Healthy Mind Healthy Body
I want to always remind you that we are Spirit, Soul and Body, and we can only enjoy holistic health when all three areas are given attention. We need to be nourishing our Spirit, Soul (Mind) and Body to cope with much stress and anxiety that life bring.
Having and maintaining a healthy sound mind in a healthy body, will help you to unwind after a long day, and allow you to regain your focus, and enable you to develop an overall health and well being.
Self Care For A Healthy Mind
Self-care is just as it says, taking care of yourself. It is not just about getting a massage. It is any action you take to preserve and improve your health, well-being, happiness, peace of mind and a fulfilled life.
I want to emphasize something very important many self-conscious persons don’t seem to be aware of.
Self-care is not for fools. Self-care is not for the weak. It is not a luxury, and it is not self-centered.
When you don’t take care of yourself, are too hard on your body, or don’t take care of your emotional needs, you are at a much higher risk for burnout, a variety of mental health issues including anxiety and depression, physical injury and illness.
Not taking care of yourself will always catch up to you sooner or later.
Sound familiar? May be you have had a wake-up call of your own.
I want to share with you 30 Self-Care Habits from Tracy Kennedy of Lifehack.org
She has combined 30 Ways to Take Care of Yourself mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Of course I put my personal tone and touch in there, but the original is credited to Tracy
Deep breathing increases circulation by bringing oxygen to your muscles and brain. This increased oxygen content leads to greater energy and healthier muscles, organs and tissues.
Breathe deeply more often. In fact, experts recommendation is to develop the habit of practicing deep breathing every day.
What happened when you started to read this? Did you take a deep breath? Great, you’re already practicing self-care.
2. Eat Well
Your body is a machine and food is your fuel. Simple as that. I’ve learned two main things studying diets over the years and working with top health doctors:
First, focus on eating real, whole, nutrient-dense food; avoid processed foods and refined sugars. The truth is you should avoid all forms of sugar.
Secondly, find what works for you. There are lots of options out there – Paleo, Mediterranean, plant-based, you name it.
3. Stay Hydrated
The human body is composed of 50-65% water. Some parts of our bodies, like our brain, heart and lungs, are more than 70%. Drinking water is a simple, effective way to take care of yourself.
You should practice to start your day before breakfast, with a glass of warm water with some lime or lemon juice in it. That’s a most effective way of activating your cell to fight and combat the many battles throughout the day.
Aim to drink eight 8-ounce glasses daily. It takes no extra time, energy and effort, so grab a glass and start hydrating.
I used to wear it as a badge of honor that I didn’t sleep much. However, increasingly more studies are coming out on the importance of getting enough quality sleep and, more importantly, the consequences when you don’t.
The world over, people are being deprived of necessary sleep, and they are doing more harm than good to their health.
Make sleep a priority. Your mind and body will thank you.
5. See Your Doctor
How long have you been putting off making an appointment, tolerating constant pain or dealing with something that just isn’t right?
Most things can be dealt with if they’re caught early – and are much harder to manage if you wait. Grab your phone, schedule an appointment now.
6. Express Gratitude
In order to live a life we love, we must first love the life we live. Research continues to surface on the science and benefits of gratitude.
Gratitude is the quality of being thankful; we should be always ready to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Being grateful is one of the simplest, yet most powerful, things you can do to take care of yourself. Here’re 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude.
7. Take Supplements
Name what ails you and research or ask your doctor (preferably an alternative medical practitioner) what vitamins, minerals, or herbs can support your health and well-being.
For example, those with a B-12 deficiency are much more likely to experience anxiety and Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to all sorts of health problems.
I take turmeric/curcumin to reduce inflammation, and B2 and magnesium supplements recommended by my neurologist for hormonal migraines.
You should be willing to include supplements in your diet. Because what you are doing is supplementing your diet with those nutrients absent from your daily consumption that the body requires.
Always make sure to check the quality and efficacy.
8. Hug Your Kid, Spouse or Loved Ones
Based on scientific findings, the benefits of hugging go beyond that warm feeling you get when you hold someone in your arms. Scientists say that giving another person support through hug, can reduce the stress of the person, especially in difficult moments.
They believe that the stress-reducing effects of hugging might also work to keep you healthier.
Hugging boosts your oxytocin levels (the love hormone), increases serotonin (elevates mood and creates happiness), strengthens the immune system, boosts self-esteem, lowers blood pressure, balances the nervous system and releases tension.
Only a few seconds can put you in a positive mood.
Yep, you knew this was coming, didn’t you? However, when I think of meditation, it has nothing to do with practices that have Eastern mysticism as their foundation.
From the Holy Bible, Psalm 19:14 states, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
My meditation is to focus solely on the Word of God and what it reveals about the God of the Word. So, if you’re one of those people who think you can’t meditate (I feel you, I was one of you!), no more excuses. Try it.
10. Get Bodywork
I said that massage wasn’t the only form of self-care, but it is a good one!
Bodywork is a staple of my self-care routine. Our bodies store emotional tension in ways that we don’t even realize, and bodywork allows us to release that tension.
Options include chiropractic, stretching, cranial-sacral therapy, myofascial release work, osteopathy and reflexology.
11. Take a Hike
Get the blood flowing. We all know the benefits of exercise. This might be a walk, run, hike, trip to the gym, yoga or stretching. Whatever you do, get your blood and body moving.
Ever year the Men’s Ministry in the church where I worship, plan a hike to the Blue Mountains. That is the highest peak in the island of Jamaica.
That is indeed a good workout, because if you are not physically and mentally ready for it, you might not make it to the top.
12. Spend Time with Those You Love
Schedule a date night with your partner, a special day with your kiddo or happy hour with your BFF. We are biologically hardwired for relationships and connection.
Studies prove that people who socialize often have higher levels of happiness. This doesn’t have to be face-to-face; sometimes a phone call is all you need (and can fit in!).
13. Take a Vacation (or a Staycation)
More than 50% of Americans don’t use all of their vacation days. Take time off away from the routine of life. Make time to have fun, recover and re-energize.
Especially for partners who are experiencing some challenging situations. Be it relational, marital, family or job related, breaking away from your familiar environment can heal.
14. Do Something Just for Fun
When was the last time you did something because it was fun or gave you joy? Not because it had a tangible benefit, purpose or ROI?
Crank up the music and dance. Laugh with your kids. Head to the bowling alley. Play a game. Write. Buy flowers. Follow your passions. Attend a fun event.
The real ROI? A better, more energized, happier self.
15. Treat Yourself and Your Body
When you look good, you feel good. You are what you think about yourself.
Get a haircut, have your nails done, enjoy a facial, manicure or pedicure. When we take care of how we look physically, we feel better emotionally.
16. Spend Time in Nature
Studies have shown spending time in nature has a wide range of health benefits including lowering your stress hormone levels.
Get outside, create a backyard garden and mingle with nature.
Head to the forest, hit the beach or take a hike. Walking barefoot and ‘grounding’ can be especially healing.
17. Eliminate Toxicity and Negativity
Toxic people are contagious. Make a conscious effort to hang out with people who feed your soul and make you feel energized and alive. Eliminate or reduce the amount of time you spend with people and situations that drain you or leave you feeling exhausted.
Surround yourself with love, encouragement and positive energy.
18. Take a Bath
This is a simple and inexpensive way to take care of yourself.
Add in a little Epsom Salts, essential oils or that bath bomb you have lying around. Light a candle, sit back, relax and unwind.
19. Practice Self-Reflection
Self-reflection is about taking a step back and reflecting on your life, behavior and beliefs.
Take time regularly to hop off the hamster wheel of life. Think about what’s working and what’s not, acknowledge your wins and successes; identify what to keep and what needs to change.
Try journaling or check out tips for self-reflection here: How Self-Reflection Gives You a Happier and More Successful Life
20. Feed Your Mind
The number one way to positively feed your mind is to read the Word of God every day. Another way to feed your mind and educate your philosophy is through the writings of influential people. Maybe you can’t meet the person, but you can read his or her books.
Learn something new! As humans, we have a need to use our full cognitive capacity. We are here to grow and evolve and learning is a huge piece of us feeling energized and alive.
Take a class or online course. Read a book. Listen to a podcast.
21. Lend a Hand
We also have a need for significance, contribution and making a difference. Among many other benefits, volunteering has been shown to help people feel healthier and happier.
22. Unpack your Baggage
Self-care is about taking care of your whole self. Often this means dealing with emotional trauma, past events or limiting beliefs.
See a therapist. Talk to a coach. Have the conversation you need to have with that person you’ve been angry with for decades.
23. Be Adventurous
Get outside your comfort zone. Be brave. Challenge yourself.
Whether that be a backpacking trip, trying a new activity, or pushing yourself physically, mentally or emotionally, you’ll feel proud, confident and strong.
24. Tidy up!
There’s a reason Marie Kondo has become a sensation. When we seek minimization in our homes, schedules, and lives, we feel more at ease and less stressed.
Try simplifying one area of your life and experience a new level of peace. Have a read on Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, it may inspire you a lot!
25. Feed Your Spirit
Remember you are Spirit, Soul and Body. Ignoring any one can cause your life to be unbalanced. How are you feeding your soul? This can be anything that relates to you feeling inspiration which means, ‘in spirit’.
Connect with what makes you feel close to something deeper, bigger, higher – or makes you feel more connected to yourself. This might include Christian meditation, spiritual or religious study.
26. Get Creative
We all have a need to grow, use our creativity and express ourselves fully. Find your creative outlet. Paint, dance or take photos.
Not artistically creative? Ask questions, problem-solve or build something.
One of my daughters loves building. When she ideates, draws up plans and brings them to life, she is noticeably happier and more confident.
27. Be True to Yourself
Self-awareness and being true to yourself are essential to living a happy, fulfilled and successful life; therefore, these are critical elements of self-care.
Listen to your inner voice. Identify what you need. When we are out of alignment with ourselves, we are more stressed, overwhelmed and at higher risk for health issues.
You can only be true to yourself when you have found your true self. You can only know yourself through your creator. And the creator has revealed Himself through His Son Yeshua.
28. Set Boundaries
This is important to healthy relationships, a strong sense of self-esteem and healthy life. You must know what you will and won’t accept.
Identify where energy is leaking out from your life. If you continue to give when you have nothing to give or say ‘yes’ when you mean ‘no’, you will continue to suffer.