Self-Care for Health and Stress Management

Do you struggle with so many responsibilities in life that you forget to take care of yourself? You might be dealing with the care of your children, perhaps you are a caregiver for a family member, or maybe you are giving  150% of your energy to a business you are trying to launch.

And, while it is hard to prioritize something like getting in just 30 minutes of exercise when you have so many other things on your to-do list, remember that self-care is an important aspect of stress management.

How Self-Care Benefits You:

However, if you want to feel more resilient and better able to manage life’s stresses, you need to take time for self-care.  A walk around the park, a long soak in the tub or other forms of pampering renew you inside and out. Taking time out to maintain self-care has several benefits:

It Makes You a Better Caregiver

When people ignore their own self-care, and forget to tend to their own needs,  they risk deeper levels of self pity, low self-esteem, and feelings of anger and bitterness.

Sometimes people who spend most of their time taking care of others can be at risk for burn out, which in turn, makes it very difficult to care for others, much less themselves.

In reality, when you care for yourself regularly,  you make you a better caregiver for others.

It Affects Your Health & Wellness

While self-care doesn’t always lead to any health and wellness enhancements, the way healthy a diet and exercise do, the relaxation you get from self-care can trigger a decompression response… which can prevent persistent stress from damaging your health.

It Affects Your Emotional Well-being

If you feel like stress is taking over your life, think how you can better handle its effects and find relief in simpler routines.

Taking time out to care for yourself can remind you, and others, that you also have needs that are important too.

And, when you take care of  yourself — you feel better about yourself and your life. This sends a message to family and friends around you – that you value yourself. It also contributes to your long-term feelings of well-being.

The Importance of Self-Care

It goes without saying that if you are getting enough sleep, eating healthy meals, including down-time in your schedule and making time for friends, you already understand the importance of self-care.

However, a few hours of self-indulgence on a regular basis is also a good idea. A couple of hours of  ‘me-time’ for a spa treatment might be just the ticket to help manage the stress, and here’s why:

It Calms Chaotic Feelings

Giving your body special treatment is an inherent way to alleviate stress. Besides keeping your skin soft and your body well maintained, spa-like activities, like massage, and warm baths have been known to comfort even cranky babies like nothing else.

Similar activities continue to be effective means to an end, providing the necessary diversions we need as we get older, however, sometimes we forget to make use of them.

It Gives You a Break from Stress

Spending some time in a bubble bath, or taking the time for a full body massage can help you relax and escape the day to day stressful reality, providing a  mental and emotional break.

As previously mentioned, it triggers the relaxation response and allows you to come back to the reality of your life feeling refreshed and relaxed.

It Gives You Time Alone

Whether you are an extrovert, or an introvert, having some time along is important to most people in order to function at your most efficient.

When you give yourself some down time, it’s much easier to slip into a state of quiet introspection and soul searching, giving your mind the chance to work on problems without taking all of your attention.

The No. 1 Way to Keep Metabolism Soaring Post-Workout

You know that your metabolism gets a big boost during exercise. That’s why you burn more calories by running than by sitting. But there are ways to trick your metabolism into running strong all day long, even hours after you exercise.

Metabolism consists of hormones and enzymes converting food into fuel; this fuel provides the energy the body needs to do daily tasks like thinking, all the way through to more active tasks like biking or yoga. When your metabolism is working at its peak—such as when you’re running at your race pace on a treadmill—you are creating and using energy more efficiently. As your body plows through those calories, you’ll lose weight faster and streamline your journey to a fitter physique.

So how do you keep your metabolism cranking after you’ve untied your shoes, showered, and settled in at your desk? It’s all about those first moments after your workout, says Paul Arciero, Ed.D., a professor of exercise and nutrition at Skidmore College and director of the school’s Human Nutrition and Metabolism Lab.

“The best trick to keep your metabolism high after you work out is eating 20 to 30 grams of protein, preferably whey,” he says.

Protein takes more energy for your body to digest and absorb than other types of food; you may burn 25 percent of the protein calories you consume just by eating. After eating protein your body will stay in overdrive, which means you’ll process more calories more quickly in the minutes and hours to come. Also, protein helps your body build more muscle, and the more lean body mass you have, the higher your metabolism burns. Whey protein is one of the most easily absorbed types of protein, which is why Arciero is such an advocate of the stuff.

Of course, what you do during your workout can also affect how well your body burns calories later in the day. Arciero suggests sprint workouts to really maximize your post-workout metabolic boost. Intervals—such as alternating one minute all-out and one minute of recovery—send your metabolism soaring as you exercise and keep it running strong for hours after too. Follow an interval fitness session with a protein-rich snack, such as a whey protein smoothie, for the ultimate metabolism jumpstart.

Source: shape.com ~ By: Liz Simmons ~ Image: pixabay.com