Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Self Care Tips For Healthy Living

self care tips

The Importance of Self Care

Self-care involves taking better care of yourself, which is essential for mental and physical purposes. It can really make a positive impact on your life, from helping you to become closer to friends and family, to relieving your stress. Here are some of the top benefits of self-care.

It Helps to Relieve Stress

If you are like most people, you probably deal with a lot of stress. This can be stress from your job, financial situation, relationships, or other personal reasons. Self-care is important for stress relief because it provides activities that help distract you, improve your mood, and help you take better care of yourself. Keep in mind that self-care can be anything from taking a bath to going for a walk, so there are tons of options available.

You Can Improve Your Mental Health

In addition to relieving your stress, self-care can also help in other aspects of your mental health. Perhaps you have anxiety or depression and are trying to relax while also figuring out your triggers. Well, things like writing in a journal and walking help you accomplish both. You are able to focus more on your mental health during these activities, so you are practicing self-care while actually improving your mental health at the same time.

It Raises Your Self Esteem

Did you know taking better care of yourself can help your self-esteem? Lack of proper self-care often causes you to feel bad about yourself, such as from not getting a manicure or pedicure in a while, or not exercising. These types of activities make you feel healthy, fit, and beautiful, which goes a long way with self-care. With higher self-esteem, you raise your confidence, and that can help boost your mood and help with your stress levels.

You Deserve Some Quality Time

Don’t underestimate the power of having quality time to yourself. There are so many ways to do this, whether you allow yourself some time to meditate in the morning, get up early to have your cup of coffee alone, or have dance parties in the living room with your family. This quality time gives you a short break from your daily life and can be so wonderful for your self-care.

Try to give yourself at least a few minutes a day for self-care. It will help your stress and other areas of mental health.

Ideas for Self-Care Activities

Simple Everyday Ways to Take Care of Yourself

Self-care is vitally important not just for stress relief but also for overall mental health. It can do everything from help after a bad day to improve your self-confidence. It also doesn’t take a lot to take proper care of yourself. You want to choose activities that help you to relax, are good for your body and mind, and overall wellness. Here are some different ways to practice self-care every day.

Keep a Journal

A really excellent way to start practicing self-care every day is to keep a journal. This is something you can easily keep with you no matter where you are, whether you put it in your purse or briefcase, or you have a digital journal on your computer. It is good to have something to write in even when your laptop is out of charge, so a journal and pen are highly recommended. With journaling, you are able to write in it whenever you feel stressed or just to talk about your day. It can be very cathartic for you.

Have Alone Time Every Day

Make sure you have at least a few minutes each day all to yourself. This can be a 30-minute walk that you go on after dinner, a fun 15-minute dance party all alone in your room before bed, or just 5 minutes in the morning before everyone else gets up while you enjoy your cup of coffee. It can seem so simple and minimal, but these little stretches of time where you are alone and just doing something for yourself can make all the difference.

Get More Exercise

Sometimes helping your physical health is also important, so don’t forget about exercise. This will make you feel better about yourself and raise your self-confidence, which also helps your mental state. Plus, exercise is really good for helping to relieve your stress and the endorphins you get from it can be tremendous for improving your move. You don’t need to go to the gym for an hour every day either. Something as simple as an afternoon walk or doing weight lifting in the morning before your shower is perfect. You can also take advantage of other activities that also include exercise, like taking your dogs for long walks or taking the kids hiking over the weekend so everybody is exercising more.

In addition to exercise, you should also be focusing on a proper diet by drinking more water and eating healthier. This is part of taking better care of yourself.

Watch Something Funny

Don’t underestimate the power of laughing! If you are having a terrible day, find a way to watch TV or a movie that makes you laugh. Avoid action, drama, and other genres that might make you feel miserable by the end. Binge-watch your favorite comedy on Netflix, or turn on the TV to try something new. Laughing is extremely healing and can quickly change your mood even after the very worst of days.

Get Out of the House

Some people prefer staying inside and watching Netflix for self-care, while others already spend a lot of time indoors. If this is you, then getting out to socialize and meet up with friends might be a better option. When you find yourself doing nothing but working and going home, you may simply need another outlet. Try meeting co-workers for drinks after work or calling up a sister or cousin to have a girl’s night out. Get a little bit out of your comfort zone and it can be very good for you.

Spend More Time with Friends and Family

As mentioned briefly in the previous section, spending more time with your loved ones can be great for self-care. Many people think being alone is the only way to take care of themselves and relieve stress, but sometimes the best thing for you is being around others. Think about your daily lifestyle and what tends to stress you out. You might find that you feel worse when you are constantly alone, but your mood seems to lift on happy hour night or when visiting your best friend. This is a good sign that what you really need is to get out and spend more time with others.

Meditate For 10 Minutes

On a really bad day, try to have at least a short meditation session. Even if you can’t find a few minutes where you are alone, you can think of other places you might be alone and able to meditate, like when you are going on a walk or run, or while taking a shower.

Let yourself sleep in 

 If you don’t get to sleep in during the rest of the week, at the very least give yourself this time on weekends! Your body (and mind) need the rest.

Head to a park or the beach with your kids 

You can also enjoy more time with your kids without cell phones and TV. Go outside to enjoy the fresh air and exercise. Ride bicycles around your neighborhood, have a beach day or do a picnic at the park.

Catch up on your reading or creative projects 

This is the perfect time to pick activities you enjoy, but rarely have time for. Maybe there is a book you have been wanting to finish or a creative project you would love to do.

Get ready for the week 

Self-care can also mean just giving yourself time to really reset and prepare for the week ahead.

Self-Care for Introverts and Extroverts

Something to keep in mind is that what you consider self-care might change depending on if you are more of an introverted or extroverted person.

Self-Care for Introverts

If you are an introvert, you probably find that you are the most relaxed when you are alone. This doesn’t mean you want to be or should be alone all the time, but that you often need a little bit of time to yourself each day to recharge and gain your composure.

Have Quiet Solitude 

Self-care for an introvert can be as simple as just making sure you have some alone, quiet time on Sundays. You need this time to yourself to regroup and relax. It can be really hard when you go all day around other people and never give yourself this time.

Find Nature-Inspired Activities 

Introverts also tend to enjoy time outdoors, again in a quiet and peaceful environment. Try to find some activities you can participate in that will encourage you to spend more time outside.

Embrace Your Creative Side 

 An amazing way to practice self-care as an introvert is to do something creative. Learn how to crochet, write a poem or short story, color in an adult coloring book, or start painting.

Self-Care for Extroverts

Extroverts are more social creatures, getting their energy from being around other people. If you consider yourself an extrovert, you probably enjoy time with others more than time alone. But what does that mean for your self-care routine? Here are some tips for practicing self-care when you are an extrovert.

Enjoy Social Time with Friends 

What might be a little more up your alley is scheduling time with friends. What better way to practice self-care than spend time with those you love the most?

Volunteer Your Time 

Looking for something more meaningful and fulfilling? You might like to volunteer somewhere as your self-care. Look into local community centers or animal shelters that are open on Sunday and see if they need any help.

Join a Local Club 

Another social activity that helps with your self-care is joining a local club, like a book club. Not only will you be encouraged to read more, but you can get together once a week with your book club to chat and talk about the book.

Friday, 10 June 2022

Mental Health Benefits of Being Organized


mental health benefits of being organized

Have you ever experienced any of these situations: running late for an appointment because you can't find a particular item in your messy room, missing meetings because you forgot, or even buying items you already have because your house is unorganized?

 Staying organized can affect the quality of your life. A research study done in 2010 found that women who described their living space as disorganized had higher levels of cortisol the stress hormone. They had higher depressed moods during the day while women with more organized spaces had elevated moods. Some studies have even shown an association between how much clutter you have and excess weight. Having an unorganized kitchen and meal plan can have you reaching for unhealthy food because you have not planned your meals and food/grocery shopping ahead.

Benefits of Staying Organized

  • Reduces stress
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Reduces feelings of anxiety
  • Helps you make better food choices
  • You are more productive
  • Increases focus and concentration

Tips For Staying Organized

Figure Out Your Preferred Organization System

This is one of the most important things you can do to organize your life. Everyone has a different system for what they want to be more organized in their life and home, and what tools they will use. 

One person might have a weekly session where they organize another area of their home, while the next persohn needs to have a home binder with printables they use to organize every single part of their life.

Have Routines for Organizing and Decluttering

When it comes to decluttering and organizing your home, you need to create a routine and schedule. Otherwise, you likely will organize your entire home over one weekend, then not do it again for months or even years, or until everything is cluttered again. 

A better system is to treat it like routine cleaning. You add decluttering to your regular routine, whether that is daily or weekly. You can also schedule in sessions of organizing and maintenance. The good news is, once you create organizational systems in your home, it is much easier to just maintain.

Have a Place for Everything

When it comes to organizing your life, particularly your home, you need to have a designated place for everything. If you don’t, you will never be completely organized and will have a lot of junk drawers and baskets that are meant for random items. 

What happens is when you start finding a place for everything you own, you discover items that you no longer need. If they don’t have a place and are always hidden in some random drawer or box, you probably don’t use them or even remember you own them. That is how you know it’s time to get rid of it. 

Always Put Items Away When You’re Done Using Them

Start a new habit of putting items away after you have used them, whether it is a pen and notepad you were writing something down on, dumbbells during a workout, or going through your skincare routine in your bathroom. Everything has a place it belongs, so 

when you’re done with it, put it back. It takes only a few extra seconds and allows your home to stay clean and orderly at all times.

Be Consistent With Decluttering

Decluttering will likely occur more than actual organization. Organizing different areas of your home and life is more about setting it up the first time, then just maintaining it. But decluttering is something you have to do on a regular basis, otherwise, things become chaotic and disorganized very easily. 

Think about your junk drawer at home. I bet when you first moved into your home, that drawer was somewhat organized. You had some pens and notepads, a few small tools, maybe some scissors and batteries. But it eventually became a catch-all for everything, and because you didn’t keep up with cleaning it out, it became overly cluttered. This likely happens in different areas of your home unless you are decluttering in your regular cleaning routine. 

Try 15-Minute Daily Speed Cleaning

If you struggle with cleaning and decluttering because of time, then the speed cleaning method is what you need. All you have to do is set a timer for 10-15 minutes a day and clean or declutter as much as possible within that amount of time.

This is best for tasks like picking up toys in your kids’ bedrooms, organizing your entryway or living room, choosing a small area of your home that often gets cluttered, or a quick cleaning project. You can also do this several times a day, instead of trying to fit in an hour of cleaning. 

Write Everything Down

Get into the habit of writing things down whenever you think of them. Whether it is something that goes on your master to-do list, or a new routine you want to try out, this can be really helpful for life organization.

For example, when you sign up for a new site and choose a password, write it down so you can add it to your password manager or printable later. Have a notepad at your desk so that whenever you think of something you want to get done, you can add it to a task or to-do list. If you are in your garage, and see how cluttered your holiday decoration boxes are, make a note that you want to organize them one day soon.

Start Using a Block Schedule

A block schedule is what will help you to organize your time more effectively, as that is just as important as organizing your home and workspace. With a block schedule, you choose certain tasks that will be done at specific times of the day.

Your “blocks” of time can be any amount of time that fits within your schedule, whether you work in 1, 2, or 3-hour blocks. They will also change throughout the day, so you might have a 30-minute block for one task, and a 2-hour block for another task.

Digital Organizing

When you think about organizing your life, your home tends to be the most common focus, which is completely normal. But it is not just about physical items in your living space that require organization. You should also be decluttering and organizing your digital files, email accounts, photos, and anything else on your computer or digital devices.

Have a Sunday Reset and Planning Day

If you want to have a more organized life, it all starts with how you prepare. This is where the Sunday reset comes in. Sundays are perfect if you work Monday-Friday, but this applies to whichever day you have off before your own work week starts. Choose your outfits for the week

The Sunday habits will allow you to have a routine that helps you get set up for your week ahead, declutter and organize, and be ready for the week to start.

Review Your Week

Start your Sunday by reviewing your week and going through the tasks you got done, and what is still on your to-do list. Smaller tasks can still be completed on Sunday, while others might need to be rescheduled and moved to another day. 

This is a good habit to get into because you start to develop a system of putting items on your to-do list, scheduling tasks, and understanding how much you can realistically get done each week. Before too long, it will be so habitual you don’t even have to think about it.

Prepare for the Upcoming Week

Once you have reviewed your week, you can then move on to preparing for the upcoming week. In addition to moving tasks over from the previous week to the upcoming week, you can also create other to-do lists based on what needs to get done.

Start with the priorities you have, so first your work schedule, then followed by any obligations like appointments and meetings. After that, you can start filling in your free time with self-care, items from your to-do list, errands, and social outings.

Meal Plan and Grocery Shop

Sunday is also a great time to meal plan for the upcoming week and get your groceries. Do this before the week starts so that come Monday morning, you aren’t stressing and panicking not knowing what to do about meals that week. It helps you to stick to a budget and know what meat should be left out the night before, or what prep work should be done before your work week begins.

Organize Your Office

If you have a home office or workspace in your home, this is also a good habit to add to your Sunday reset routine. You will likely be doing all of these tasks in this area, so take a few minutes to tidy up your desk, take out the trash, go through any mail sitting on your desk, and do whatever organizing needs to be done.

Go Through Your Mail

If you haven’t done so already, Sunday is the ideal time to go through your mail. Don’t let it sit until the week begins, otherwise, you will probably be too busy with work and personal obligations to get it done. You might have a mail system where you go through it each day when you collect it from the mailbox, but if you have bills to pay or paperwork to be filed, now is the time to do it.

Sort and Organize Digital Files

Don’t forget about your digital files! They should also be organized on a regular basis. You may not need to do this every single weekend, but if you work on your home computer a lot, your Sunday reset routine is a good time to fit it in. 

Go through your trash bin and empty it, organize any folders that got cluttered during the week, go through your emails and read or trash the ones you don’t want. Back up your hard drive if you need to. 

If you have a few extra minutes, take some time unsubscribing from email providers you have no interest in at this time. That will save you time in the future from having to delete emails you were never going to open anyway.

Work on Your Budget

Lastly, don’t forget organization is not just about your home, but other areas of your life. One area of your life where a Sunday routine comes in handy is your budget. You can take this time to review the money you spent and earned in the week previously and work on a budget for the upcoming week. While you might also do this monthly or with each paycheck, it is also good to review it and make adjustments week-by-week.

How to Declutter When You’re Sentimental

Marie Kondo famously said to only keep items in your home that spark joy, but when you are a sentimental person, everything seems to spark joy. This is one of the main struggles when it comes to decluttering and organizing your home if you are a sentimental person. All of your items have meaning behind them, a special memory they are tied to. 

So, how can you declutter and get rid of items that might not serve a purpose, but hold special memories? Here are some tips for decluttering when you are a sentimental person.

Why is it Sentimental?

The first thing you need to ask yourself is why are these items actually sentimental? 

You might find that some items are sentimental simply because of the memory, while others are more about the item itself. If it’s just for a memory, you can find another way to hold on to that specific memory without needing items in your home that you have no use for. On the other hand, if the item itself is what is sentimental, that is when you might want to find a place for it. 

Don’t Expect to Make All the Decisions at Once

With sentimental items, you won’t be able to make your decisions of what to do with them all at once. You really want to go through phases, considering one item at a time, and then revisit the others at a later time. 

Maybe for now, you have decided to keep something your grandmother gave you, even though you will never use it. But in a few months, you have another idea of how to reuse it or you have found someone you want to give it to.

Are Your Gifts Really That Sentimental?

A very common problem people have when it comes to decluttering and organizing is feeling guilty about gifts. You don’t have to hold on to a gift for the rest of your life just because someone bought it for you or made it for you. Choose which gifts you will keep based on their value and memories, and which ones it’s okay to part with.

Keep Just One

This is a good rule of thumb you can follow with sentimental items you have more than one of. You may have items that you collected more than one of because they meant something to you, but realize you don’t need all of them. You can give the others away to someone who would also find meaning in them, sell them, or donate them. For instance, maybe in your childhood, there was a specific type of stuffed animal you really loved, and it brings back a lot of memories. But you ended up getting 3 or 4 of the same stuffed animal. You don’t need to keep all 4 of them. Keep 1, and give away the rest or donate them. 

Repurpose Sentimental Items You Can’t Part With Completely

For the sentimental items you can’t part with but are struggling to find a use for, consider repurposing them instead. Maybe you have been saving all the baby clothes from your kids, but now that they’re adults, you don’t know what to do with them. Aside from giving them to your kids for their own babies one day or donating them to someone who really needs them, you could create a blanket or quilt with the clothes. 

Taking time consistently to organize your home and life will improve your physical and mental health.

Read: How to be more productive and organized

Sunday, 29 May 2022

9 Heart-Healthy Low Cholesterol Foods


heart healthy low cholesterol foods

The world's leading cause of death is heart disease, with high cholesterol linked to an increased risk of developing this condition. Most people think about foods to avoid when they want to lower their cholesterol. However, there are also certain foods that are heart-healthy low cholesterol foods. 

Consider these heart-healthy foods:

 1. Legumes

 Legumes include food such as beans, soybeans, peas, and lentils. They contain lots of fiber, protein, and minerals. Consider this healthy idea: replace refined grains and processed meat with legumes and you can lower your risk of developing heart disease. 

2. Avocados

These fruits are a rich source of monounsaturated fats and fiber, both of which can help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise good cholesterol levels (HDL). 

3. Nuts

 Nuts such as almonds and walnuts are full of monounsaturated fats. They also contain phytosterols, a plant compound that can help lower cholesterol. It does this by blocking its absorption in your intestines. Almonds are a good source of L-arginine, which is an amino acid that helps regulate your blood pressure. Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are polyunsaturated fats linked to good heart health. 

4. Fatty fish

 Fatty fish like salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids that can increase good cholesterol, which will help to lower inflammation and also reduce the risk of suffering a stroke. It is also believed that fish protein has certain peptides that help to protect your heart.


5. Whole grains 

Whole grains, in particular oats and barley, have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease with both found to contain beta-glucan, a soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol. 

6. Fruits and berries

These are another source of soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol. Fruit is also a good source of bioactive compounds that contain various antioxidants with anti-inflammatory benefits. These can help prevent heart disease and other chronic diseases.

 7. Dark chocolate

The main ingredient in dark chocolate, cocoa, has been proven to lower bad cholesterol. It can also reduce blood pressure too. The one issue with chocolate is that it is high in added sugar, which can have a negative impact on your heart health. This is why it’s healthier to opt for dark chocolate with a cocoa content above 75%.

 8. Garlic

Garlic contains numerous healthy plant compounds, which include allicin. Research has found that garlic can help reduce cholesterol and may help to lower blood pressure in people who currently have high blood pressure.

 9. Vegetables

Vegetables are a good source of fiber and antioxidants. They are also low in calories, so they’re also essential if you are looking to keep slim and healthy. 


Tuesday, 17 May 2022

How To Get The Motivation To Change Your Life


how to get the motivation to change your life

It is so easy to tell yourself that you are going to accomplish something new, change or improve something in your life. This could include losing weight, changing careers, or just learning a new skill. But what happens when this task takes longer than you had allowed for? Your motivation starts to disappear and quite often you give up on the idea altogether.

The hard part comes shortly after you have started your particular journey. You get sidetracked with other things and your goal becomes nothing but a distant memory. 

Weight loss is a fine example of this. If you have ever tried to lose weight you know your enthusiasm is high for the first week or two. As you make lifestyle changes the pounds drop off quickly and you are feeling great about your efforts.

A few weeks into your diet you plateau and don’t lose any weight. You start to eat a little more or stop exercising as much and then before you know it you have abandoned your goal and have gone back to your old habits.

There are several reasons for this. First, you may not have recognized that plateauing is a perfectly normal occurrence when it comes to losing weight. Secondly, did you use not losing any weight as an excuse to have that extra treat or to miss a workout? Your mind can do wonderful things and is capable of coming up with hundreds of reasons to not do something. 

The number one reason for not attaining a certain goal is often put down to lack of motivation. To stay motivated and focused, you can do a number of things including:

1. Know your why

In order to make any type of change in your life, you need to have a good reason to do so. Having a goal is wonderful but the reason you have to reach that goal is probably more important. If you want to change your job then you need to have a reason for doing so, reasons could include; wanting more money, moving to a new location, or more opportunities.

2.  Set smaller goals

  A great example of this is suddenly deciding that you will run a marathon. While this is a great goal, if you focus on nothing but running 26 miles, those miles will stretch further into the distance. Instead, you want to break down the 26 miles into smaller parts. Why not focus on running a 5K instead? This will seem much more manageable to you and you can reach your goal faster. By having a certain goal within your grasp you will stay motivated longer. As you picture yourself reaching that goal you can feel proud of your accomplishment. Once there, you can then concentrate on running a half marathon, and before you know your goal of running a full marathon will become a reality.

Weight loss is also a perfect example here. If you need to lose 20 kg don’t focus on this amount. Instead, if you set smaller goals of 2 kg per month you will find that you can stay on track better. If you meet this goal faster than one month that is great then just keep on going. If you are struggling or lose a little less then don’t give up, just refocus and set your next monthly goal at 1.5kg.

3. Track your goals

Having a vision of what you want is a great way to stay motivated. This is why many people recommend keeping track of your goals. This can be done in various ways depending upon your goal. You can get tools like a calendar, vision board, food tracker, or exercise planner to help you stay on track.

Read: Tools to help you achieve your goals

 If your goal is to lose weight then keep photos and images of your progress. If it is another type of goal then keep a journal or blog of your journey. This way you can see what you are struggling with and what you are accomplishing.

Next, you really need to be honest with yourself. If you have lost 15 kg before you hit that plateau then congratulate yourself on that achievement. Focus on what you have done and not where you have to go! This is why it is often a good reason to keep photos of your journey. When you are feeling down take a look at them and remember what you did look like.

4. Get a support network 

 Getting support from family and friends can really make a world of difference to your goals. Just being able to share your achievements is often motivation enough to keep on going. Plus today it is really easy to share things with your family and friends.

If you are learning a new sport you can download apps that allow you to set goals and share your progress on Facebook and Twitter. You can even get rewards and trophies as you reach your milestones. Another way to get support is to join a group of people with the same goals. You can find these groups online on social media or offline in clubs or associations interested in that activity.

If you put these four factors into practice you will find that you have both the drive and commitment to finally make those lifestyle changes you have dreamed about.

 Read: How to create good habits to help you achieve your goals


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