February is American Heart Month, which makes it the perfect time to practice self-care and self-love by making our physical mental, and emotional health a priority. I have so been there with feeling like there’s not enough time or that there are other more important things, so I need the reminder too sometimes! If you’re struggling with putting your own wellbeing on the to-do list, remember this: Investing even a little energy in taking care of ourselves can make a huge difference in helping us show up as our best self for others in our life too.
Worried you’ll have to open a separate savings account for self-care or magically find tons of extra time? Fear not! Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. There are simple things you can do to maintain a healthy lifestyle, such as:
- Enjoying a workout; exercise plays an important role in managing and relieving stress, giving you more energy, and helping you sleep more soundly.
- Nourishing your gut health; studies show that “the gastrointestinal tract is sensitive to emotion,” which means that feelings of anxiety and stress can trigger symptoms in your gut. Thankfully these affordable foods are a great way to help cleanse your gut.
- Eating heart-healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy proteins (we could link to the protein-packed breakfast post); it’s also important to avoid foods high in salt and sugar.
- Treating yourself to heart-healthy indulgences like this decadent Dark Chocolate Avocado Mousse.
- Doing a heart-open yoga flow; if you can’t get to a studio, you can stream a class online (many of which are free).
- Speaking to a therapist can be a great way to explore your relationship with yourself and others. There are some very valid reasons why experts say that “Psychotherapy is a tool that creates success.” You can read those them here.
- Doing something you love. Part of loving yourself is nurturing your soul with the things that make you happy. I encourage my clients to spend time reading, meditating, cooking a healthy meal, or going for a walk. One of my little things I like to do for me that has zero to do with work or being productive is to mess around on my ukulele. I am by no means good, but spending time playing and singing, like, Belle & Sebastian songs takes my mind off whatever’s troubling me.
- Making time for downtime. Turn off your devices and enjoy the peace and quiet which come from being completely unplugged.
- Getting more sleep. “Sleep plays an important role in your physical health.” Don’t let the busyness of life interfere with your physical and emotional well-being. I know this one is tricky, but it CAN be done! Start with small changes like moving up your bedtime by 15 minutes. Giving yourself a chance to wind down before hitting the sheets can also help you drift off more peacefully. Certain foods can benefit sleep too! Here are some of my go-to bedtime snacks.
- Taking breaks throughout the day to breathe and move around. Many of us spend our days sitting while working at the computer. Take a few minutes throughout the day to step away from your desk, move around and do some 4-7-8 breathing. Confession: sometimes I will lie down for 5-10 minutes in the afternoon to just…recharge. Magic!
Want to learn more about creating a happier and healthier life? Follow me on Instagram @jesscording !
Also, big news! In my upcoming book, The Little Book Of Game-Changers, I share my go-to hacks to help you manage the stress and anxiety that hold you back from reaching your goals. Want to be the first to grab a copy and hear about events, deals, and more? Sign up for my list to get VIP access.