"Physicians promise us that if we do not take time to be well, we most assuredly will take time later on to be ill.” (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland)
Neglecting to take care of yourself during times of stress will ultimately make things harder down the road. You have most likely let go of some fundamentals of self-care during times of stress such as nutrition, sleep, exercise, spiritual health, or recreation. Read these following suggestions to see where you can practice taking time for yourself.
- Eating. Healthy eating keeps your body energized and prepared to meet any challenge. Proper nutrition is important in preventing chronic disease, maintaining a healthy weight, receiving energy, and obtaining nutrients that your body needs. Eating plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein will give energy. Staying properly hydrated and never skipping meals is of equal importance. The extra 30 minutes at the grocery store will help you feel well during times of stress.
- Sleep. 7-8 hours of sleep each night is the recommended amount for adults. Sleep restores the body, helps us make wise decisions, energizes, and releases important hormones. Do your best to set a regular sleep schedule and stick to it. By doing so you will fall asleep easier and will regulate your sleep cycles.
- Exercise. Strive for 30 minutes of moderately intense physical activity on at least 5 days per week. Exercise helps control weight, lowers stress, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, increases confidence, and improves mood because of the endorphins that are released.
- Spiritual. Perhaps most importantly, take time to pray, ponder, and study the scriptures. The sprit and body are connected and you cannot be totally strong in one area and weak in the other. Staying close to the spirit will help you identify areas where you can let go of some unnecessary stress, and will strengthen you.
- Recreation. Even just 10 minutes of time for yourself can be extremely beneficial. Find time every day to do something just for you, even if it is for a short time. Reading, doing yoga, walking, calling a friend, coloring, meditating, cooking, writing, and listening to or playing music are all suggestions of taking time for yourself. Find a few meaningful activities that will help you re-energize and restore yourself.
When healthy eating, sleep, exercise, spiritual health, and time for yourself become a priority, you will be happier, more relaxed, comfortable, and better equipped to meet whatever lies ahead.
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