August is National Wellness Month. It focuses on all the ways you can take care of your physical and mental health, from stress management to healthy habits like exercise. When life gets busy, it can be easy to let self-care fall by the wayside. Remember that all these individual components add up to build the foundation for your overall health. Your emotional wellbeing is just as important as your physical wellbeing, and both can affect each other for better or worse. Let’s try to find balance in the ways we take care of ourselves each day.
This August, try adding some new self-care habits to your routine:
- Drink more water. Hydration has such a significant impact on your body, and can affect things like energy, concentration and digestion. Though necessary water intake can be different for everyone, a general rule of thumb is a recommended two to three cups per hour. Make it even higher if you’re exercising heavily or spending time in the sun! Try drinking a glass of water first thing when you wake up, too.
- Sleep. Your sleep schedule can change your entire day, as well as lower your risk of anxiety and depression and improve your immune system. Set aside time prior to sleeping to shut off your phone and relax. Also, stop hitting the snooze button. Help your body learn to wake up at the same time each day so you feel less tired and more prepared for the day. Finally, invest in silky soft sheets for supreme sleep comfort.
- Maintain a healthy diet. Your energy will improve immensely if you cut back on added sugar and include more fruits and vegetables in your diet. Meal-planning is a great way to ensure you include the healthiest options on your weekly menu.
- Spend time outside. It might sound simple, but fresh air can really do a lot for your body and mind! Whether you’re exercising or just sitting on the patio with your favorite book, do what you can to enjoy the summer weather – even if it’s raining!
- Talk to those you love. Spending time with those you care most about is great for your mental and emotional health. It gives you the opportunity to find support for the things that are upsetting you or distraction when you need it. Laugh, cry or do a combination of both. The importance of socialization cannot be understated!
Forming lasting habits takes time. It takes roughly 21 days for something to become a habit and 90 days for it to become a lifestyle change. So don’t get discouraged if things don’t stick immediately! Allow yourself the time to experiment with new self-care strategies to find what works best for you.
Source: “August is National Wellness Month,” https://thekimfoundation.org/august-is-national-wellness-month/, August 4, 2021.