Being in a state of personal wellness is not effortless. It requires one seemingly simple, yet difficult task. Self-care. Self-care is often viewed as being self-indulgent, this misinterpretation has led to a certain stigma surrounding self-care. Although it is vital for self-care to consist of activities you enjoy, it is also important to balance supporting all aspects of yourself, to ensure your wellbeing is prioritized. There are vital aspects of our health that when out of balance, affect every other part of our lives. An important thing to note is that self-care is extremely dynamic and varies by each person and lifestyle, some aspects may require more care than others, and that is normal. There are seven pillars of self-care, all of which affect each other and connect to create a balanced sense of personal wellness, these pillars consist of physical, social, mental, spiritual, emotional, recreational, and environmental.
Maintaining wellness in these categories comes from conscious acts that relieve stress, and when consistently practiced, become effortless and beneficial to our lives. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be exploring the Pillars of Self Care and Wellness, its importance in our lives, and how we can involve Self Care in our individual lives. This week, we will be covering the First Pillar of Self Care: Physical Wellness.
Physical self-care is often misunderstood as being constantly active, but this wellness can be achieved in very dynamic ways. It is recommended we get 150 minutes of exercise per week, which when divided daily, is only twenty minutes. In the hustle and bustle of modern society, it is easy to lose the effort needed to keep yourself running at full capacity. Easy ways to participate in these activities could be as simple as taking a small walk during a study or between activities. Listening to music, a podcast, or an ebook as you walk or exercise can help balance your workload and relieve stress. Even small, 5-minute activities, that raise your heart rate, throughout the day can improve your functioning in ways that will be apparent when you attain a consistent habit.
If you are constantly on the go it can be difficult to attain the proper nutrition. It is
important to acknowledge that any form of food is good for your body, but unprocessed and natural foods such as fruits and vegetables help boost the performance of your body. The unnecessary sugar, fat, and sodium levels in foods prolong shelf life and improve taste but these fillers lack nutrition. When replaced with whole foods, the nutrition gap from processed foods is filled, leading to better sleep, brain power, and improved function. Adding water to your diet, instead of sugary drinks, will also help exceedingly. Sixty percent of the human body is water, and this substance helps our body remove toxins and improve functionality. If you struggle to hydrate as I do, some helpful tools are flavored and sparkling water options, these options are available sugar-free and can help boost water consumption
Sleep is another large part of our health. Surprisingly, while we sleep our brain is quite busy, playing a housekeeping role of removing toxins with fluid in waves. During this process, the REM cycle is in full flow, processing memories and information, and preparing for the new day of processing. When these cycles are cut shorter than eight hours, our brain is still overrun with past information, causing it to be difficult to concentrate and process at your best. Setting reminders and shutting down distractions can help you attain the necessary eight hours of sleep, as well as practicing time management, relieving the stress of responsibilities from distracting your brain reset.
Working to improve our habits and life can be difficult but with consistent practice, it becomes easier and normal, pushing our possibilities to the stars.
Thank you for tuning in, in our next article, we will be exploring the second column of self-care, Social Health. Be sure to check back with Blossomed Ataraxis in two weeks for our next installment of Pillars of Self-Care and Wellness.
Nina Crawford is a senior at Poudre High School and in her first year at the Poudre Press. Be sure to tune in every other week for Pillars of Self-Care & Wellness and check out Blossomed Ataraxis here!