5 Simple Self Care Practices for Optimal Wellness
By: Tammy Sarmiento, MSN, FNP-C
Improving overall wellness can be as simple as including self-care practices into your daily routine. Implementing these mindful practices can jump start you on your path to a healthier lifestyle. Here are five ideas to help you start:
1. Sleep Well
We all need good sleep. Research suggests that the average person should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep daily. Getting enough sleep at the right times plays a significant role in our overall health. Research also confirms that quality sleep promotes brain, heart, and lung function, helps regulate metabolism, improves immune function and mood, and provides disease resistance. Chronic lack of sleep, or getting poor quality sleep, has been shown to increase our risk of chronic disease including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and obesity. Try these tips to improve your quality of sleep:
- Establish a routine bedtime, no matter what.
- Declutter your sleeping space.
- Turn off the distractions – no TV, radio, or social media.
2. Stay Hydrated
Are you drinking enough water? Water is essential to human life. Staying hydrated promotes increased cognitive function, plays a vital role in food digestion, and removes unused waste byproducts. Tips to promote hydration:
- Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink water.
- Consider using a reusable water bottle to keep track of your daily intake.
- Drink 8 ounces of water in the morning to start your day and 8 ounces of water before bed.
- Avoid sugary and highly caffeinated drinks, which can contribute to dehydration.
3. Eat Mindfully
Are you getting a well-balanced diet with nutrient-dense foods? Most of us opt for the quickest and cheapest meal options on the go. Here are some tips to encourage mindful eating:
- Ditch the processed and fast foods and instead opt for fresh fruits, vegetables and meats.
- Cook at home using meal prep ideas that are quick, easy, and nutrient-dense – meal preparation and planning is key to staying on track and sticking to your plan.
- Consult with a Dietitian to develop an individualized plan based on your needs.
4. Keep Moving
Remember that “a body in motion stays in motion” and stays healthier, too! Try these tips to get you moving:
- Go for a quick walk 15 minutes after each meal.
- Join a group exercise class.
- Find someone to hold you accountable.
5. Disconnect for Mental Health
Set aside time in your daily routine to disconnect from work, school and social media. Designate a few minutes each day for “me time.”
- Try meditation.
- Treat yourself to a massage.
- Read a book.
- Reach out to family and friends by sending them a handwritten card or letter. Shop cards below!
- Take a few minutes to do some deep breathing exercises.