Why Self-Care Matters: Top 3 Tips for Enhancing Everyday Wellness

Ayurveda, Self_Care and Breast Health

Written by Heather Burkart

I'm passionate about helping women unlock their greatest potential to experience the energy, focus, and mood that they deserve.

Self-care is the practice of looking after our physical, mental, and emotional health. It’s an essential part of maintaining our overall wellness and well-being. When we prioritize our self-care, we are better able to manage stress, feel more energized, and improve our outlook on life. In this blog post, we’ll discuss why self-care matters and I’ll share my top three tips for enhancing your wellness through self-care.

Listen to the full podcast episode here.

What is Self-Care and Why Does It Matter?

Self-care has become such a buzzword; a word that maybe inspires or disgusts. Either way, we now have scientific research that shows us how important it is; how self-care can be health care. Ayurveda has seen self-care in this light for thousands of years. Perhaps it’s the post-pandemic era that we live in now that has turned our attention to the importance of wellness. Could it be that we’re finally figuring out that health and happiness really do go hand in hand? Well, it’s about time.

First, what is self-care? Self-care is taking care of yourself in a way that improves the quality of life overall. These can be small actions or steps that you take over time that supports your health and well-being in different ways. You can be strategic and work on areas of your life that need improvement – or you can just try things that help you feel good.

Self-care can involve many different things, including eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and practicing mindfulness. It can also include things like taking a warm bath, reading a book, or spending time in nature. In many ways, self-care is about taking a break from the daily grind and giving yourself permission to recharge.

This concept of self-care is deeply ingrained in Ayurveda, a traditional system of medicine from India that focuses on balancing the body and mind. In Ayurveda, self-care practices like yoga and meditation are seen as critical components of overall health and well-being. In fact, Ayurveda is often referred to as “lifestyle medicine,” as it emphasizes the importance of making healthy choices in all aspects of life.

The Mind-Body-Spirit Benefits of Self-care

The benefits of self-care are many. Research has shown that self-care practices can reduce stress, improve mood, increase resilience, and even boost the immune system. In addition, self-care can help us feel more connected to ourselves and others, which can have a profound impact on our overall sense of well-being.

It’s scientifically proven that self-care has the potential to improve many aspects of our lives. Not just our physical health but also our mental and emotional health as well. Ayurveda has always stressed that the body, the mind, and the spirit are interconnected. An unhealthy state of mind doesn’t support health in the body or in the spirit. We’ve learned in these last few years how our spirit really matters in regard to our health. Finding ways to lift our spirits every day is part of self-care, too.

Source: www.mentalhealthfirstaid.com

Creating Your Self-Care Goals

There are lots you can take on when it comes to self-care. Here are a few ideas or “buckets” you might want to consider when narrowing down where you want to place your focus first. Don’t try to take it all on at once! Slow and steady …

  1. Physical health
  2. Mental health
  3. Spiritual health
  4. Stress Management
  5. Healthy Work Relationships
  6. Healthy Relationships w/Family & Friends
  7. Healthy Relationship with the Environment
  8. Healthy Social Life
  9. Acts of Service, Volunteering

These are all good places to start to help you think of your personal self-care goals. You might start with areas of improvement in your life and start brainstorming to get the creative juices flowing. In what areas could you be happier, more satisfied?

Tips for Incorporating Self-care Into Your Life

So how can you incorporate self-care into your life? Here are three tips to get you started:

  1. Make self-care a priority. This means setting aside time each day, even if it’s just a few minutes, to focus on yourself and your needs.
  2. Experiment with different self-care practices. Try out yoga, meditation, or journaling to see what resonates with you. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to self-care, so be open to trying new things.
  3. Be gentle with yourself. Remember that self-care is a journey, and it’s okay if you don’t have everything figured out right away. Be patient and compassionate with yourself as you navigate this process.

Here are my top tips that everyone can benefit from:

  1. Prioritize good sleep hygiene
    No substitute or magic pill could replace a good, solid night’s sleep. If you get good sleep every night, you’ll have a better mood the next day and have more energy. You’ll resist stress better, will strengthen your immune system. Cortisol, the stress hormone, plays a big role in inflammatory diseases. Sleep is the perfect remedy for our stressful lifestyles. Ayurveda understands that digestion and detoxification work better when we rest well, too. When sleep is compromised, try a Yoga nap! Yoga Nidra is a meditation practice that can help you recharge your batteries. As if you needed an excuse for that mid-afternoon power nap!
  2. Move your body every day
    Our bodies are meant to move, not sit for long periods; and unfortunately, that’s what’s happening for most of us every day. Get work done in shorter increments during the day and take more breaks, even if it’s just getting up to stretch your legs or get a water refill. Or, go talk to the person you need to email or go for a stroll when you’re on the phone or in Zoom meetings for long periods. If you want to try Yoga, Ayurveda’s sister science, it’s a great way to improve flexibility, balance, strength, and mental clarity.
  3. Get outside
    This is crucial too. There’s a lot of science backing up the fact that our systems function better when we have spent some time outside. You get more Vitamin D, and more oxygen, which are both known mood lifters. You don’t have to go anywhere. Just leave the building! If you’re short on time, try combining #2 and #3 by going for a walk every day. Park your car a little further away from your destination or stop by a local park on the way home. Walking outside is a great way to decompress after a busy, day. Do this without distractions. After work, attend to yourself first before you see your family so you can feel more calm and more grounded. Otherwise, we may bring work stress home with us and we don’t want that. Try taking deep breaths while you’re outside to increase your oxygen intake.
  4. Eat More Whole Foods
    I put this last because we can get fixated on food when it comes to wellness. Yes, nutrition is important but it’s not more important than everything we’ve already covered. Ayurveda suggests sticking to a local, seasonal, whole-food diet of primarily plant foods. Include more veggies, greens, and fresh fruit every day. Forget about restrictive diets unless you have severe food allergies. An inclusive diet is best. Just remember to eat mostly whole foods. Keep it fresh and shop the rainbow of fruits and vegetables every week. Don’t get stuck in the same foods year in and year out. Eating a variety of foods, especially plant ones, supports a healthy gut.

Self-Care Is Health Care

In summary, self-care is a critical way that we can improve our overall health and well-being. It is the original health care. By making self-care a priority and experimenting with different practices, we can reduce stress, improve mood, and increase our overall sense of connectedness and happiness. So why not give it a try?

Remember, it is the little things, the little choices that matter at the end of the day. That’s what self-care is, a choice. You can choose to live life to the fullest.

Listen to the full podcast episode here.

Top 10 Daily Habits That Will Change Your Life Inspired by Ayurveda

Sign up here if you would like to buy Heather’s guide for Top 10 Life-Changing Daily Habits. This simple holistic guide features the very best of dietary, herbal, and lifestyle medicine inspired by Ayurveda. You’ll get my top tips plus an invitation to book a 30-minute consultation with me to personalize your tips.

A Life of Balance: Ayurvedic Lifestyle Medicine, An Ayurveda Online Course

If you want to learn more about leading a balanced life with guidance from Ayurveda & Yoga, check out my Life of Balance course. The holistic health system of Ayurveda has expert advice when it comes to self-care and I want to share it with you! You’ll get to sample Ayurveda-inspired self-care practices and herbal products, and new plant-forward recipes with plenty of peer and practitioner support from yours truly. Anyone is welcome to join: whether you’re new to Ayurveda or you’re experienced.

Here’s to your mind-body-spirit health.

Heather R. Burkart

Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner

Founder, Her Well Being Ayurveda & Yoga

Please be advised that the content on this website is for education and information purposes only and does not replace advice from a medical professional.

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