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In These Uncertain Times Focus on Self Care To Build Resilience

Here at Plant Based Life we always try to remind people of the importance of self-care, but right now more than any other time, this is so important. Always remember self-care isn't a selfish act of only helping yourself, real deep self-care will keep you strong and resilient so that you can help others, including your close family, and also the wider community. Caring for yourself helps to keep your mind and body primed to deal with situations that require resilience. Resilience is the ability to adapt well in the face of adversity, such as when you may be experiencing personal or family issues, a serious health concern, work stress, money worries, or other difficulties. It's the ability to bounce back from challenges. One of the key ways to build resilience is to focus on self-care. We are currently facing very uncertain times in the world due to COVID19, lock-downs, loss of jobs, civil unrest, and health concerns, so the ability to build resilience now is very important. Here are our tips on self-care habits to adopt;

    • Focus on Highly Nutritious Food. Avoid junk food and heavily processed food, and limit how much alcohol you drink, or better still give it up, over time, it depletes your energy and resilience. Make sure to focus primarily on Plant-Based Whole Foods as close to nature intended as possible.
    • Chew Your Food, & Be Present When Eating Meals. This is such an important tip for improved digestion and overall health. For resilience from a health perspective, we need to have good digestion and absorption of nutrients. Try to keep mealtimes simple and have no distractions, have a gratitude practice for the food you eat, and have regular meal times. Chew your food at least 20 times or more before swallowing.
    • Set Up A Good Sleep Routine. Establish a bedtime routine and try to stick to it. It can be as simple as drinking a cup of herbal tea, turning off your electronic devices about an hour before you go to bed, or taking a bath, and then turning out the lights at the same time every night. Try to unload what’s on your mind before you go to bed. Also, try to eat your last meal at least 2-3 hours before you sleep.
    • Use Targeted Supplementation. It is always best to get the majority of your nutrients from whole foods. Due to stress and other health factors and toxins in food/environment, it can be beneficial to use vitamin, mineral, and superfood supplements for a period of time, if nutrient deficiencies have been highlighted from a blood test, or just to improve nutrition.
    • Practice Relaxation Techniques. Breath-work and meditation are widely used relaxation techniques that can help improve mental and physical well-being. I cannot emphasize enough the life-changing value of breathing techniques and also meditation, I recommend that everyone find a breath-work and daily meditation practice that resonates with them. 
    • Really Prioritize Exercise. This is especially important during challenging times. Try to get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise that makes you breathe harder on all or most days of the week. This can vary between high-intensity body-weight type exercises/strength sessions two or three times a week and then other regular sessions of mindful movement; Pilates or Yoga. But if this is too hard to fit into your schedule, just start with short workouts of 5-10 minutes and gradually increase them throughout your day. Some exercise and movement is always better than none :)
    • Listen To Uplifting & Conscious Music. Music can change our mental state and make us feel more relaxed or joyful. It's very important to listen to music that resonates with you, and also has a positive and uplifting message. There are numerous scientific studies on the benefits of listening to music.
    • Turn Stressful Situations Into Learning Opportunities. Life happens for us, and not to us, this means that everything happens for us to learn. There are scientific studies that have proven that short bursts of stress that we can deal with can be beneficial, but long prolonged periods of stress are extremely damaging to our health. As often as you can view every stressful situation/challenge as an opportunity to grow and learn.
    • Talk About What You Are Going Through With Others. Family, friends, and co-workers can be a lasting source of emotional support as well as “reality checks”. Even when the circumstances seem beyond your control, connecting with others who feel similarly can help form an important bond. Ideas on ways to manage, take action, or cope may arise from such bonds. Doing so will make you feel less alone, but if it is a deeply personal issue you don't want to discuss with others then you can use a confidential counseling service.
    • Try To Avoid Catastrophic Thinking. Try to see your situation as temporary, no matter how difficult. Life tends to ebb and flows in ways that are impossible to predict. This view can help you gain perspective and maintain momentum to work through the current circumstance. During times of uncertainty, we often try to fill in the blanks. We may wonder “what if this happens” and imagine worst-case scenarios. While it is good to be prepared, it is rare that worst-case scenarios come true.
    • Take A Break From Mainstream Media. When a national or world event is dominating the news, avoid over-exposure to media, especially if it is making you feel ineffective, anxious, or unable to have control of your life. Many media-worthy events can be presented in an exaggerated or false manner to attract attention. Unplug as often as you can all your sources of media and news.
    • Keep A Gratitude Journal. Every morning note down 3 things you are grateful for, this is a great way to start the day. As you do this more often you will start to focus more on thoughts of gratitude for what you do have, and less worry spent on things you don’t have.
John Cawley

John Cawley

John Cawley is the founder of Plant Based Life. John is a Personal Trainer that believes every weakness can be turned into a strength and is passionate about instilling this belief with all clients. John has a lot of experience in helping clients who have had injuries, and is dedicated to helping everyone keep moving and leading a healthy lifestyle, with a big focus on movement, mobility and functional training.