In today’s high-stress, fast-pace, and never-stop environment, self-care has never been more important. It is safe to say that self-care has become a necessity, not a luxury, indulgence, or selfish activity as many would have you believe. In reality, self-care actually requires mental toughness, discipline, and an understanding and management of your priorities.
Self-care has the potential to boost self-confidence, boost your immunity, and lower your stress levels. Whether it is fancy bathing oils, expensive chocolates, or a spa day, everyone should practice whatever type of self-care works best for them. Try out these tips to make sure your year is full of self-love and self-care.
Personal Healthcare Tips
Health and nutrition can be a confusing topic for many, as even qualified experts seem to hold opposing opinions and haggle over the truth. This is demonstrated by the litany of studies that arise and seem to contradict one another. For instance, one week you will read or hear on the news that caffeine or avocados are good for you, and the next week they cause cancer. It is hard to believe that despite these contradictions, this information is generally well supported by research.
Instead, when practicing personal healthcare, it is recommended to ignore any pseudoscience or fad diets and stick to the tried and true health and nutrition tips that have stood the test of time.
Drink Plenty of Water – Staying hydrated increases your energy level and brain function, improves your mood and concentration, and maximizes your physical performance. The benefits of drinking enough water cannot be overstated. It is commonly recommended to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, but this largely depends on the individual and their level of physical activity.
Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables – Fruits and veggies are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and prebiotic fiber. Studies have shown that those who eat the recommended daily portion of fruits and vegetables experience a lower risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and in turn see a longer lifespan. A few vegetables considered among the healthiest include spinach, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and kale.
Eat Plenty of Nuts – While they are high in fat, nuts are also high in nutrients like vitamin E, magnesium, fiber, and various others. Nuts fight off illnesses like obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that nuts can even help you lose weight because the body does not absorb 10-15 percent of the calories found in nuts, which helps increase your metabolism. Almonds especially were shown to increase weight loss by 62 percent compared to other complex carbs.
Opt Often for Protein Like Fish – Fatty or oily fish, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, or trout, are an optimal source of healthy fats and protein. These fats are considered healthy, unlike saturated fats found in fatty cuts of meat like beef and pork. Healthy fats provide great health benefits for the brain, heart, lungs, and circulation, and lower the risk of heart disease, dementia, and depression. Fatty fish is also packed with omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA.
Take a Vitamin D Supplement – For those who are unable to get sufficient sun exposure, a vitamin D supplement is a great alternative. In fact, an estimated 41.6 percent of Americans are experience a vitamin D deficiency. A lack of this critical vitamin results in decreased strength and bone health and an increased risk of cancer and symptoms of depression. Studies have shown that sufficient vitamin D increases life expectancy. If you are suffering from other vitamin deficiencies, supplements like berry powder provide a wide range of antioxidants and nutrients.
Use Olive Oil – Extra virgin olive oil is generally considered the healthiest vegetable oil. It is packed with antioxidants that reduce inflammation and monounsaturated fats that improve heart health and reduce the risk of dying from a stroke or heart attack.
Get Plenty of Rest – Though often overlooked, a good night’s sleep is just as beneficial for health as eating healthy and exercising. Poor sleeping habits can reduce your mental and physical well being, interrupt your appetite hormones, and encourage insulin resistance. A lack of quality sleep puts you at an increased risk for obesity and weight gain, one study showing an increased risk of 55 percent in children and 89 percent in adults.
Avoid Sugary Drinks – Added sugar is one of the most harmful ingredients in today’s diet, as it can especially harm your metabolic health. Your body and brain do not measure or metabolize calories from liquid sugar in the same manner it does for food. Therefore, drinking sugary drinks, like soda or even certain fruit juices, results in a much higher total consumption of calories. Soft drinks high in sugar have been strongly linked to many health issues, like type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and cancer, just to name a few.
Avoid Processed Food – Processed junk food is especially unhealthy since it has been designed to be addictive, triggering your pleasure sensors in the brain, and tricking you into overeating. This has been found to promote food addiction in certain people. The main ingredients in junk food are mainly refined grains and added sugar. Therefore, they are almost entirely empty calories. These types of foods are generally low in micronutrients and important macronutrients like protein and fiber.
Do Cardio – A cardio workout, also known as aerobic exercise, has huge benefits for your physical and mental health. Anaerobic exercise is particularly effective at reducing belly fat, one of the most harmful types of fat that builds up around your organs and increases your chances of metabolic disease. Eating less refined carbs, which are processed to remove any fiber and low in nutrients, and instead eating more protein can contribute to the loss of stomach fat. A reduction in belly fat can lead to improvements in metabolic health.
Maintain Healthy Relationships – Not all personal healthcare is related to exercise and nutrition. Healthy social relationships are not only beneficial for your mental health but also your physical health. Studies have revealed that those who maintain healthy relationships with family and close friends experience longer and healthier lives than those who do not.
Following these few simple tips can make a drastic difference in improving your diet and overall wellness. When attempting to improve your lifestyle, focus on sleep, exercise, and social life along with a healthy diet. These tips above will have you on your way to feeling great every day.
Body confidence is a crucial part of personal healthcare. A lack of body confidence or poor body image can have a larger negative impact on quality of life than you may even realize. What starts out as negative thoughts can escalate into negative behavior like social anxiety and withdrawal.
Low self esteem or negative body image is a topic that should be taken very seriously, as it can come with significant effects both emotionally and physically. According to a survey, 91 percent of women suffer from negative body image. Many who suffer from negative body image are caught up in the concept of the perfect body and set unrealistic standards for themselves. This results in further disappointment and emotional distress. For some, a body confidence coach may be necessary.
The good news is there are multiple methods for tackling your insecurities whether they be hair loss, crooked teeth, or overall low body confidence.
Hair loss affects men, women, and children, and for various different reasons. For women, hair loss can be temporary, such as during pregnancy, and for men, hair loss is often hereditary. The most common type of hair loss is in men and known as male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia, the cause of 95 percent of hair loss for men. Male pattern baldness often occurs around 30 years of age, but can develop any time after puberty. Balding begins with the thinning of the hairline, generally in the shape of the letter “M” and then followed by a balding or thinning at the crown of the head.
Women can be affected by androgenetic alopecia but the pattern of balding is different than that of men. A woman’s hairline does not usually change, but they do experience a general thinning of hair around the crown. Generally, balding in women is seen around 30 years of age, but does not become noticeable until 40 years old, and even more so during menopause.
If you are experiencing lower self-esteem due to hair loss, there is an array of home remedy and treatment options available.
- Wash your hair with a medicated shampoo.
- Use the lowest setting on your hair dryer to avoid damaging your hair.
- Eat a well balanced diet and take a biotin or vitamin B7 supplement.
- Take steps to reduce stress if it may be contributing to your hair loss.
Although there is no definitive cure for hereditary hair loss, treatment can slow down or even halt hair loss and encourage regrowth. Treating your hair loss early will be most effective in preventing future loss. Hair transplants are an option, but are generally more successful in men compared to women.
One pharmaceutical treatment option available is minoxidil. This is a topical solution used for hereditary hair loss in men and women. The product is applied twice a day to the affected areas of the scalp. It generally takes four months until results are seen, and continuous treatment is needed to continue seeing benefits.
Finasteride is another available pharmaceutical treatment option. However, this product only treats hereditary hair loss in men. It is taken orally every day, in the form of a pill.
Crooked, damaged, or stained teeth can negatively impact your self esteem and result in poor body image. This can lead to someone being embarrassed of their smile or not smiling at all, worried about what people might think of them. For those who can afford dental care, a cosmetic dentist or orthodontist can help repair your teeth. For those experiencing anxiety because of a crooked smile, braces can be the answer to boosting your confidence.
Today, more adults are getting braces than ever before. The American Association of Orthodontists found that the rate of people with braces over 18 increased 14 percent from 2010 to 2012. In the United States and Canada combined, the number of adults with braces has surpassed one million.
The main reason adults are getting braces in such large numbers is because there are far more options available than ever before. Options include traditional braces, alingers, self-ligating braces, and lingual braces. In the past few years, products have been introduced that significantly speed up the process. Options like acceledent or propel treatment can be completed in the time of one office visit.
With the popularity of braces rapidly increasing, the stigma surrounding them has largely vanished. Technology has provided various opportunities to quickly correct your smile and boost your self confidence.
If you find yourself worn out and fatigued by your career, have recently discovered new interests, set new goals, want different hours or more money, this may be a sign it is time to change careers. Whether your expertise is hot runner systems, portable isolation transformer, fitting distributor, or POS printer, there is a new career out there for you.
Once you have decided a career change is for you, you may have no idea what to do next. Start by:
Being Practical – Changing careers requires learning new skills and abilities. You may need additional training or education/
Do Your Research – Find available positions in your future career. Get an idea of what type of training you will need.
Remain Flexible – Entering a new field generally means different hours and an entry-level salary.
Start Small – Speak with professionals in your chosen industry, find a mentor, or a professional you can job shadow.
Moving Somewhere New
Whether you are changing careers or tired of your neighborhood, there are many reasons it may be time to consider relocating. Each year, approximately 36 million people relocate, and you can too.
Before you begin browsing available homesites and narrowing down your search, determine what is most important to you. If you have a family, consider a small town for the local amenities such as parks, libraries, or private elementary school. If you are single, consider the bustling atmosphere of a city. No matter your scenario, consider affordability, taxes, and employment opportunities.
Whether it is nutrition, body confidence, or career choices, self-care can be anything you do to look after your mental, emotional, and physical health. Despite its importance, self-care is often overlooked. Practicing effective self-care is the key to achieving a life low in stress and anxiety and full of vigor and improved mood.