September is National Self-Care Awareness Month!
This time of year – the transition from Summer to Fall – is the perfect time to reassess, reset, and refresh your health and wellness practices
CCHW offers a variety of modalities, plus a network of other providers with special areas of expertise, because we know how important it can be for your health to find the right providers and modalities to fit your particular needs. Empowering you to be proactive and informed about your own health and wellness is a vital part of how we support you. We want to help you discover the particular health-boosting self-care routines that you will love to do because they work so well for you – not simply because they are “good for you.”
7 Basic Self-Care Practices for Better Health
That said, there are a few basic self-care activities that can help everyone cultivate a healthier life. And these are practices you can start incorporating into your life at any time of year! Not just during September Self-Care Awareness Month.
1. Make Sleep a Priority
Sleep is as important to our health as eating, drinking, and breathing, which puts it first on the list of basic self-care practices. It allows our bodies to repair and our brains to consolidate memories and process information. Good sleep is critical to ensure optimal health and quality of life. Try to maintain a regular sleep schedule and create a calming pre-sleep routine. If insomnia is a problem for you, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can help – see Acupuncture and TCM for the Treatment of Insomnia & Depression.
2. Exercise Regularly
Doing 30 minutes or more of exercise a day for three to five days a week may significantly alleviate depression or anxiety symptoms. Smaller amounts of physical activity — as little as 10 to 15 minutes at a time — can also make a difference, especially if they add up to 30 minutes for the day. Many other health conditions are also improved with regular exercise. Acupuncture can help if a strain, back pain, or other physical pains interfere with your ability to be active.
3. Practice Mindful Eating
Pay attention to what you eat and why. Are you genuinely hungry, or are you stressed, lonely, bored, or tired? Check in with your body to see what it actually requires and how much. Mindful eating can help you maintain a healthy relationship with food and promote better digestion. In addition, TCM offers advice for healthy eating in tune with the seasons – for example, see Eating for the Season: TCM and Fall.
4. Stay Hydrated
Keeping your body properly hydrated is essential to support all its vital functions. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces a day. If you like, infuse your water with fruits for added nutrients and flavor to give you that spa self-care experience.
5. Prioritize Mental Health
Discover how to alleviate stress through regular practices like mindfulness or relaxation exercises, yoga, or tai chi – whatever works best for you. Simply going for regular walks (see #2 above) can significantly improve your mood. Regular acupuncture sessions can also help with reducing stress and anxiety levels. And, if you find yourself really struggling to cope with life’s ups and downs, consider consulting a mental health professional. We routinely work collaboratively with mental health professionals.
6. Regular Health Check-ups
Regular check-ups can reassure you about all that is going well, and also help find any problems early, when treatment can be more effective. Include acupuncture and/or Reiki as part of your monthly routine to keep your health at its peak. Regular acupuncture and/or Reiki “maintenance sessions” can help:
- Alleviate stress and calm the nervous system
- Improve digestion
- Reduce blood pressure
- Improve sleep
7. Connect with Others
Cultivating strong, healthy relationships can enhance your health and well-being. Plan your days to include spending quality time with your family or meeting up with a friend for coffee. Join a book group or other organization to build relationships with others.
Incorporating these self-care habits into your daily routine will lead to long-term benefits. Above all, listen to your body and give it what it needs, whether it’s a hearty meal, a good night’s sleep, or an acupuncture or Reiki session. Here’s to a healthier, happier you!