Taking care of yourself is probably one of the most important things you can do. Caring for yourself and feeling good about yourself are intertwined, so stay motivated and keep up your self-care practices!
Here are some helpful tips from recent research (remember to consult your physician before items 1-3):
- The importance of exercise cannot be overstated – research shows that exercise may be an effective way of preventing or decreasing depressive symptoms. For maximum benefit, make your exercise routine fun and purposeful.
- Modest weight loss can improve your health — losing as little as 5 percent of your body weight has been shown to reduce the risk of certain diseases. The best way to lose pounds is to monitor your weight, your food intake, and your exercise. Simple diet changes can make a big difference, for example, by burning 100 calories more than you take in each day, you could lose 10 pounds in a year.
- Give yourself a massage. Use a tennis ball in your office, place it between your shoulder blades and the wall, and do deep knee bends to give yourself a back massage. Research shows that massage lessens stress, depression, and anxiety, and can be helpful with reducing pain associated with migraines or lower back stress. You can also treat yourself to a professional massage on occasion.
- Explore the benefits of meditation. A major focus of meditation is letting go and letting be. Much of our emotional and physical distress comes from pursuing things we want, and avoiding what we don’t want. Meditation helps you focus away from physical attachments and relax into the present moment, with an awareness of your breath, body, and emotions. With practice, meditation can be extremely helpful for staying centered and lowering anxiety and distress.
- Finding work-life balance is a good way to take care of yourself. Ways to obtain the most of both settings include maintaining an adequate time balance between
work and family, and finding ways to reduce your stress in either or both settings.
Be creative! Develop self-care and renewal strategies to use when you’re feeling overwhelmed, burned out, or bored. What will you do to re-energize?
– Angelis, T. (2002). If you do just one thing, make it exercise. Monitor on Psychology, 33(7), 49-51.
– Daw, J. (2002). Get the massage! Monitor on Psychology, 33(7), 55.
– Martin, S. (2002). Don’t think thin, think realistic. Monitor on Psychology, 33(7), 52-53.
– Murray, B. (2002). Finding the peace within us. Monitor on Psychology, 33(7), 56-57.
– Smith, D. (2002). Making work your family’s ally. Monitor on Psychology, 33(7), 58-60.