Many of us are juggling a million things right now, and the gateway for better health has never been more important. But sometimes taking care of ourselves can fall to the bottom of the list, especially during times like these.
The past two years have brought many challenges for all of us, and now more than ever self-care deserves to be one of our very top priorities.
The good news is that there are many ways to nurture our health don’t cost a penny!
10 Frugal Ways to Care for Your One-and-Only Precious Body
1. To combat anxiety, practice your favorite hobby. Do the activity you love doing where you lose all track of time, like building something in your shop or knitting or painting. Write a poem or a short story. Do a jigsaw puzzle. Learn something new.
I recently read that the puzzle game Tetris can ease anxiety by getting us to a blissfully engrossed mental state that psychologists call “flow.” So I downloaded the app to my phone a few months ago. When I’m playing Tetris and focused on fitting the pieces into neat lines, it’s impossible to worry or feel anxious.
2. Keep moving each day. Perhaps you could begin your day by gently stretching; I do stretches while I’m waiting for the coffee to heat. Look for opportunities to walk, such as parking at the open end of a parking lot (fewer car dings!) instead of jockeying for a close-in spot. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Ride your bike instead of driving on a short errand.
3. Eat nutrient-rich foods for a strong immune system and healthy bones. The fewer processed foods, preservatives and chemicals we consume, the better our bodies will feel. We owe it to ourselves to eat as many good foods as possible.
4. Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated helps us look and feel better, and reduces headaches and fatigue. Research has shown that drinking water before a meal may even help maintain a healthy weight. If you’re busy and have a hard time remembering to drink water throughout the day, you might try a water tracker app.
5. Floss your teeth. Dental problems are no fun, and flossing is an easy way to care for our teeth and gums. This simple act has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, which might even reduce rates of cancer and other diseases. Once I got in the habit of flossing daily, it felt weird not to. If you’re not a regular flosser, I challenge you to develop this simple daily habit.
6. Have some down time, every day. Meditate. Take a warm bath. Pray. Read. Think. Listen to music. Watch the grass grow.
7. Limit time interacting with digital devices. We all can feel it in our brains when we’ve been online too much, don’t you agree? Push your phone in a drawer. Push away from the computer. Power off the TV. Unplug from social media for a while. Engage with the natural world.
8. Get a good night’s sleep. Here are 7 natural ways to enjoy better slumber.
9. Get outside. Take a walk. Get fresh air. Enjoy whatever today’s weather brings. Notice the world around you — watch how the clouds move in the sky, and listen to the sounds of the birds, and breathe deeply.
10. Seek balance. Have you ever gotten ill at the worst possible time? I used to sometimes wake up sick on Christmas morning, because I’d been trying to do too much during the holiday season. Our bodies will complain, and sometimes even shut down, when things are out of whack. A more balanced life will ultimately give us the energy and stamina to do the things we really want to.
Let’s agree to honor our health, and make caring for ourselves a higher priority.
How About You?
What can you do today to better care for yourself? Do you have things to add to my list above? I’d love to hear your thoughts and strategies for living a healthier life.
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