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Konnecting with Kris Blog

Konnecting with Kris Blog

Connect with Saline County FCS agent Kris Boulton.

Three Tips for Self-Care

When I say Self-Care, does it make you think of someone that is indulgent and selfish? Self-care is not an indulgence. Self-care is a discipline. It requires tough-mindedness, a deep and personal understanding of your priorities, and a respect for both yourself and the people you share life.

If we are being honest, self-care is actually kind of boring. Which is why self-care is a discipline. It takes discipline to do the things that are good for us instead of what feels good in the moment. It takes more discipline to refuse to take responsibility for other people’s emotional well-being. And it takes discipline to take full and complete responsibility for our own well-being.

Self-care is also a discipline because it’s not something you do once in awhile when the world gets crazy. It’s what you do every day, every week, month in and month out. It’s taking care of yourself in a way that doesn’t require you to “indulge” in order to restore balance. It’s making the commitment to stay healthy and balanced as a regular practice.

Tips #1 Eat a good meal 

What you eat nourishes your whole body, including your brain. Carbohydrates (in moderate amounts) increase serotonin, a brain chemical that has a calming effect on your mood. Protein-rich foods increase norepinephrine, dopamine, and tyrosine, which help keep you alert. And vegetables and fruits are loaded with nutrients that feed every cell of your body, including those that affect mood-regulating brain chemicals. Include foods with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (found in fish, nuts, and flaxseed) because research shows these can improve mood and restore structural integrity of the brain cells necessary for cognitive functioning.

Tip #2 Open up to someone else

Knowing you are valued by others is important for helping you think more positively and overcome the negative aspects of life. There is also evidence that being more trusting can increase your emotional well-being because as you get better at finding the positive aspects in other people, you become better at recognizing your own. Forgiving someone is another way to reduce your stress and anxiety. Yes, it can be hard to do, but holding onto anger can eventually lead to anxiety and depression and keep you stuck in the past. 

Tip #3 Do something for someone else 

Research shows that being helpful to others has a beneficial effect on how you feel about yourself. Being helpful and kind – and valued for what you do – is a great way to build self-esteem. The meaning you find in helping others will enrich and expand your life.

These three simple tips can help you learn to practice self-care. For more information contact me or anyone of your County Extension offices in Arkansas.

Learn more about Self Care