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Self Care Sunday: mental self care

Updated: Jan 2, 2022

At Amy Wright & Co., we see health, wellness and self care through a holistic lens. That means that in order to take good care of ourselves, we need to be mindful of our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs and tend to all of them to varying degrees at different times. If we are mindful, our bodies will tell us what we need, when we need it.

Let's talk about mental self care.

When our thoughts feel cloudy, we feel irritable or anxious, or we’re having trouble focusing, we may need rest. Rest could be as simple as a brain break, a nap, or a good night’s sleep.

Adults ages 26-64 need 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Doctors recommend 7-8 hours for folks 65 or better. Not getting enough quality sleep impacts our immune system, affects our ability to focus and remember, and over time, increases the risks of some diseases. To improve the quality of our sleep, we need to work on some natural habits that set us up for sleep success.

  • Wake up at the same time every morning to set or reset your circadian rhythms.

  • Get sunlight every morning to shut down melatonin production.

  • Make your bed and bedroom peaceful and distraction free.

  • Only do “bed things” in your bed like sleeping or having sex. Watching TV, eating, or working from bed are not recommended.

  • Get 30 minutes of exercise every day, but not within 4 hours of bedtime.

  • Nix caffeine after 2PM.

  • Limit alcohol to 2 drinks, as alcohol can suppress REM sleep.

  • Avoid the blue light of devices 2-3 hours before bed.

Even if we have gotten a good night’s sleep, we may need a nap during the day to recharge. The 10-20 minute power nap is considered ideal, as we wake up feeling refreshed during that time instead of drowsy.

Brain breaks are anything that provides a healthy distraction or opportunity to re-focus. While so many of us turn to social media and mindlessly scroll, alternatively, you could

  • Read a book

  • Listen to a podcast (I hear #dead is fantastic)

  • Listen to music

  • Work on a puzzle

  • Organize something

  • Practice a hobby

  • Create a schedule or checklist

Effective self care is a plan comprised of awareness, education, and daily practice. Subscribe to our blog or connect with us on social media for more info and tools to support your self care practice.

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