This is the perfect time to reflect on what we (you and I) can do to take care of ourselves during this busy time of year to reduce stress – actually, if we take care of ourselves year-round that would be best!
Each of us has three parts to think about when we talk about self-care.
Brain, Body, and Heart & Soul
It’s clear that when you take good care of your body it is easier to stay healthy. A nutritionally sound diet (by diet I mean way of eating) is complete with protein, fruits and vegetables. It’s easier to maintain a healthy weight when you eat this way. Having said that, when we (by that I really mean I)over- indulge in holiday treats we know this is only temporary.
Refrain from empty snacking. By that I mean snacks with little or no nutritional value (think chips). Snack on healthy nuts, like almonds or a piece of fruit.
Drink plenty of water. Especially when you’re out at a party. Have a glass of wine, beer or cocktail and then also a glass of water. This will help to limit the amount of alcohol you consume and also to dilute the alcohol in your body.
It’s clear that everyone gets thirsty but did you know that your muscles need water to keep working well for you? Also, your brain works better when your body is well hydrated. These are just a few of the very good reasons to make drinking water a habit. Read this article to learn about the health benefits of drinking water.
About your brain. Research shows that your brain actually hits its peak around age 30. Wow! That’s kind of depressing. However; research also shows that we can open new neural pathways to keep our brains healthy by exercising and learning new skills. So, if we want to keep our brains as active and healthy as possible it’s important to do physical and mental exercise.
You can play online computer games targeting different areas of your thinking skills like processing speed, memorization, language skills. You can workout at a gym. Keeping your body strong also helps to keep your brain strong and active.
You can also do what I do and dance! Research shows that dancing is the one form of exercise which combines physical exercise with mental agility. When you dance you learn new steps and new routines. There are all sorts of benefits to learning to dance. Read this article for more information:
What about your heart and soul? It’s very hard to continually give of yourself; your time, talents, love and energy without recharging. Think about ways in which to recharge the battery of your heart and soul.
Do something for yourself.
Here are some suggestions:
A visit to a spa
Lunch with a friend
Go to a movie you’ve been wanting to see
Buy yourself some flowers
Take some time alone to read a book
Do a project for yourself
Write a letter
Write your thoughts in a journal
Go to church or some other place of worship
You will probably think of other ways that will work best for you. The idea is that when we take care of our whole self we will have the resources which will allow us to be our best selves.
Have a safe and Happy Holiday!