Let’s talk self-improvement in September
The year 2020 was tough for everyone. We were at a loss as the entire world was paralyzed by the unprecedented attack of COVID-19. Fast forward to 2021, we find ourselves in a world that is still struggling to come to terms with the new normal while dealing with the devastating effects of this catastrophic event.
During those chaotic months of trying your very best to cope while taking care of your loved ones and making ends meet, you may have neglected yourself. Although easier said than done, self-care is essential in order for you to be able to stay fit and strong. Hence, you can give more of yourself to others.
September is self-improvement month—a time to remind all of us to give importance to our personal, physical, and mental wellbeing. Give yourself the opportunity to reflect on and identify areas of your life that are well-tended and those that may need more attention.
Before you read on, why don’t you go to a quiet place, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths until you feel your neck muscles and shoulders relax? When some tension has left your body, you are now in the right state to do some self-awareness check by reflecting on these questions.
Do you color your plate? – Eating a whole food and plant-based diet that is rich in colorful fresh produce from fruits and vegetables is not just a way of nourishing your body. It is also a way of taking care of your mental health. How? Phytochemicals and fiber make your gut healthy. A healthy gut produces adequate brain chemicals and hormones that stabilize mood and help you cope with stress and anxiety. That’s right: Happy hormones are both produced in the brain and your gut lining.
Do you drink enough water? – Eight to 10 glasses of water are typically adequate but more may be needed depending on the amount of exercise and physical activity that you have. Keeping yourself hydrated will boost your immunity and metabolism. It will also prevent you from giving in to food cravings during stressful times. After all, the brain often mistakes thirst for hunger. You may be dehydrated those times when you are anxious. Go ahead and grab a glass of water instead of giving in to the urge of devouring that bar of chocolate.
Do you exercise for at least 20 minutes a day? – Being physically active isn’t just about weight loss or making you physically attractive. Exercise helps your body produce serotonin, a potent mood stabilizer. Serotonin also aids in the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin. Are you having sleepless nights? Start to be more physically active during daytime. If you have been sedentary for quite some time during the lockdown, begin by walking around your room or walk in place while listening to music and doing deep breathing for about 15 minutes. You can do this several times in a day.
September is self-improvement month—a time to remind all of us to give importance to our personal, physical, and mental wellbeing.
Do you wake up feeling rested and refreshed? – Getting good quality sleep for at least seven hours is important for overall health. We all know that, right? There are, however, some things that hinder us from getting our snooze. Oftentimes, we feel so deprived from “me” time during a busy day that we find ourselves engaging in some me time during bedtime. While this is good, we tend to overdo it, bingeing on movies, social media, and other activities that keep us awake until the wee hours of dawn. This the reason we need to assess our schedule during the day and take time to pause and take a break even if it means just for a few minutes in between work and chores. Take a cup of tea or coffee, do breathing exercises, pray, or meditate—whatever works for you. Just have a break.
Do you get enough social time with people who make you happy and influence you positively?
No man is an island, even to the most introverted person on earth. We all need interaction and socialization, whether in a large group or in a small setting. Do your schedule and responsibilities take you away from spending quality time with the people you hold dear? You may be living under one roof but when was the last time you had fun with your loved ones? Do you sincerely talk to each other during meal times or are you all busy with your gadgets? Cultivating positive relationships goes a long way in terms of mental, spiritual, and emotional health.
For the entire month of September, take time to reflect on these questions on a daily basis. Take baby steps to improve yourself through self-care. Do not look at perfection rather always look at progression. Someday you’ll see how far you’ve come in terms of being kind to yourself.