Taking care of yourself is a continuously evolving strategy—there’s no right way to do it. Your needs change over time so it’s natural to adjust the way you stay happy and healthy over time. One of the most important factors in this process is to remain self-aware of your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs. Once you’re aware of your personal needs, you can start choosing how to fulfill those needs.
Here’s a list of what I have found most essential to staying happy and healthy over time.
- Nurturing the relationships in my life
Since a social life is something that requires effort, it’s easy to put on the backburner. However, I have found that making time for important people in my life is something that I need. Anytime that I’m feeling down or stuck in a rut, it’s usually because I haven’t had quality time with the people I love.
It’s so important to keep up with the people in your life. Studies have even shown that those who socialize on a regular basis have lower rates of Alzheimer’s. Whether it’s weekly dinners or just making sure you talk to your loved ones once a week, the people in your life are there for a reason. Never underestimate the power of feeling heard and seen by people who genuinely care about you.
- Getting my heart rate up at least once a day
While my exercise routine changes dramatically over time, I’ve realized how much more energy and radiance I have when getting my heart rate up is a priority. The key is simple—incorporating some kind of physical activity into your daily or weekly routine. No matter what type of exercise it is, your heart, mind, and body all crave movement.
- Finding ways to fall in love with my daily routine
Create a routine that you follow on a daily basis that you look forward to each day, starting with a morning regimen. Having a daily routine allows you to plan and predict your days to help provide a sense of purpose as well as a safety net to fall back on. A routine also helps you cope with memory or cognitive issues because there is a steady and predictable environment. Whether that includes enjoying a coffee outside, going for a morning walk, or meeting up with friends, having a set routine will help keep you active and mitigate complacency.
- Surrounding myself with a support system
There is nothing more self-assuring than knowing you have people to help you when you need it. Being self-reliant can only get you so far, especially in case of emergencies. Whether it’s being able to ask your postal carrier a question or knowing who to call for home maintenance, I’ve learned that having a support system is the best way to bring security into your life.
- Choosing foods with nutrients that will fuel my body
Everyone always talks about eating right, but you don’t always hear about how exactly your dietary needs change over time. I’ve realized that sometimes I need more calcium, fiber, or vitamin D. Simply checking in with a doctor every few months is one of the easiest ways that I can stay on track and reevaluate what kinds of foods to eat more of and what nutrients to add to my diet.
–by Amanda Turner
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