One of the most central aspects of living a healthy and fulfilling life is taking good care of yourself.
The pace and pressure of everyday tasks can push our own needs to the backburner and hurt our physical and mental health.
Read: Self-Care: Your Ticket to a Happy, Healthy Life
This article looks to some of the top signs and symptoms that you might not be checking in with yourself often enough and points to some easy ways you can restart that connection.
Signs You Don’t Check-In On Yourself Enough
1. You’re Always Sick or “Out of It”
If your winter season seems to be a succession of cold after cold, or if you often wake up feeling drained, this could be a sign that your body is in distress.
Unhealthy diets, poor sleep schedules, and high stress can contribute to feeling this way and, when left unchecked, can result in serious health consequences beyond the never-ending cold or flu episodes.
2. You Easily Rise to Anger
When you find yourself always ready to fly off the handle or cannot seem to banish feelings of anxiety or irritability, your body might also be sending you signs that there is a deeper unsolved issue festering. A self-check or appointment with a counselor might help you determine what that issue is.
3. You Cannot Stop Drinking Coffee
For those on their fifth cup of coffee by 4 pm, take note: you should pencil in some time to check in with yourself. Overindulging in coffee or other caffeinated beverages might seem like a great way to stay alert, but it might also be covering up your body’s need for more rest.
4. You Always Put Yourself Second
Being selfless is an admirable quality, but always putting others first can be a sign that perhaps we are overextending ourselves. It might also mean that you are avoiding a bigger personal issue that is causing you inner turmoil.
If these signs describe you, you can take heart that you are not alone in being out of tune with what your body and mind want and need.
Consider them a bit of a wake-up call to check in more closely with yourself to identify and remedy the underlying issues that might be causing these symptoms.
Here are some ideas to get you started on the path toward an ideal personal care routine:
Solutions for Taking Better Care of Yourself
1. Build Health from the Inside Out
We’ve all heard the saying “you are what you eat,” but it is a valuable lesson to keep in mind when it comes to caring for yourself.
Consuming a healthy variety of foods can supercharge your body and give you energy to power through the day. You can also work to build up your gut bacteria to optimize your digestion and make you feel better.
Calling on professionals to help you take charge of your wellness can also be beneficial at any age. Licensed counselors or other mental health service providers can help you talk out issues and develop the ideal self-care routines for your needs. Talk with your primary care physician to get a referral for a counselor and be sure to check if your insurance plan covers mental health services.
3. Add Exercise Every Day
The importance of regular exercise cannot be stressed enough when it comes to personal wellbeing. Engaging in physical activity can help keep your muscles toned and your body in shape, but the benefits go beyond just your waistline. Exercise can also help you destress and refocus your energy. When you have the opportunity to exercise outside you can also take advantage of the rejuvenating blast of fresh air.
For those who don’t like the notion of hours at the gym or numerous miles logged running or biking each week, keep in mind that exercise can take place anywhere. A small set of weights in your home or office or a walk over your lunch break and you’ll be able to reap the benefits of exercise equally.
4. Escape For A While
While we need focus for our daily lives, equally valuable is the ability to disconnect and give our bodies and minds the chance to recharge and refresh. When we work too much or try to accomplish too many things, we push ourselves to the brink of burnout. Before that happens, find ways to disconnect and break out of the everyday overloaded mindset.
Read: Self-Care 101: Rituals Every Busy Woman Will Love
This might be putting your phone away when you get home to mentally break from your day at work. It might also be planning a vacation getaway so that you can really escape your daily patterns. Whatever it takes for you to break away should become part of your self- care regimen.
No matter the stage of life you are in, a strong self-care regimen can be crucial to your long-term longevity. If your wellness routine could use a few tweaks, hopefully these suggestions can help you get back on track and in tune with your mind and body.
Author Bio: Christian Worstell is a health and lifestyle writer living in Raleigh, NC.
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