Courtesy of Independent Health’s Corporate Wellness Team

In this fast-paced world of nonstop work and commitments, it’s easy to neglect ourselves and put our own self-care at the bottom of our to-do list. Many of us prioritize our children, parents, spouses, and friends above our own needs. But self-care doesn’t mean you are choosing yourself over your loved one. Instead, you are simply being mindful of your own needs and doing things that keep you living well both physically and mentally. As a result, you will be better able to support others and have positive relationships. 

It’s important to take good care of your body, mind, and soul every day, not just when you get sick. You cannot give to others what you haven’t given to yourself first. Therefore, it’s okay to move yourself to the top of your agenda. Every act of self-care, no matter how big or small, can go a long way in keeping you happy and healthy. 

Here are some tips to help you get started with prioritizing your own health and well-being: 

  • Visit your doctor. Make sure you are staying up to date on your preventive care services, including a comprehensive annual well visit, routine blood panel, and age-appropriate screenings. 
  • Get physically active. Exercise has many health benefits, including making your body stronger while giving your brain and mood a boost. Whether it’s taking a walk around your neighborhood or lifting weights at the gym, aim for at least 20-30 minutes of physical activity a day.  
  • Focus on whole foods. Whole foods, like fruits, vegetables and whole grains, contain vitamins and minerals to fuel you throughout the day and help keep your mood in check. Try to limit caffeinated beverages, such as soft drinks or coffee, along with highly processed foods. 
  • Get adequate sleep. High-quality sleep is essential for good health. Create and maintain a consistent bedtime routine so that you can get at least seven to nine hours of sleep each night.  
  • Find ways to manage stress. Try to de-stress so that you can feel your best. Download a mindfulness app to your smartphone to incorporate meditation, muscle relaxation, or breathing exercises into your daily schedule. Also, schedule regular times for relaxing activities such as journaling or yoga. 
  • Focus on positivity. Find ways to mitigate and manage negative thoughts and feelings. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a mental health counselor if you need help.  
  • Stay connected. Human connection is an inherent need and vital to overall well-being. Reach out to your friends or family members, take part in group activities and get involved in your community by volunteering. 

By checking in on yourself every day, you will be able to recharge your body, brain and heart and avoid burnout.