At the end of every year, we start to think about goals or resolutions for the next year. One popular resolution nowadays is self care. Self care is an all-encompassing term that includes physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social aspects of one’s life. They are linked with a better quality of life. Self care apps are becoming more and more popular. Especially with the greater importance we are placing on mental health. Self-care apps are a great way to track your well-being in all aspects mentioned above.
Why does self care matter?
Self-care should not necessarily be looked upon only when you are sick. Taking care of yourself should be your priority to excel in your daily life. A combination of a relaxed mind and a refreshed soul in a flexible body is the secret for a successful person. Self-care helps us refine our physical and mental health by focusing on stress management and better self-esteem, resulting in overall well-being. Being happy and satisfied is the ultimate target of self-care. When you care for yourself, you will experience improvements in several aspects of life, including your physical and mental health. In turn, this will reflect on others and will allow you to form healthier relationships. Ultimately you would be enriched with overall well-being. Hence, spend some time checking your mind and body, to lead your journey towards reaching good health and happiness. Self-care apps will help you track your journey.
What are we looking at?
When it comes to self-care, you are focusing on entirely on yourself. As mentioned above, it includes your physical, emotional, spiritual, cognitive and social aspects. Self care apps usually focus on these components individually. However, they analyze all of the individual components to reflect on the overall self-care rating.
First and foremost, you should take care of your body to live your life. But, always remember the strong connection between your body and your mind. Focusing on your diet and exercise would help you improve your physical health. The more you stay active, the more you stay healthy and happy. However, it’s important to make sure that we maintain a balance between our activities and rest. When you are caring for your body, you’ll think and feel better too.
Physical self-care depends on how you feed your body, how much you sleep, how active you are, and how you care for your physical needs. Apart from them, attending appointments, taking medications on time, and managing your health are all part of good physical self-care.
Don’t just think about a counselor when it comes to mental health. Mental health does not mean that you necessarily need a counselor. Activities that help to declutter your mind and reduce stress are considered as mental self-care. It includes activities that make you feel relaxed. For example, reading a book by your favorite author, cleaning your home, spending time outdoor could make you feel refreshed. With a busy lifestyle, taking care of your mental health may be a difficult task. It is always worthwhile to spend some time daily to focus on your mental health. This would help you reduce stress and eventually feel happy.
Emotional self care
Look after your emotional health as a part of self-care. The guide to achieving emotional well-being is to get your emotions under your control. Focus on your inner feelings and master the skills of controlling your emotions. Meditation is a great way to improve your emotional stability. Practicing a gratitude journal is a great way to reflect on the positive aspects of your daily life. If you think that you have a significant issue with controlling your emotions, you can share your thoughts with others and talk to your friends.
Social self care
Relationships are essential to your well-being. Socialization is a crucial factor in creating and maintaining relationships. At times, a busier life schedule makes it hard to spend time with friends and loved ones. The best way to nurture and sustain close relationships is to spend time and energy, building healthier relationships with others.
There is no limit or prescribed number of hours you should devote towards relationships. Social needs differ from person to person. Explore your social needs and allocate time in your schedule to personalize your social life.
Spiritual self care
Generally, a healthier lifestyle includes religion and spirituality. However, religion is not a mandatory factor in cultivating your spirit. You may enjoy meditation or attend a religious service as a part of spiritual self-care. Anything that helps you develop a greater sense of meaning, understanding, or connection with the universe would help you focus on spiritual self-care.
Activities for self care
Exercise is good for your health. It is a proven fact. But, do you know how it can help your health? Daily exercise can positively affect your physical and mental wellness. It not only helps you lose weight but also boosts your mood, reduces stress and improves anxiety.
Motivate yourself to stay active by engaging in fun and rewarding activities. Exercise does not need to be confined to the gym. Consider taking yourself outdoors and connecting with nature. Try to engage in other exercises, for example, walking in the park, going for a hike, attending a yoga class, playing a sport like tennis etc. Pick activities that can conveniently fit into your schedule. Meanwhile, remember that the important thing is creating a routine that works best for you.
On average, an adult should have at least 7-9 hours of sleep per day. Consequently, this will keep you refreshed, energetic and focused on daily activities. Sleep plays an inevitably crucial role in affecting your mood and physical feeling at any point in life. Inadequate sleep leads to various other health issues as well. Causes for sleep disturbance might vary from person to person. For example, stress from work might disturb your sleep.
Consider this list of do’s and do not’s to improve your sleep.
- Fix a time to go to sleep and wake up every day. Train yourself to stick to this practice.
- Reduce work-related stress. Discuss with your employer and find a solution preventing you from becoming stressed.
- Relax at least an hour before bed – for example, read a book.
- Make sure your bedroom is favorable for sleep – adequately dark and quiet – i.e. use thick curtains or blinds, an eye mask or earplugs. This way you don’t have to wake up when the sun is up.
- Use a comfortable mattress, pillows and covers to make your body and mind comfortable.
- Exercise regularly.
- Drink alcohol, coffee or tea within 6 hours of your bedtime. Alcohol, caffeine and sugar are agents that can keep you awake.
- Have a large meal late at night.
- Exercise a minimum of 4 hours before bed.
- Use mobile devices or watch television right before going to bed. Bright screens with blue lights will negatively affect sleep.
- Sleep during the day. Consumption of sleep in the daytime will directly affect your nighttime sleep.
Watch your diet
Looking after your diet to make sure that you consume adequate fruits and vegetables and hydrate sufficiently is a form of self-care activity. The food you eat determines whether to keep you healthy or prone to diseases, for example, diabetes. Also, it influences your sleep and mental health.
Eating correctly composed food can help you maintain your immunity, improve your memory and inflammatory response. Subsequently, they positively affect the brain and, in turn, the whole body. For example, fatty fish, fruits, nuts, green leafy veggies, like broccoli, are a few of the best self-care foods. Berries are linked to healthy ageing.
Cook for yourself
In today’s busy world, people do not have time to make meals. Instead, they prefer to order from a fast-food restaurant or choose ready-to-eat microwaveable food. These type of fast food do not deliver adequate nutrients and calories to your body. Imbalanced calorie foods do not provide sufficient energy to bodily functions. On the other hand, a deficiency of essential nutrients will lead to various conditions. In turn, you will suffer multiple physical and mental disorders. Nowadays, meal kits are a popular option that can help you get started. Cooking a healthy meal for yourself and your family now and then would positively affect the whole family. The togetherness in making and having a meal and the satisfaction would refresh the family bond.
Keep your gut healthy
All the bacteria in your gut are collectively called gut flora. Maintaining your gut health by eating a balanced diet would help you maintain your gut flora. Specific types of food could affect the bacterial composition of your intestines. In turn, this will lead to either a positive or negative outcome.
Smell the right scents
Apart from doing breathing exercises to relax, what you breathe is also essential. The right scent can give peace to yourself. Each individual has their preferred scent, which refreshes them. The scent of your loved one can be very comforting and provide relaxation. Nowadays, the aromas are marketed as various products, candles, a bottle of essential oils, and infusers. Find out such influential fragrances and keep them on hand.
Meditation is a proven method to take control of your mind and body for good. It results in improved emotional stability, relieves stress by calming down your mind.
Mindfulness is focusing on the present without being judgmental of our feelings or thoughts. Mindfulness meditation has become really popular recently. It helps us control our mind from wandering, reduces stress and improves our well-being.
Laugh out loud
Literally LOL. Laughter is the best medicine – we hear this all the time. Yes, laughter helps you decrease your stress, connect with people more and adapt to situations and people with ease. Even giggling and chuckling helps your mental and physical health. Think about your face looking pleasant when you are laughing. Hence, laugh, but do not overdo it. LOL.
Get a pet
“Are you a cat person or dog person” is a frequently asked question. Be a pet person. If you are able to, you should get yourself a pet. Play with them. Spend some time with them. They can reduce stress and anxiety. Several individuals benefit by working with animals. You might have come across service dogs helping people, especially those who have post-traumatic stress disorder.
Meanwhile, you might recall that looking at pictures and videos of animals makes you happy. Undoubtedly, you might remember that you said ‘aww’ and ‘cute’ without your knowledge when you saw a pet video – at least once. Pet pictures and videos may boost your productivity. If you cannot afford a pet, you can scroll through thousands of pet pictures for free from the internet.
Read a lot
Reading keeps you updated, creative and more open-minded. No matter what your preferred genre may be. Several sites and communities offer you opportunities to connect with other people where you can discuss, contribute, and share your reading experiences. In the current social distancing restrictions, taking part in online communities would help you find new ways to de-stress from loneliness.
Are you the type who smiles when a specific song plays over the radio? Just enjoy the moment. Listening to music that makes you happy stimulates your creative thinking. Pump up the volume, sing along or even dance if you can.
Dancing is another way to feel happy and energetic. You can burn calories by dancing, but it can also improve your mood, body image, and life quality. Dancing develops new connections with similar-minded funkier friends.
Do whatever craft makes you happy and feel relaxed. Do not fix deadlines. Just engage in a hobby of art, DIY projects, dance or gardening. Some DIY projects may show you some path to make money when you master the skill and be creative. However, when you decide to make it a business, then you have to be more careful not to pull off the trigger to stress. Writing blogs might make you feel comfortable when you put down your thoughts. By being creative, you make yourself focus on something outside your pressures.
Hug or cuddle
Hugs or cuddles are good for you. Whether you’re the big or small spoon – it feeds happiness. It relieves stress and helps to make your relationships stronger. Especially after a spat, hugs help improve your mood.
No matter how you organize yourself, now and then, you will find yourself in clutter. Declutter your home, office or yourself. For example, discard unnecessary files, and organize your documents at your workplace. On the other hand, sort out clothes, organize your wardrobe, and arrange your bookshelf at home. A decluttered physical space will help you declutter your mind as well.
Engage in retail therapy
Shopping for something new would make you happy and put a smile on your face. Often, you can buy something for yourself or for your family. Keep an eye on your wallet, try not spend too much and not get into another stress. Another option is saving money regularly to buy something new rather than just finishing what you have on hand.
Being grateful for the positives in your daily life will consciously make you enjoy the happiness and maneuver hard times with ease. There is a strong association between happiness and gratitude (R). Maintain a gratitude journal to practice gratitude. Check out how to keep a gratitude journal here.
Yes, you read it right. Swear it. Even though that’s not a preferred practice, studies reveal that swearing helps relieve your pain and boost self-esteem (R). However, the study says overuse of swearing is not effective when it is needed for pain. Funny but exciting to know, right?
Tips to remember
The following are simple tips to remember and practice.
- Make sure to get outside every day
- Take a break whenever you need it
- Have a pet
- Have some good laugh
- Hydrate adequately
- Say “No” to things that turn you down
- Spend time with the people you care about
- Do not compare yourself to others
- Practice gratitude
- Sing, dance and be creative
- Stay away from negativity
- Use self care apps to track these activities
Why should you track?
Your needs and lifestyle are unique to you. There is no hard and fast rule prescribed to practice self-care. So just do what makes you happy. When you are too busy, it may lead to a stressful lifestyle. Many of us have a busy job schedule, spending most of the time with devices. Consequently, practicing self-care is not that easy, self care apps can become your best friend to help you look after yourself.
Self care apps and CareClinic
Self care apps are meant to follow your activity, mood and other symptoms. CareClinic is a one-stop health app, providing several useful features to help you maintain a health record. Create a self-care action plan and add medications, supplements, diet, physical activities, and therapies you receive. Set your healthcare team who manages your health and add your physician, RN and family members.
The diary entry feature lets you make entries about your daily life. Use the app’s diary entry feature as a part of the self care apps to track day-to-day activities you involve or symptoms you experience. It is useful to have an overall idea of how mood changes in your activities of daily life.
The symptom tracker function within CareClinic empowers you to take charge of your health journey. It enables you to input and monitor any symptoms you may be experiencing. This valuable tool serves as your personal health diary, allowing you to record changes in symptoms over time. For instance, if you’re dealing with chronic headaches, you can consistently track their frequency, severity, and potential triggers.
CareClinic’s nutrition tracker is a powerful tool to maintain a detailed diet log. Whether you’re following a specific dietary plan or aiming to improve your eating habits, this feature can be your guide. For example, if you’re on a low-carb diet to manage diabetes, you can meticulously log your daily carbohydrate intake and observe how it aligns with your health goals.
Monitoring physical activity is essential for a comprehensive understanding of your health. With CareClinic’s activity tracker, you can log your exercise routines, daily steps, or any physical activities you engage in. This feature helps you identify activities that may worsen or alleviate your symptoms. For instance, if you have arthritis, you can track your daily walks and note how they impact joint pain and mobility.
The therapy tracker in the CareClinic app allows you to keep a detailed record of any therapeutic interventions you’re undergoing. Whether it’s psychotherapy sessions, physical therapy, or any other form of treatment, this tool helps you maintain a comprehensive treatment history. For instance, if you’re receiving cognitive-behavioral therapy for anxiety, you can record each session’s progress and insights gained.
CareClinic’s reports feature offers a wealth of insights into your lifestyle changes and their impact on your well-being. It analyzes the data you’ve logged in your diary, nutrition, activities, symptoms, and more. From this data, it generates comprehensive reports that highlight correlations and trends. For example, it can reveal how dietary modifications have influenced your mood and symptom severity over time, providing you with actionable information to optimize your self-care regimen.
By utilizing these features within the CareClinic app, you can gain a deeper understanding of your health, make informed decisions, and actively participate in your well-being journey. This holistic approach to self-care empowers you to live a healthier and more fulfilling life. Download CareClinic and start caring for yourself today.