self-care awareness month

Self-Care Awareness Month

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self-care awareness month

September is the perfect time to hit the “reset” button in terms of prioritizing our needs, as it is Self-Care Awareness Month. This month reminds us the practice of self-care isn’t selfish, at all, it’s necessary. Check out a few ways you can promote self-care in your life, so you can emerge refreshed, and ready to take on the world. 

What is Self-Care?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), self-care is defined as “the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.”
 
However, this definition is a bit broad, as the concept of self-care varies from person to person. Different people will adopt different self-care practices, and your own definition of self-care might change over time. When self-care is regularly practiced, the benefits are enormous and have even been linked to positive health outcomes, such as reduced stress.

Stress is a part of life. It’s something we all experience, and not all stress is bad stress. But there is such a thing as too much stress, and, according to Mayo Clinic, it can impact your health, even leading to conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

That’s why it’s important to take care of yourself, and designing your own stress-management routine may help.

Too often, the phrase “self-care” is conflated with pampering, expensive indulgences and selfishness. In truth, self-care is a priority, not a luxury. In honor of Self-Care Awareness Month, which happens every September, we’re sharing 7 ideas to consider adding to your self-care routine.

Ways to Practice Self-Care

Unsure where to begin? Not to worry. We’ve compiled a list to inspire you and get you started on your self-care journey.
 

Unplug (Just for a Little Bit)

While technology is a great way to communicate and stay connected, unplugging from your phone for a few hours can really improve your stress levels. It’s easy to lose touch with reality and feel too wired. It’s important to take some time and do something for yourself that isn’t related to browsing the Internet or related to your kids.
 

Schedule a Spa-From-Home Evening

We know there’s more to self-care than running a bubble bath, putting on a face mask, and lighting a candle. However,  there’s no denying that taking time out of your busy schedule to relax is important for your well-being and sometimes, a comforting bath can be that moment of relaxation you’re looking for. 
 

Meditate to Clear Your Mind

Meditation doesn’t necessarily mean you need to light some incense, cross your legs and anoint your pulse points with essential oils (though that’s not a bad idea). All you need to do is take a few minutes to sit, stand, or close your eyes and breathe. Try to focus on full, deep breaths that permeate your entire body, filling your lungs, muscles, and limbs with oxygen. When breathing out, visualize releasing your stress and anxiety. This is a quick and easy exercise you can do almost anywhere.
 

Get Outdoors

Spending time outdoors can help to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and help you be more mindful. Getting outside is a great way to increase positivity and can also help you sleep better at night. Studies have shown that getting outside for a leisurely walk through nature can help reduce stress and alleviate anxiety.
 

Practice Gratitude

Showing gratitude and appreciation can make you feel happier. To get started with a gratitude practice, you can try meditation, journaling, or simply paying attention to the little things in life that bring you joy. If practiced regularly, gratitude can help provide more positive long-term effects on your mental health and well-being.

 

Hydrate

Water is an essential element needed for your body and brain to achieve a happier and healthier you. Staying hydrated has numerous benefits to your health. It helps to improve your complexion, flush toxins from the body, and increase energy levels. It is recommended that you shoot for drinking about half your weight in fluid ounces of water each day. 
 

Be Kind to Yourself

Whatever your self-care routine is, adding affirmations is a great way to add the power of positive thinking to your activities. Pick a positive phrase and say it to yourself throughout the day, especially at points where you may feel negativity creeping in. A few to start with:
 
-I am worthy of love and joy
-I can do this
-Today I will be kinder to myself than yesterday
-My self-care is my priority, no matter how busy I am today.
 
What are your favorite ways to promote self-care? Let us know in the comments!

The best self-care and self-management routine is one that you love and can commit to. And the best time to start that routine is when your stress is low; then, when stress levels rise, you’ve already established healthy habits to fall back on.

If you’d like more about Self-Care learn about the dimensions to total wellness on season 3 of the Circle of Qi Podcast™.  Click here to listen to season 3

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