SELF-CARE FOR STRENGTH # 12
Updated: Apr 13
Why Is Self-Care Important?
Self-care is vital for our physical, mental and emotional strength. A car needs to be properly maintained, have fuel and an alert driver to safely travel long distances. In a similar way a person needs exercise, fuel (healthy food and water), restorative sleep, and emotional care to live life fully. Care givers cannot do their job well if they fail to first take proper care of themselves. This effective living skill study will teach basic ways to strengthen your body and mind so they can work together to help you achieve your goals. It will focus on exercise, healthy eating, sleep, and emotional care.
TEN MINUTE EXERCISE: Routine exercise is vital for good physical and emotional health. In one study of persons with depression, those who walked briskly for 30 minutes five times a week did better than those who took a major anti-depressant in managing their depression. It is recommended that adults get 150 minutes of physical exercise weekly. You could do that by playing racquetball or basketball for fifty minutes three times a week or walking a dog for thirty minutes on five days. The best exercise is one that you enjoy and will continue to do. If you are injured or have health concerns, consult your doctor before commencing an exercise program. Bike, walk, run, swim, play an active sport, work out at the gym, or perform active yard work starting at ten minutes or more a day. Gradually increase your exercise until you are doing 150 minutes a week. Your brain and the body will thank you.
FIVE DAY EAT HEALTHY CHALLENGE: What we eat can affect both our health and mood. The brain requires fuel to operate optimally, and that fuel comes from what we eat. Most people would benefit from eating more fresh vegetables and fruits, and less red meats and high carbohydrate snacks. The five day challenge is eat three moderate meals a day, and do not eat anything between meals other than fresh fruits or vegetables. Do this for five or more days out of seven. If you have a medical issue where you need to follow doctor orders for eating, then follow your doctor's eating orders for at least five out of seven days to meet this requirement.
SKILLS FOR BETTER SLEEP: Good sleep is essential for optional functioning. The following are seven tips for improving sleep.
1. Develop a good sleep routine. Go to bed and get up near the same time every day.
2. Make your bed a desirable place to sleep. Make your bed pleasant to see and feel.
3. Journal before going to bed. Write down at least three things for which you are grateful that
happened that day. Write briefly about one thing you'd like to do tomorrow.
4. Do a relaxing activity before bed. Examples: take a warm shower, read, or listen to music.
5. Get up and do something if you struggle falling asleep. Do something that will
focus your mind. Examples: Do housework, read a book, or play computer solitaire
until you feel sleepy and then return to bed.
6. Try keeping your eyes open until you fall asleep. For some people intentionally
trying to keep their eyes open helps them fall asleep.
7. Visualize pleasant images. As you comfortably lie in your bed, visualize being at an
ocean beach, hiking in the mountains, or anything that is pleasant and relaxing.
EMOTIONAL SELF-CARE: It is important to engage in emotional self-care on a daily basis by doing at least one thing you enjoy for fun or doing something that helps you to feel a sense of accomplishment. Listening to music, watching a TV show or movie, reading a book, and playing with a pet are examples of doing activities for fun. Working a cross word puzzle, sending an encouraging email, or completing daily goals are examples of accomplishment.
Your Invited to Do the Free Self-Study Program
This blog is part of the second effective living skill-set of what will become a ten part program that can be downloaded or copied from this website. If interested, go to the top of the home page and click on Self Study. Go to the PDF titled ELS Explanation and it will explain the self-study. Only two of the self-study parts of the program have been completed.