It always seems easier to take good care of ourselves during the summer months. The days are brighter and warmer, we are getting away on vacation, and it just seems easier to breathe.
Admittedly, there have been plenty of reasons why we might have been a little bit more stressed than usual this summer, but most of us at least got to take a few deep breaths.
However, as much as we might wish it were not true, the fact is that we are about to head into autumn. That means that a lot of the classic stress factors are going to re-emerge, not to mention all the health issues that resurge at this time of year.
Every year, we tell ourselves that we are going to take better care of ourselves this year. That we are going to be more careful about not getting sick, that we are going to be good to our mental health, and that we are going to drink so much more water.
Resolutions are always much easier to make than they are to keep, but we have put together a few tips to help you take better care of your body and mind in the months ahead. Let’s get started.
1. Drink More Water
This is on everyone’s list of resolutions, and it somehow always ends up being one of the hardest to keep. Staying hydrated is absolutely crucial in the summer heat, but it’s just as important even when the temperatures start to drop.
When you are stressed or busy, it can be easier to reach for the coffee mug or an energy drink, but most of those energy-boosting beverages do not actually hydrate you.
Try to make sure that you are drinking around two to two and a half liters a day. Drinking plenty of water helps your immune system, and your brain function, and generally ensures that your body and mind are getting what they need to keep running smoothly. If you find it hard to keep track, but a reusable water container and mark down how much you need to be drinking.
2. Don’t Ignore Skin Conditions
One of the best ways that you can take better care of yourself this autumn and this winter is by not ignoring health issues when they arise. Skin conditions may not seem as important as, for example, chest pains, but when we ignore things that are painful or uncomfortable, we are putting ourselves through a lot of unnecessary discomforts.
Skin conditions like psoriasis do not go away if you just ignore them, and many of these conditions, they will get worse if you do not get them sorted. The best place you can start is by understanding what you are dealing with.
If you have dry, sore, or flaky skin, you may be suffering from psoriasis. This is a very treatable condition, but if you are not sure what you are dealing with and whether you need to call your doctor, visit Patient.info.
They have a wealth of resources created by doctors and other medical professionals to help you learn more about a wide range of different health conditions to help you make the right call.
3. Get Into An Exercise Routine
Getting outdoors and getting exercise is always so much easier in the summer. You can get out for a jog or a brisk walk before you start work in the sunshine or hit the gym after you finish for the day without having to walk through the rain to get there. But this is the time of year when you really need to make sure that you are looking after your physical health, and exercise is a big part of that.
If you are worried about whether you are going to let your exercise routines slip during the upcoming months, you should try and make a plan now. Start by looking at your daily schedule to identify a time that you can dedicate to this.
Then, think about what exercise you enjoy. You are always more likely to stick to your new plan if you actually like what you’re doing. Maybe you prefer swimming to hit the treadmill, for example.
Finally, you need to be realistic about what you can achieve. Do not set yourself impossible targets. Think about what fitness level you are at right now and think about where you want to get to.
Do you want to lose a bit of weight, or are you just looking to stay in decent shape? If you are not sure where to start, think about talking to a personal trainer to come up with a plan that will work for you.
4. Take Your Mental Health Seriously
After the last couple of years, most of us have some idea of how big an impact our mental health has on our lives. If we do not take care of it, we will run ourselves into burnout, and we will not be any good to anyone. But it is one thing to know this, and it is quite another to ensure that you are taking the steps you need to protect yourself.
Start by thinking about your work-life balance. If you are someone who finds it difficult to leave your job at the office, you need to start building some boundaries. Stop checking your work emails and messages once you have signed out. If you work from home, then close the door to your home office and keep your weekends and evenings for you and your family.
Getting plenty of sleep will also help a lot. Try to listen to your brain when it is telling you to take a break, whether that’s from work or going out and socializing. If you feel like things are too much, then look for a therapist in your area or talk to your GP. There is absolutely no shame in getting the help you need.
5. Give Your Diet A Makeover
When the cold weather hits and the sun goes down before we have finished work for the day, everyone reaches for comfort foods. There is nothing wrong with a cheat day every now and again, or a sugary snack when you really need it, but you need to make sure that you are getting all the nutrition that your body needs during this time of year.
Start by thinking about what your meals are giving you. Cutting down on the amount of red meat you are eating is a great place to start as this will massively reduce your risk of heart disease. If you find cooking difficult, look up some easy recipes online. Make a shopping list and try to make sure that you stick to it when you hit the supermarket.
You may be surprised by how easy it is and how much you enjoy it. What’s more, making a meal plan will save you money which we are all trying to do right now with the rising cost of living. Finally, watch those snacks. Try to swap out those sugary and salty treats for healthier options such as fruit, nuts, and crunchy vegetables.