Self care should be an integral part of our daily routine. These simple, every day practices improve health outcomes and positively influence our overall wellness, both physical and emotional. In this post we look at seven methods to improve self-care and create a healthy mind, body and spirit.
What are the best methods of self-care that improve overall health outcomes?
- Spend Time In Meditation;
- Ensuring Adequate Sleep;
- Learn To Say No;
- Spend Your Evenings Unplugged;
- Set Goals and Monitor Progress;
- Build Affirmations Into Your Routine;
- Treat Yourself To Time In Nature.
7 Self Care Techniques To Improve Health Outcomes.
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1) Practice Meditation.
Meditation is a wonderful way to practice physical, emotional, psychological, personal and spiritual self care.
When we meditate we nourish our mind, body, and spirit all at the same time.
Studies show that practicing meditation reduces stress levels, lowers anxiety and can reduce depressive feelings. It allows us to connect with our inner child and true self.
Meditation also allows us the time to spend in self discovery. This increases our emotional intelligence and self awareness. Meditation also improves our overall sleep patterns.
We are able to focus our meditation on areas of life that need attention or are a focus of our self care plan. We can actively choose to meditate on increasing our love of self, our self esteem and confidence, our focus, our dreams and goals, and any other aspect we wish to manifest in life.
2) Ensuring Adequate Sleep.
Implementing self-care practices ensure all our physical and emotional needs are met to keep us in good health.
Sleep has a massive effect on how we cope in everyday life. Our levels of sleep impact how we feel and function physically and emotionally. A lack of sleep is a major cause of many health issues.
How then do we make sleep part of our self-care routine to improve health outcomes?
The first step is to study your “before bed” routines. Take note of anything you eat or drink prior to going to bed.
To develop healthy rest cycles and sleep patterns is is necessary to avoid caffeine and sugary drinks. Both of these override our sleep signals and keep us awake.
The second step is to alleviate any stress or tension. Develop a routine that helps you to relax and calm yourself. This could be through meditation, as mentioned above. Alternatively you may prefer quiet music, a long warm bath, or burning some of your favorite relaxing essential oils.
Finally you need to ensure your bedroom is free from all distractions. Get rid of any televisions, laptops, mobile phones, etc. Your bedroom needs to be a place of peace and one that promotes relaxation.
Light is a major influencer of sleep, you need to make sure your bedroom has drapes or curtains that block all forms of light.
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3) Learn To Say No.
A vital step when we decide to practice self-care is to develop the ability to say ‘No’.
This is not to act in anyway negatively to the requests of others. Being able to say no is a sign of self worth and helps us protect our energies, personal time and space as well as, at times, our sanity.”
When we say No we should not feel selfish. There are times when we know we need to be with ourselves and doing things for ourselves. This is an important part of leading a healthy and balanced life.
It is also an enabler of self love. When we stop saying Yes to every request we find that we have more energy. So when we do say Yes and extend our help we do so fully and willingly.
4) Spend Your Evenings Unplugged.
There is much research and an ever increasing belief in the importance of unplugging ourselves from the digital world. Studies show that by spending time away from social media helps lower anxiety and unplugging laptops keep our evenings free from work that could be assigned to the day.
It is vital that we put aside some quality time to do what makes us happy, and that stimulates our interests, our creative desires and enables us to focus on anything other than digital stimuli.
5) Set Goals And Monitor Progress.
Spend time proving to yourself that you are able to achieve the goals and ambitions you set for yourself. If this makes you anxious or nervous then start small.
Make your first goal a simple and small step that you want to see achieved in your life and that you know will make you happy once manifested. This may be to go for a 10 minute walk each day, or to spend half an hour on a creative endeavour.
Taking time to note and monitor your progress makes it more likely that you will achieve your goals.
Tracking progress helps us see our improvements, recognize our success and proves that our self care practices are having a positive impact to improve health outcomes.
Keeping notes of the progress we are making also helps to maintain our focus and triggers in us a way to be accountable for our efforts.
It is important to remember that the goal setting journey is a process. So remind yourself that you may not see results immediately and that you may even need to change processes or time frames.
As long as you continue to note your progress and reward yourself for successes any need for change or alterations along the way can be seen for what it is, a planned diversion to ensure ultimate success.
6) Build Affirmations Into Your Routine.
Affirmations are statements of positive intent that help us challenge negative thought patterns and overcome self sabotage. By repeating them on a regular basis we teach our subconscious to accept and believe them. This helps us to make the positive change we wish to see in our lives.
In the same way we do repetitive forms of exercise to maintain, and improve, physical health, the positive affirmations are exercises that keeps our mind healthy and improves our outlook.
By building these positive repetitions into our daily routine we can reprogram our thinking. This leads to the development of different, more positive, thinking and behaviours.
7) Treat Yourself To Time In Nature – Improve Health Outcomes.
Many studies have shown that spending time in a natural environment promotes within us a sense of calm and wellbeing. When in nature we experience lower levels of stress.
The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, published a report in 2009 that concluded the closer you lived to nature, the healthier you were likely to be.
Other studies found evidence that those who exercised in parks, or environments that had natural green settings (such as foliage or views of landscapes) felt more emotionally restored, were less anxious, had fewer episodes of anger and were less likely to become depressed.
When we spend time outdoors, whether in a remote natural setting or a nearby urban park, we experience internal quiet, a sense of peace and feelings of strength.
We are able to connect with our inner self and recognize our truths. Spend time allowing your feet to connect with the earth and your skin sensing wind and sun for a self care remedy to improve health outcomes.