Self-Care Tips

Hydrate

Did you know that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:

~11.5 cups (2.7 liters) for women

~15.5 cups (3.7 liters) for men

TIP #1. To make sure you get your daily intake (or at least close to it), try filling up 4-5 large sports bottles (~25-40 oz. each) in the morning and leave them in various rooms throughout your house.  It makes it easier to consume if it's right at your fingertips

TIP #2. Try adding fruit and/or veggies to your water to make water consumption more interesting. Some of our favorite blends:

-Lemon & Blackberries

-Orange & Blueberries

-Cucumber & Mint

Laugh

It's time to call that friend that makes you laugh EVERY time, or watch that movie that has you peeing in your pants :)

 

According to TIME magazine, laughter has a number of proven health benefits, with "helping to reverse the body’s reaction to stress" at the top of the list! TIME states: “…Laughter appears to cause all the reciprocal, or opposite, effects of stress,” Berk explains. He says laughter shuts down the release of stress hormones like cortisol. It also triggers the production of feel-good neurochemicals like dopamine, which have all kinds of calming, anti-anxiety benefits. Think of laughter as the yin to stress’s yang.”

Apparently, just one minute of laughter can boost your immune system for over 24 hours. SIGN ME UP!!! 

Sleep Well

If you feel guilty about sleeping in, DON'T, here's two great reasons to roll over and go back to bed: 


1. The immune system and inflammation heals itself during deep, long sleep stretches


2. There’s a strong correlation between lack of sleep and acne, so doctors recommend sleeping for a full eight hours in order to allow skin to perform the maintenance necessary for glowing skin

Eat Well

Whether you follow a vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, Paleo or frankly, any diet, eating well is a balancing act.  It's a balance of getting the right amount of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals in our diets to sustain a healthy body.  It is best to consult with a nutritionist to create a plan right for you, but here are some basics to think about:

Protein:  Gives you the energy to get up and go and keep going while also supporting mood and cognitive function.

Fat: Not all fat is the same.  Whole bad fats wreck your diet and increase your risk of certain diseases, good fats protect your brain and heart.  In fact, healthy fats (avocados, salmon, walnuts, etc) are vital to your physical and emotional health.  Including more healthy fat in your diet can also help to improve your mood and boost your well-being.

Fiber: Eating food high in dietary fiber (grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts and beans) can help you stay regular and lower your risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.  It can also improve your skin and even help you to lose weight.

Calcium: As well as leading to osteoporosis, not getting enough calcium in your diet can also contribute to anxiety, depression and sleep difficulties.  Whatever your age or gender, it's vital to include calcium-rich foods in your diet, limit those that deplete calcium and get enough magnesium and vitamins D and K to help calcium do it's job.

Carbohydrates: are on of your body main sources of energy, but most should come from complex, unrefined carbs (vegetables, whole grains, fruit) rather than sugars and refined carbs.  Cutting back on white bread, pastries, starches and sugar can prevent rapid spikes in blood sugar, fluctuations in mood and energy and a build up of fat, especially around your waistline.

Exercise

Exercise is one area of your life that you should faithfully commit to doing each day.  Whether it's a 15-20 minute stroll after dinner, an endorphin boost from running, or the stress relief you get post yoga workout, it's all highly encouraged to keep yourself well.  

TIP: There are so many wonderful (free & paid), virtual classes out there.  Two of our favorites: Yoga/Pilates (www.strongandbalanced.com) HIIT - High Intensity Interval Training (www.workouthotel.com)

Clean Well

Cleaning well goes beyond hand washing and cleaning your bathroom.  I think we have all heard  about proper hand washing and bathroom protocols over the past several months to ensure we are helping to stop the spread, so here are some other excellent tips from Dr. Charles Gerba, a microbilogosit at the University of Arizona, who outlines cleaning tips, for your kitchen, to keep you well:

1. Throw out and replace your kitchen sponge monthly.

Tip: If you cut your sponge in half, you can use one half for two weeks and the other half of the remainder of the month; for less waste.

2. Use multiple cutting boards(one for meat/one for veggies, etc)

3. Clean the fridge door handle and sink faucet often as it's high use and people tend to hang towels there, which harbor bacteria.

4. Pay close attention to the bottom of the fridge, as everything drips down (likely to contaminate and it's the first place that will get mold.

5. Do NOT place purses on counter tops as they tent to have bacteria on them.

6. Floors are less of a concern if you don't have toddlers crawling around on them; if you do, make sure to wash your floors with white vinegar and water at least once a week.

7. Make sure to wash reusable grocery bags regularly as they can hide bacteria in them and you should use separate bags for meat, produce, etc, to limit cross-contamination between food.

8. Change out kitchen towels (and bathroom hand towels) daily to minimize the chance of bacteria growing on towels.

9. Use disinfectant wipes over sprays, if possible, as with a spray you are technically supposed to wet the area and let it sit for 10 minutes.  Also, when using wipes, you may need to use multiple so you don't just spread bacteria around.  One wipe can clean about a meter square of space.

Relax

While soaking in a bath is a great and instant way to get you to relax, not all people are "bath" people.  So, for those of you who shutter at the sound of "sitting and soaking" for a long period, here are a few alternative ideas on how you can relax:

Soak your feet & put on a face mask, while you read your favorite book or magazine.  For those who have a hard time sitting still, this will make you feel super productive. Not only will this help to relax you, but it will soften your feet & leave your face glowing!

Diffuse essential oils.  Lavender, Lemongrass, Ylang-Ylang, Bergamot, are just a few oils that help you to relax (and also smell amazing).  If you don't have a diffuser, no problem, here's one of our favorite hacks;  just add a few drops to a tissue and tape the tissue to fan. The fan instantly turns into a diffuser.  This is my go to when traveling; I turn the fan/air conditioner into a diffuser and make the room instantly smell and feel like home.

Self-Massage with a tennis ball helps to relieve stress and muscle tension. It can be as easy as using a tennis ball and the wall Place the tennis ball onto your back/shoulders where you need the pressure and then lean against the wall or a chairback for eight to 10 seconds. You can also tape two tennis balls together and then place one on each side of your spine and lean so they massage the muscles on each side.”

Meditate

Concentration and Mindfulness are two types of meditation techniques (among many). While each have their own method, the goal is the same; to train the mind, as well as, help you to relax.

Concentration meditation has you focus on a single point (your breath, repetition of a single word or mantra, staring at a candle flame, listening to a repetitive gong, etc). Focusing the mind is quite challenging for a beginner, so they may just meditate for a few minutes to start and then increase duration over time. The idea is to refocus your awareness on the chosen object of attention each time you notice your mind wandering. Instead of pursuing random thoughts, you simply let them go. Through this process and over time your ability to concentrate improves.

Mindfulness meditation encourages the practitioner to observe wandering thoughts as they drift through the mind; not to get involved with the thoughts or to judge , but simply to be aware .  Over time with  mindfulness meditation, you can see how your thoughts and feelings tend to move in particular patterns; and this enables you to be aware of the human tendency to quickly judge an experience as good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant. With practice, an inner balance develops.

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