Deepak Chopra once lectured about the many kinds of wellness.
Wellness isn’t just physical, he said, but there’s also emotional, financial, community and spiritual health.
Make sure you keep each one in balance, because everything is connected. When you are in balance, you are grounded; which makes you happier, focused, more productive, more peaceful and better able to cope with stress. Your problem-solving skills and coping mechanisms increase.
When you’re out of balance, it all goes away and you’ll literally be sick and tired.
You’ll be too exhausted to prepare healthy meals so you might reach for sugary, high-fat comfort foods. Going to the gym will become a major chore for even the most ardent workout fan. Everything will seem like a major crisis and you’ll be moody, anxious, depressed and have brain fog.
That said, remember these words; Self-care and Oxytocin.
What Self-care is and what it isn’t:
Self-care acts are behaviors that protect our physical and emotional well-being. They aren’t always large, obvious actions; sometimes they’re subtle, like learning how to say “no.”
You’ll note the phrases “out of balance” and “stress” are often used interchangeably. That is because stress is both a cause and a result of the body and mind being out of balance.
Self-care acts aren’t selfish at all; in fact, they keep us in good working order and on top of our game. Numerous brain studies have shown that happy ones are the most productive. “Presenteeism,” the act of going to work even when sick, is considered a bigger threat to companies since it lowers productivity and costs companies a lot of money.
Finally, the better you take care of yourself, the better you can take care of others. There’s a reason why in case of an airplane emergency, parents are told to put on the oxygen mask before administering it to their child.
Here Are 11 Self-Care Acts for Balance:
Make your bed every morning
It might seem inconsequential, but this little thing sets the tone of your day. You get a feeling of achievement, which leads to better productivity, which in turn, leads to better self-esteem. It reinforces the notion that the little things in life matter; not to mention it just looks better. THAT leads to a sense of well-being and peacefulness. You’ve just “feathered your nest.”
I love this Albert Einstein quote, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, what does an empty desk say?” Be that as it may, science has pointed toward clutter causing fatigue, depression and stress. Tidy-up in all areas; your home, your digital apps, your emails, etc.
Learn a new skill
Your brain chemistry changes by boosting production of Myelin and as a result, you learn easier and faster. New skills can also increase your social circle; the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that loneliness, especially in older people, has adverse effects on health. So do it now and you might reduce your risk of dementia.
Make time for both the professional AND the personal
Some people wear it like a badge of honor, bragging that they always work so don’t have any time for anything else. Wrong! Remember, balance in all areas.
Learn the difference between urgent and important, and then learn how to say No
Some things, like bills, are urgent; but other things may be urgent to one person and not to you. Examples are demands that texts be returned right away, or that you drop everything to talk on the phone. Constant complying often results in more demands and a lot of frustration and stress.
Leverage and Automate
Remember, you don’t have to do everything. There are robotic vacuum cleaners these days and Artificial Intelligence (AI) can often do simple, mundane tasks that only suck out your energy anyway.
Over 80% of your immune system is located in your gut, so keep a good balance of those good “bugs” with plenty of veggies and if necessary, add a probiotic to your daily regimen.
Repeat after me: E=MC2
The more energy you put out, the more you’ll get. Physical activity lowers blood pressure, increases self-esteem, reduces brain fog and makes you a lot less likely to reach for those sugary snacks. It doesn’t always mean the gym; it can be anything from playing tennis to dancing.
Meditate; even if it’s only five minutes a day
What meditation REALLY means is to focus on some question, concern or challenge. Pick a thought, such as “Is this what I really want to do?” In the same Deepak Chopra lecture that I mentioned above, he also added, “Who are my heroes?” The answer to that question will give you a lot of insight.
Talk to your negative self-speak demons
Negative self-talk holds us back by increasing fear, lowering self-esteem, over-generalizing, distorting our thinking, increasing stress and more.
One of the simplest methods of eliminating this is to talk back to it. I was once on my way to conduct my first-ever wellness speech. I was already nervous enough, but the little voices in my head kept going on and on about how I didn’t know enough. When it was my subway stop, I turned to those imaginary but very real, vocal gremlins and said, “Thanks, but you aren’t needed, so please stay here until I come back.” When I realized how crazy I must have looked, I laughed and my mood immediately lifted. A friend even names hers. “The old witch is at it again,” she’ll say.
Again, studies have shown that smiles boost immunity and decrease stress. They’re also contagious and often people respond in kind.
What’s your idea of self-care for balance? Are there any you’d like to add to this list? If so, please share them with us in the comments section below!