Have you ever thought that something would never happen to you, only to find yourself in that very situation? Well, when it comes to your health and well-being there are some steps you can take to care for yourself, which will minimize your susceptibility to illness and may even add a few years to your life.

Consider the many aspects of self-care: mental, emotional, nutrition, and physical exercise. In terms of mental and emotional well-being, it is extremely important to find time to be still. It is in the stillness that we can create clarity and focus. Setting aside time for daily prayer and devotion can uplift your spirit. Meditation is another way to connect with spirit to calm your inner being and to connect with a higher energy source. Journaling about your daily or weekly life experiences can help to release sources of stress while also creating an opportunity to recount the successes you have had.

Good nutrition and exercise are excellent ways to care for oneself. There are numerous benefits to maintaining a healthy diet and they include:

  • Improving the state of well-being
  • Reducing high blood pressure
  • Lowering cholesterol
  • Increasing ability to prevent illness
  • Improving the ability to recover from illness or injury
  • Strengthening bones and teeth
  • Helping to maintain a healthy weight

You have probably heard the saying “you are what you eat” and may have thought that was simply cliché. But the truth of the matter is that diet more than exercise makes a huge difference in weight loss or weight gain. When we eat healthy food, our body responds favorably. It is much easier for the body to digest fruits and vegetables as opposed to processed foods. To satisfy the body’s need for protein choose white meat or a very lean cut of red meat. There are other foods that you can eat in place of meat that is high in protein, such as eggs, soy, quinoa, and yogurt to name a few.

In addition to a healthy diet, it is important to add frequent exercise to your self-care regimen. Here are some of the benefits associated with frequent exercise:

  • Burns calories/helps to control weight
  • Helps maintain blood sugar
  • Reduces risk of heart disease
  • Improves mental focus and clarity
  • Releases endorphins

By exercising not only will you reap the physical benefits, but you will also experience a shift in your emotional state. When you exercise, the body releases chemicals called endorphins that help to alleviate depression and reduce stress. Often referred to as “the happy hormone,” endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to morphine. After 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, endorphins are released resulting in a mood and energy boost that lasts for several hours.

Many people associate exercise with work but there are many ways to engage the body physically while having fun, i.e., mountain climbing, cycling, skating, skiing, swimming, gardening, etc. Find activities that bring you joy and get others to join you. No matter what, listen to your body and make your health a priority. It’s not selfish; it’s self-care. We only get one body to last a lifetime so take good care of yourself: mind, body, and soul. You deserve it!

Here’s to your success! 

 Jackie

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