What does it mean to be healthy? Most of us think about eating right and exercising, which are both incredibly important. However, consider that those behaviors primarily address physical health. Have you deeply considered the other components of health?
Our team of Harmons dietitians naturally focuses on nutrition within the physical sphere and yet, we also understand addressing the whole person is essential for success. With that in mind, here are some tips regarding self-care that touch on the other realms of health:
Relieve Stress with Home Remedies
We’re all spending more time at home, so take steps to make your home a personal sanctuary. Light a candle with a favorite scent when you get home from work. Place fresh flowers or a beautiful houseplant in a prominent place so you see them often. Plan a weekly bath with aromatic salts or support a local to Utah business and try a fun Soap Lady bath bomb. Don’t have a tub? Place a few drops of essential oils on the side of your shower before stepping in or try Soap Lady shower steamers for an aromatherapy steam. These are all relaxing ways to support emotional health.
Practice strategies to avoid anxious eating
Many of us use food to cope with negative emotions, and actually, sometimes that is okay. If it’s your only tool though, it can lead to overeating which defeats the purpose. Be sure to use other stress relief strategies such as taking a nap, spending time with a loved one, meditation, playing a game, listening to an interesting podcast, or reading a good book. These strategies have the added benefit of supporting emotional, social, spiritual, and academic spheres of health, depending on the activity you choose.
Support a good mood with good food
Nutritious diets are associated with lower rates of depression and promote feelings of well-being. Focus on the following five food groups for maximum benefit:
Dark green vegetables which contain folate and other B vitamins. These have been shown to positively affect neurotransmitters that impact your mood.
Whole grains like popcorn and brown rice are loaded with fiber and healthy carbs to keep your energy levels up and rumbling stomach at bay.
Legumes such as lentils and black beans are packed with plant protein and fiber to keep you satisfied and brain nutrients like B vitamins and magnesium.
Seafood, including salmon and shrimp, are full of delicious flavor, omega-3s and vitamin D—key components to happy taste buds and a healthy brain.
Cultured dairy like yogurt and kefir are tangy, sweet, creamy and loaded with probiotics which may be associated with better mental health.
Get creative with exercise
If you’re having trouble sleeping or are still feeling stressed despite having a normal exercise routine, it’s time to think outside the box. Try something new to you! It could be hiking outside with binoculars to go bird watching, finally giving yoga a try, purchasing a new tool like a pull-up bar or step to incorporate into workouts, or simply creating a new playlist to listen to on your next jog. Whatever it is, challenge yourself to try something new. The novelty will reward and inspire you.
Lean into caring for and showering affection onto your pets
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in record pet adoptions across the country and in Utah. Research shows that simply having a pet is associated with better health. Some possible reasons for this are that pet-owners want their pets to be healthy and thus are more likely to go out on walks, and another is that pets have been shown to help lower stress levels. To make you and your pet happier, lean into treating them with some extra love. Try out a bowl booster to bring excitement to dried food, buy a new toy or puzzle game, or treat them to a new premium treat.
We hope that this article provided some inspiration for ways to better feel your best. If you have questions or would like to work with one of our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.