May is Mental Health Month and self care is essential to your mental health! Some people, especially moms, tend to feel guilty for taking the time to self care. I've been there, but trust me, self care isn't selfish. You need to take care of yourself so that you can handle everything that life throws at you.
Here are a few ideas for how you can give yourself that much needed self care:
✨ Prioritize sleep/rest - poor sleep/rest can affect our emotions and even immune system.
Shoot for sleeping 7 to 9 hours per night. Personally, I have a hard time functioning if I sleep 6 hours or less. When you don't get enough sleep, you can end up irritable and at risk for more chronic diseases as well as take longer to recover from flus/colds/viruses. I always tell my clients to skip training sessions and prioritize rest when they fall ill.
✨ Don't skip meals - you need to eat because you need to do things.
Skipping meals is never a good idea. You need to give your body the fuel it needs for all of the things you have to do. Skipping meals will not only affect your energy level for physical activities, it will also affect your critical thinking and creativity.
✨ Stay hydrated - every single part of your body needs WATER to function optimally.
Have you felt tightness in your neck/shoulder area? That could very well be from dehydration! Muscles and organs need water daily in order to carry out functional tasks and regular maintenance. Fun fact: If it came down to it, your body could survive without food - but not without water!
✨ Connect with friends/family - social health is important for mental health.
We NEED to interact. According to the CDC, there was a spike in suicide rates after one year of pandemic shut-downs (CDC 2022). We humans are social by nature and social interaction is critical to our well being. I recently read an article in Psychology Today and it states "Social health is the aspect of overall well-being that stems from connection and community. It’s about having close bonds with family and friends, enjoying a sense of belonging to groups, and feeling supported, valued, and loved" (Psychology Today 2023). I recently came across We Love Long Beach, "a community building nonprofit, (501c3) that loves to connect neighbors of all ages together on their blocks and within their complexes to create a stronger feeling of belonging and greater shared well-being we call neighborliness" (WeLoveLB 2023). If you live in Long Beach, check out We Love Long Beach: https://welovelb.org/ or find a community that aligns with your location or interests.
✨ Compliment yourself - this is a big self esteem and confidence booster.
Compliments from other people are surprisingly uplifting sometimes, but have you ever complimented yourself? Whether it's a physical trait or something about your character. Be your own hype person! It's OK to tell yourself what you like about your damn self! Don't know how to start? Walk over to the mirror and say this out loud: YOU ARE AMAZING 🤩
✨ Move your body - physical activity releases mood boosting endorphins.
Now, I'm not talking about running a marathon here! It could be as simple as stretching, going for a walk around your block, dancing in your PJs, playing with a pet or playing a game of tag with kids. Try it the next time you feel down, I guarantee you will have some degree of mood shift when you are intentional about moving your body.
OK, that's all the information I have for you right now. It's time to stop reading and go do some self care. Try one (or all) of these ideas. I hope you feel like you are treating yourself to something special because YOU ARE SPECIAL AND YOU DESERVE IT! 🥰😘