Studies have consistently shown that those most generous with their time, money, and skills are happier than their counterparts that are not. Life is more fulfilling when we know that we are enriching the lives of others, giving a leg up and a helping hand. Sometimes though, and it’s only natural, we can neglect ourselves along the way when we’re constantly following our passion for helping others. Here are some easy ways to ensure that our cups stay half full (or runneth over) as we continue to empower and help others.
You Are What You Eat
We’ve heard it all of our lives for a reason, and it’s simply true that we are what we consume. By making sure that we prepare meals and snacks made from as many whole foods and unrefined or unprocessed ingredients as possible, we can safeguard both our physical and emotional well-being—the healthier your food, the more benefits your body receives from the nutrients the food contains. So, whether you’re volunteering, a caregiver, a parent, or just someone that’s constantly helping others in any capacity, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re making healthy food choices.
Supplement When Needed
Piggybacking on healthy food choices, sometimes, try as we might, we may not be able to get all the nutrients we need from the food we eat. Being deficient in some critical vitamins and nutrients could be due to a variety of factors from food allergies, budget restrictions, or ethical dilemmas we may have eating meat or dairy. Whatever the reason, supplement where you need to, or at least take a multivitamin as part of your daily routine. Of course, you always want to check in with your primary care doctor if you’re on routine medication to make sure there are no contraindications. Still, in general, supplements are an incredibly safe way to maximize your diet and health goals. Supplementing ensures you always have the energy you need when others most require you.
Relax and Be Mindful
Taking time to relax and unwind at the end of the day is essential for everyone. Some struggle more than others to breathe a sigh of relief at the end of the day and let it all go. Thankfully, there are so many ways to make this more manageable if you do struggle. With the help of meditation and breathwork, you can learn how to live more at the moment and let some of the stressors go. If you’ve never meditated before, there are countless apps to help you learn and master the skill. If you are more of a visual learner, turn to Youtube for visual tutorials on how to begin the process.
Other ways to relax include limiting your screen time; after all, time spent staring at screens is more of a distraction than it is helping you relax and process things. Utilizing aromatherapy through essential oil diffusers or incense is another great way to help lift tension off of you. If you are a pet owner (especially cats), be mindful of essential oils, as they can be harmful to your furry loved one. Try to incorporate drinking teas like chamomile prior to bedtime or use a supplement like melatonin or CBD RSO. Whatever you need to do (that is healthy) to get in a calm, mindful state before sleeping, you should. So, throw some salts in the bath and start relaxing!
Speaking of bedtime, you want to make sure you are getting enough sleep! The same way we’ve heard “you are what you eat” all of our lives, the same goes with the need to get at least eight hours of sleep a night. While this may seem like an impossible feat, especially if you’re a caregiver or parent to a small child, you can prioritize sleep in a way that you can have the most restful sleep possible. If you cannot get eight to ten hours consecutively in a night, make sure you’re catching a small thirty-minute nap whenever possible. Sleep is a time of significant restoration and when your body and brain do most of their healing work. Guard your sleep as best as you can.
Being a supportive and generous person is worth so much to those you give to and is an excellent reward to yourself as well. As much as you may love and enjoy the time you give, you still have to make sure you’re looking out for yourself as well. Ideally, you’re already doing many of the things on this list, but if you’re not, you owe it to yourself and those that care about you to start. Here’s to your health and relaxation!