4 Ways to Improve Health with Self Care
We’ve seen this term used often. But what is self-care?
Self-care is anything we do to deliberately take care of our physical and mental health.
Here are some top tips for self-care.
Meditation: Stress can leave us feeling overwhelmed, and can impact our health mentally and physically. Practicing meditation and relaxation exercises are just a couple of techniques to cope with stress. Research has shown meditation can cause the brain to undergo positive structural changes that enhance the areas in the brain responsible for stress management body awareness, attention/focus and impulse control. As a beginner, you can feel overwhelmed but there are plenty of beginner guides and apps, such as Headspace, that can help you through the process. We have a MUSE headset available for loan at the office as well!
Something I’ve found helpful is to set a rhythm for your day, deep breathing first thing in the morning and last thing at night and set an alarm on your phone 10 am and 2 pm where you can just stop what you’re doing and take a deep breath to ground yourself.
Physical Activity: 150 mins/week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity is the recommendation set out by the World Health Organization to reduce cardiovascular disease, improve bone and functional health, and prevent a myriad of disorders and diseases. That’s only 20 minutes each day if you break it down. Here is a HIIT training that requires no financial investment and is perfect for those who are moderately fit. Go at your own pace. Here is a more gentle 20 minute session focusing on building core strength. Don’t love videos, simply step up and down your stairs for as long as you can manage until you get to 20 minutes!
Sleep: During sleep you are giving your body and mind time to regenerate and recharge. The average adult is recommended to get 7 hours of sleep per night. In our overly plugged in world sleep is a major issue with most of the population, and getting good quality sleep is increasingly difficult. Hormones are also a big player in sleep and doing further investigation on hormonal imbalances can get you sleeping better. I find a simple bedtime “wind down” routine the best sleep aid: no electronics an hour before bed, and doing a simple deep breathing exercise to clear the mind. There are additional supplements and botanical medicine that can be recommended if sleep is still a struggle. Or, try diffusing lavender essential oil (or vetiver for those with a busy brain) for 30 minutes before bed or talk to our practitioners to find an approach that works best for you.
Diet: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. Food can be the answer to all your health woes and is the cornerstone of all health. Naturopathic medicine treatments can often include minor dietary changes to therapeutic diets that are tailored to patient needs. Interested in going deeper, our Holistic Nutritionists can help too! But one simple suggestion is to just nourish your body and mind with nutrient dense whole foods: fruits/veggies, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats. It’s that simple.
Dr. Janna Fung, Naturopathic Doctor at Balance Point Health Centre in Oakville
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