Self-care is essential to health - schedule it in!
Self-care time and practices are important to schedule into your day for mental and physical health. Image: Rawpixel ID : 920101

What does self-care mean to you? If you picture luxury spa treatments when you think of self-care, you’re not necessarily wrong. Pampering your body is a great way to relax and restore your senses, but self-care shouldn’t be a luxury. You need basic self-care to preserve your mental health. Need some ideas for simple self-care? Here are some practices that are so basic and easy, anyone should be able to fit them into their everyday life.

Make More Time for Exercise

Not too many people think about exercise when they think about self-care. But getting those regular workouts in can be just as good for your mental health as they are for your physical fitness and well-being. In fact, adults who get roughly 2 to 6 hours of exercise each week are far less likely to experience mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression.

If you’re on Medicare and looking for some added motivation to get yourself moving, you should also know that companies like Humana offer fitness-related benefits with some of their Medicare Advantage plans. These benefits are known as SilverSneakers, which provides access to fitness centers, as well as fitness programs, including recreational team sports, yoga classes and outdoor activities.

If your plan offers a chance to exercise in nature, you could double up on the self-care benefits for your mind and body. That’s because time in nature can be just as restorative as meditation. So check out your health plan to see what fitness coverage can benefit you.

Look for Ways to Reduce Tension in The Workplace

Do you feel the most stressed when you’re at work? You’re not alone, but you don’t have to live with that sort of chronic stress in your life.

Workplace stress can be caused by a variety of factors and you don’t have control over all of them. What you can control, however, is the way that you react and process the pressures of your workday. For instance, you can arm yourself with some stress-relieving techniques, such as deep breathing and eating nutritious foods, before you even walk through those office doors.

If you’re in a leadership role at work, it’s also important to model these stress-reducing self-care habits for your employees. Fostering a culture of self-care can go a long way in reducing staff fatigue and even boosting productivity. So look for small ways to encourage your employees to take breaks throughout the day. If your office has the space, you could even set up a meditation zone to help you and your staff stay mindful while at work.

Schedule Breaks for Gratitude and Calm Every Single Day

If you’re seriously pressed for time, you may not think that self-care can fit into your already packed schedule. In reality, though, self-care practices don’t have to take up a lot of your time in order to provide you with mental health benefits. Sometimes, all you need are a few short minutes to slow down, in order to feel less stressed and anxious.

A good way to take these shorts breaks is to download mindfulness apps that will allow you to set reminders throughout the day. These sort of apps, like Headspace, can provide everything from meditation to therapy sessions, to encourage better mental health self-care. Meditation is a proven self-care practice that many successful professionals swear by, and it can be easier to get started with this mindfulness habit than you think. Simply use the apps mentioned above and start with short exercises, which can take five minutes or less. As an added bonus, many of the same apps you use for self-care can also be used to improve your sleep habits, which is another essential self-care practice that can help you maintain positive emotions.

A day at the spa can be extremely relaxing, but self-care can also mean providing essential breaks and stress relief for your mind and body. So even if you only have the time or resources to practice the most basic self-care habits, including the ones mentioned above, you can still reap many of the same mental health benefits and keep yourself healthy as you age.

Brad Krause offers self-care insights and inspirations at his site also.