How to Live Your Best Life — One Day At A Time
Guest post courtesy of Emma Grace Brown, author of EmmaGraceBrown.com
Your life is made up of a series of days, and you owe it to yourself to make each one matter. Doing this, however, means that you have to tackle the ever-elusive concept of self-care. But what is it? And how can you indulge your needs without overextending your income? Scroll on for a quick explanation of self-care and tips on how to incorporate it into your days.
At its core, self-care is simply the small actions we do to upkeep our physical, mental, and emotional health. Simple activities, like eating a healthy breakfast and spending time with friends and family, fall under the scope of self-care. Other actions, like taking time off, doing yoga, and enjoying the occasional massage, are also self-care.
What’s more, the things that help you live your best life may not be the same as your neighbors. Some things, like getting enough sleep and proper nutrition, are universal, but your self-care plan should be unique, including the little things in your life that make it worth living.
Caring For Your Body
Your first priority as it relates to self-care is to ensure that your body is healthy. With that in mind, exercise is one of the cornerstones of self-care. It can help to control your weight, avoid illnesses and diseases, and strengthen your bones and muscles. The benefits of exercise extend to your brain as well since it can improve your mood, keep cognitive functions sharp, and even ward off mental illness.
Make it a point to exercise on a routine basis. Even ten minutes at a time, a few minutes every day can make a difference in how you feel. If you have trouble staying on track, try using a coaching app like LadyBoss Pocket Personal Trainer. Designed to also encourage proper eating habits, this app will allow you to tailor a workout to your personal needs and can even teach you how to do new exercises.
Caring For Your Mind
If stress, anxiety, or depression are unwelcome daily companions, your self-care rituals should include things like meditation and mindfulness. Taking a little time out of your day to focus, relax, and savor the moment can help to recharge your battery and improve your well-being. In fact, the benefits of meditation are extensive, from reducing stress to improving your attention span to helping you sleep better. Guided meditation is a great way to start, and it’s easy with apps like InsightTimer or NuCalm.
Vitamins and supplements aside, there are actions that can improve your mind and body simultaneously. Taking a bath at the end of a long day is an excellent example. Pentucket Medical expounds on the benefits of a warm bath by citing warm water’s ability to balance your hormones and soothe muscles, bones, and joints. Just as important, those precious minutes that you are alone can help you reflect on your day and give you an opportunity to sort out emotional events. Add bubbles, candles, and some quiet music for the ultimate (affordable) relaxation experience.
Another idea for self-care is reading fiction, which Psychology Today explains actually has a beneficial physical effect on the brain. If you think you don’t have time to read, keep in mind that the bath is an excellent location to catch up on your favorite novel, whether in paper form or via an e-reader.
Self-care matters for so many reasons, and it has an effect on your mind, body, and soul. Take the time to care for yourself today. You do not want to wake up one morning and realize that you spent every day prior to caring for everything else and left yourself on the sidelines.