle.

Sleep goes hand in hand with healing our body. It gives your
body the time to refresh itself. Our bodies have an internal “body
clock” and when we are tired its like our alarm clock telling us its time for bed. The internal clock is actually on a 24-hour cycle known as the circadian rhythm. It tells us when to wake up and when to go to bed. When sleep deprived, our clocks start to make us feel as if we our falling apart. We begin to lose focus and move slower. The best way to make sure you get your full recommended eight hours of sleep is controlling what you do near bedtime. Most of us scroll on our phones for hours when in fact we should not be on them at all.

EXERCISE
We all know that exercise helps us stay fit, but it helps our body too. By doing physical activity the body begins to receive more oxygen and nutrients. Health concerns like diabetes and arthritis drastically decrease as we become more fit. Working out can lead to better sleeping as you tend to fall asleep faster after doing more daily activities. If you are unsure where to start, start slow. Too much too fast can harm the body. For example, start with walking a couple miles versus trying to run a marathon on your first go round. With these two things alone, you will begin to feel different. Happier even.

MEDITATION
Meditation is a self-contemplation or reflection practice that has been around for centuries. It is a mental exercise that is focused on ones breathing or even a repeating mantra. The benefits of meditation are quite amazing. It can help reduce stress as we force our bodies into slowing down and taking in everything that has recently happened. This in turns helps us to control anxiety, depression and even loneliness. Now these moods do not just disappear once we start meditating, but they do start to decrease as we learn to come to terms with them. It is best to start by trying a couple minutes a day in a quiet area to sit, close your eyes, and focus on yourself.

The brain controls everything that we do so logically it is important for us to take care of it. Understanding our mental and physical health is vital because it can be life changing. It is healthy to look out for ourselves, to put ourselves first. When we get overwhelmed, we tend to shut down and close off from everyone around us. We’re social beings and once we begin helping ourselves, we can help others. By doing so we can gain the unlimited benefits of a healthier lifestyle for us all. Everyone has a different way to maintain their self-care. Start small and work your way up to where you want to be. Do what works best for you.

Written by: Kaitlyne Piper

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