Just Say ‘No’ and Other Ways to Live Your Best Life
By Brad Krause
“Just say no” is a popular mantra when it comes to walking away from drugs, alcohol, or peer pressure. However, this sentiment flies straight out the window when it’s time to deny other activities that can harm our health. Keep reading for insight on why you should put this handy two-letter word, as well as other self-care practices, to good use in your daily life.
The Power of ‘No’
It doesn’t matter if you’re a man, woman, business executive, father, mother — your time is rarely your own. Between work, family, friends, and other obligations, it can be difficult to find time to participate in our own self-care. When you learn to say “no,” however, you give yourself the power to tend to your own needs instead of everyone else’s.
Full Body Relaxation
Once you say “no” to the things cluttering up your day, you will have the time to focus on your own health and well-being. One way to do this is to relax your muscles and mind. Spend a day at the spa once a month, or book a massage. Better yet, create a spa-like environment at home. For example, if your job involves being on your feet all day, a warm Epsom salt bath can help relax your muscles. If you have children, you could take them out for some fun at a nearby park or spend some time shooting hoops in the backyard. Whatever you do, it’s important to take these moments to enjoy life without the daily stress and headaches. Yoga is also an excellent way to offer your mind, body, and spirit some healing.
Sleep on It
Sleep is such a simple thing, but it’s one we often overlook as we get wrapped up in our busy lifestyles. Unfortunately, without ample sleep, our bodies are unable to function properly. Sleep deprivation affects your body and mind in many ways, including amping up your appetite and changing how you display and perceive emotions. Sara G. Miller, a staff writer for Live Science, further reports that chronic sleep deprivation may cause delirium, which is a state of complete disorientation. Take steps to ensure that your bedroom is set for sleep. Install room-darkening curtains, add a sound machine, and outfit your bed with warm but breathable covers to help you relax through the night. If you can, exercise during the day, and consider adding a sleep-inducing yoga session to your nighttime ritual.
The ‘Do It’ Diet
It’s no news that you have to eat, but Western diets, which often include fast food and pre-packaged snacks, aren’t going to give you the right kind of energy. If you want to truly care for yourself, you have to pay close attention to the food you put in your body. Start by drinking enough water — approximately 60 ounces per day — and include plenty of green, red, and yellow vegetables into your diet. Eliminate foods that are not in their whole and natural form. By changing your diet, you give your body the fuel it needs to do what it must each day.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but giving more of yourself in more meaningful ways can be an effective part of your self-care routine. Volunteering for a cause near and dear to your heart has a positive effect on your mental health. Not only can it satisfy your need to be needed, but volunteering also gives you an opportunity to have an impact on the world and to be proud of something you’ve done to help others. Taking control of yourself care needs doesn’t mean you have to leave everyone else out in the cold. It simply means that you need to restructure your time – and your frame of mind – so you can be the best version of yourself and enjoy your life.