Wrapping up our team’s 30-Day Self-Care Challenge during April, some themes emerged that are important to keep in mind when you are thinking about some of the things that you need in order to create greater wellness in your life. Following are 7 Must Have’s In A Self-Care Toolkit:
- Exercise/Movement – in any form is so important for mental and physical health. Whether that be walking, sports, yoga or a Zumba class in your livingroom, exercise is proven to be good for every aspect of our health.
- Positive Mindset – this is such a broad topic and a difficult thing to achieve because our brains are programmed to focus more on negative. But there are simple strategies you can use to generate more positivity in your day a. gratitudes – naming the things you are grateful improves your immune system, mood and social connections b. positive affirmations – to start with ones that you believe to be true to build yourself up slowly c. offer a compliment to another person.
- Enjoyable Activities – this can be something fun like painting, kicking around a soccer ball, baking, bike-riding, or any kind of hobby helps to bring simple joy and pleasure into your life.
- Nutrition – we can’t say enough about feeding your body with healthy foods that boost energy and stimulate the vagus nerve sending positive messages to your brain.
- Supportive People – surrounding yourself with positive people who you can genuinely connect with, but having one person in your life who has your back is the single most important social factor in maintaining health throughout life.
- Meaningful engagement – paid or volunteer work, acts of kindness and/or other activities that warm your heart and that you truly enjoy is so important to boosting your mental health.
- Outdoor time – fresh air, feeling the warmth of the sunshine, and generally spending time outdoors boosts your mood and overall well-being.
What you might find is that some of these will overlap, so it makes it easy to integrate them into your life on a regular basis. For example, if you go for a walk outdoors and create a feeling of gratitude, return to a healthy snack – right there you have covered four of the 7 tools. Enjoy!