When we talk about improving our health, we often focus on diet and exercise as the two main components of living a healthy lifestyle. As we pursue our New Year’s resolutions in 2018, it can be easy to overlook the importance of other components to taking care of ourselves and preserving our wellbeing.
We’ve put together some of the best ways to practice self-care below.
Staying present can be more than difficult for some people. In a world where we are constantly connected, it’s too easy to keep your attention focused on the screen in front of your face than the world around you. But studies have shown that mindfulness not only reduces stress and depression, but can also improve our self-image.
If you’re wondering how you can integrate mindfulness into your daily life and keep your mind on the present, try apps like Insight Timer and Stop, Breathe, Think. They offer you a great suite of tools you can access anywhere you use your phone.
Sure, it sounds easier than it may be, but finding ways to be more grateful and laugh more often doesn’t just have a positive effect on your psychological wellbeing, but are also known to reduce levels of cortisol in the blood, improving your blood pressure and resting heart rate.
Want to be happier? Try out mood tracking. Looking at changes in your mood over time can help you track unhealthy patterns and give you other insights into your emotional health. Try using this chart, developed by psychologists at Harvard, to start tracking your mood.
When thinking of self-care, it’s easy to stay focused on yourself, but taking time out of your busy lives to practice some empathy and help others is actually a proven way of not just fighting depression, but also reducing your risk of high blood pressure.
If you’re looking for opportunities in your area, you can find a great list of organizations and efforts at VolunteerMatch.