Health is often simply associated with the physical well being of a person and while physical health is obviously very important, mental and emotional health is often forgotten about. We all like to think we are taking care of ourselves, but it’s staggering the amount of times I personally get wrapped up in school or the stresses of everyday life and don’t take the extra few minutes to make sure I am truly ok. Here are some of the small ways I’ve been taking care of not only my physical self, but also my emotional and mental self as well.
I’ve been wanting to try out essential oils for a while now, but never knew how or what to use. Each type of essential oil has a different purpose and can be used for healing or various other purposes. I decided a diffuser would be a great starting point with essential oils and honestly, I’m really happy I got one. So far the only oil I’ve been using is lavender. Lavender is a calming scent and I’ve found it to be really relaxing while working or even just laying around doing nothing. It might just be the placebo (gazebo) effect, but I really feel a difference. I’ve also been sick for what feels like years now and this has been a nice addition to making me feel even slightly less sucky. (If you use essential oils pls leave recommendations, I really don’t know much)
Lemon Water in the AM
Each morning I try to start off with a mason jar of warm water and lemon because I’ve heard for ages now that drinking it in the AM has many health benefits. Turns out it actually is really good for you. Our bodies obviously need water and after a night of sleep it’s essential to give the body the water it didn’t have for however many hours you were asleep. Warm lemon water is also great for digestion; the gut controls a lot in our body and it’s very important to keep it happy and healthy. Lemon is also a natural anti-bacterial and can help with killing off bacteria that causes sore throats or colds in general. Finally, drinking enough water helps with the overall appearance of our skin and who doesn’t want a glowing and clear face?
Now I think all of us have a pretty set skincare routine, however, I can bet that most of you forget about 99% of the rest of your skin. That’s right, you do in fact have more skin than just the stuff above your neck. Daily body moisturizing has become a necessity for me especially since winter is basically here and dry skin is inevitable. I personally love really thick and unscented creams and oils. I find heavily scented lotions very irritating for my skin and stay away for obvious reasons. Two of my favorite products are Polish baby products (lol look, i’m sorry, I can’t help it), but can be easily substituted for regular baby oil/lotions (I find baby products to be a lot less harsh and more soothing because who is going to make a bad product for a baby, you feel me). Skincare in general has had a therapeutic effect on me because it’s important to take the time to give your face and body what it needs to stay beautiful. I love to spend the extra few minutes in the bathroom to really pamper myself especially after a long day.
Journaling is something I’ve been doing for years and has been a savior for my own mental/emotional health. I consider myself a very solitary person; I enjoy my alone time and if I don’t consciously try I can probably not speak to a person for like a week without even noticing. Because of this, I find it essential to get my thoughts out and down on paper. If I don’t do this then things get bottled in and shit can go south very fast. Talking about what I’m feeling or thinking is still pretty hard for me (working on it), but this is a comfortable way for me to process the things that are currently happening or even work through the things that have happened in the past. This all may seem super serious, but it doesn’t have to be! Writing about anything, and I mean anything, is such a good idea. You don’t have to write the next great American novel in each entry and it doesn’t always need to be something profound or insightful. But being able to look back and read through your thoughts and experiences is rewarding and it shows you what has changed or what you can improve on.
Now this one is difficult in the winter time and while living in a city, but I try to access some type of nature in some way. Sitting by the lake in Chicago is by far my favorite place to chill out and think, but in the winter time the lake is absolutely unbearable and I basically hide from it to avoid freezing to death. During this time I try to spend a few extra moments outside. That sounds crazy dumb especially in Chicago winters, but I actively try to find a piece of nature in some way. If that means taking a different or longer path to get to my desired destination then so be it. Making sure to get those few moments outdoors can be really mind clearing and important for your physical well being as well.
Health is not something that can be simply defined by ones physical well being. There are many more pieces to being a “healthy person” and it’s necessary to make sure you are actively taking care of both your mental and emotional health as well. The small changes in your everyday life can make a huge difference in how you feel day to day. These are just a few things I’ve been doing recently to make myself feel better. These aren’t, however, an easy solution to everything. Self improvement and growth is something that everyone should always strive for and work towards and it isn’t always as easy as drinking another glass of water. Each day is a new opportunity to be better and do better and I believe everyone should actively try to do just that.