“Remember to be nice to yourself too” – Buddha
“Love yourself first, because that’s who you will be spending the rest of your life with” – Unknown
“Self love isn’t a destination. Self love is a journey that’s never ending. Never stop searching for more ways to love yourself ” – Reyna Biddy
Generally, most of us don’t take care of ourselves; Instead, we focus more on the well being of our loved ones. However, contrary to what some think, it is not wrong or selfish to make yourself a priority. If you can’t take care of yourself, how will you take care of others and set an example for your loved ones? Now, more than ever, we need to reflect and focus on taking care of ourselves.
The world today is a difficult, complicated place. The COVID-19 pandemic has consumed our lives. Newspapers, social media, print and TV channels – we are constantly surrounded by it. The virus has caused devastation, both in the economy and in life, beyond any imagination. Businesses are shutting down and millions are becoming unemployed. All of our minds start veering towards thoughts of disbelief, fear, and immense sadness. It is important to take into account that all this negative thinking has an impact on our bodies as well: The cells in our bodies react to everything that our minds are saying. Negativity can bring down our immune systems. So, we HAVE to take care of our body, mind, and well being – now more than ever.
How do we ensure Self Care in these times?
Even in uncertain moments, there are things we can do to ensure that we continue to be mentally and physically well. In my blog post on L.O.C.K.D.O.W.N I spoke about some of these (Read: https://ziptofitness.com/2020/05/12/l-o-c-k-d-o-w-n/).
In this post I want to remind you of some simple Self Care Tips that you need right now. These are the basic 4 pillars to a healthy lifestyle that I follow.
- Exercise – Stay Active. Movement of the body is so essential to a healthy mind. If you can’t do strenuous exercise, then walk or do stretches. Exercise not only changes your body, it changes your mind, your attitude, and your mood! One of the key benefits of exercise is that it is an incredible stress reliever. Endorphins are released when one exercises, which creates a positive feeling in the body, leading to reduced stress. (Read: https://ziptofitness.com/2020/06/12/the-power-of-stretches/ , https://ziptofitness.com/2018/03/13/30-active-minutes-a-day-keeps-the-doctor-away/ )
- Sleep – I can’t stress more on how important sleep is. It is something we completely look over. The levels of stress and depression that can come to you if you don’t sleep enough are tremendous. Your body needs a minimum of 6 – 8 hours of sleep a day. (Read: https://ziptofitness.com/2019/07/27/sleep-the-elexir-of-life/ , https://ziptofitness.com/2018/02/05/mantra-2/ , https://ziptofitness.com/2018/02/13/oh-to-sleep-like-a-baby/)
- Nutrition – When you are feeling low, stressed out, anxious, or depressed, how many times have you gone for that packet of potato chips? Binged on burgers, french fries, pizzas? Food is the most abused Anxiety Drug. Eat Healthy without being obsessed with Clean Eating. And remember the “Gut Microbiome”. Numerous studies in the past decade have demonstrated links between gut health and the immune system and mental health. Nutrition, diet, and gut health are closely linked. Avoiding processed foods, high-fat foods, and foods high in refined sugars is extremely important to maintain a healthy microbiome. There are a number of foods that you can eat to contribute beneficially to your overall health. (Read: https://ziptofitness.com/2018/11/25/g-bombs-nutrition-special-forces/ , https://ziptofitness.com/2018/03/06/super-foods/ , https://ziptofitness.com/2018/02/23/you-are-what-you-eat/)
- De – Stress – A very important element of coping with stress is talking about it. Talk to your family, your loved ones, and your friends. During this lockdown I have reached out to my “magic people” – my “tribe”. These are your connections, and the more positive your relationships are, the better you will be able to face life’s challenges. The support you get from your connections can add meaning and purpose to your life. One study showed that lack of social connection is a greater detriment to health than smoking, alcohol, high blood pressure, and lack of exercise! Most importantly, stay calm. Deep breathe. Allow your mind to rest. Be in the moment. Instead of focusing on the events or circumstances that are making you feel sad, angry, anxious, or depressed, start focusing your mind on the positives and blessings in your life. The key to de-stressing is how we respond to the downs that happen in our lives. (Read: https://ziptofitness.com/2018/01/29/stress-busters/)
Remember, YOU have the power to go into yourself and change the way you are feeling. Life is 10% of what happens around you and 90% of how you react to it.
Be in charge of how you feel and choose positivity, optimism, hope, and happiness.