Self-care & best time to invest in your health
When is the best time to plant a tree?
100 years ago.
When is the second best time?
When is the best time to invest in your health?
20 years ago.
When is the second best time?
With a global pandemic nearing its second birthday, our world has been navigating uncharted territory for a good long while. The impact on stress levels is insurmountable.
However, I am fully leaning toward leveraging this opportunity to do what I have the privilege of doing every day: inviting women to put their own names at the top of their to-do list, and to embrace self-care.
This particular call-to-action might seem counter-intuitive in the middle of a health crisis, but I’m going to argue it is the best time to set ourselves up for optimal health: immediately and long-term.
What do I mean by self-care? The answer is going to be quite personal and individual.
However, I want everyone to hear me when I say this: do not underestimate the power of stress.
Stress management isn’t “woo-woo” and it isn’t all about bubble baths and pedicures--although those activities can certainly prove beneficial!
This is about understanding that stress is behind most, if not all, doctor visits, hormone imbalances, chronic health conditions and death. Prolonged exposure to chronic stress is a health threat, especially to women, who have the highest rates of heart disease and stroke.
Let's use this time to get as informed as we possibly can about our own health, and to deploy the “put your own oxygen mask on first” approach to self-care.
Here are four ideas to consider for managing stress and investing in our health:
Eat & drink mindfully: Evaluate both your caffeine and alcohol consumption (raises the stress hormone, cortisol) and your dark chocolate intake (lowers cortisol.) Yes, it’s true. A study showed that 40 g of dark chocolate per day for two weeks lowers cortisol levels, but do keep in mind this study was conducted by Nestle! [“Metabolic effects of dark chocolate consumption on energy, gut microbiota and stress-related metabolism in free-living subjects.” Journal of Proteome Research, 2009]
Move differently: Try something new. If you typically work out at the gym, take it outside. If you usually walk or run, introduce yoga or weight-bearing exercise. I recently started a "walking club" with two friends and we keep each other accountable at 7 a.m. every day!
Practice gratitude: Gratitude has been shown to directly reverse pessimism. Try to direct any anxious feelings away from worry and toward your health; use your concerns as motivation to stay positive and appreciate what you have, not what you currently lack. We can all do this by writing in a journal, through in-person conversations, sending a note of gratitude via text, social media or surprising someone with a handwritten note in their mailbox.
Supplement wisely: This is a perfect time to re-organize medicine and supplement cabinets. Some considerations from Kal Ramini, Pharmacy Operations Director at Pure Integrative Pharmacy include:
Vitamin C: Safe to add to your daily regiment, 1000 mg three times per day enhances the immune system.
A high quality multi-vitamin and mineral supplement that includes essential B vitamins.
Omega 3 for mental stress: Omega 3 fatty acids are essential fats, which means they are nutrients we need that can’t be made in the body. Hence the need to get them from our diet or supplementation.
Vitamin D: Get outside and supplement, as most Canadian adults are deficient.
Order quality supplements at PurePharmacy.com/MenopauseChicks Use code: MCHICKS10 to save 10%. Prices are in Canadian. Shipping is free in Canada on orders $65+ and free to the USA on orders $150+