In recent years, bloggers, self-improvement experts, and healthcare professionals alike have begun to tout the importance of self-care in everyday living. Here are some tips to help keep your own self-care in mind as you age.
The Seven Pillars of Self Care
The concept of self-care can seem somewhat vague, but thanks to the International Self-Care Foundation, we actually have a roadmap of seven pillars of self-care to make things more concrete.
The first pillar is health literacy, meaning being well versed in how to take care of your body and mind. The second is self-awareness of your physical and mental condition, meaning knowing whether you are over- or underweight, whether you have high cholesterol, etc. Third and fourth are staying on top of physical activity and healthy eating habits. The fifth pillar is risk avoidance, which is as simple as avoiding exposure to damaging practices such as smoking, binge drinking, or excessive UV exposure. Good hygiene and rational, responsible use of diagnostics and medicine round out the last pillars as sixth and seventh.
But what are some ways to put these seven pillars to use on a daily basis?
Seniors are commonly deficient in basic nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and vitamin C. In order to stay completely nourished in or out of senior care, eat a wide variety of healthy foods including leafy greens, lean meats, and fresh fruit on a daily basis. It's also a good idea to get blood tests regularly to remain aware of any daily dietary supplements that should be taken.
Use It or Lose It
Doing daily exercises is a great way to prevent muscle loss, but some seniors find exercise daunting. Keep it simple by practicing easy, restorative yoga poses, walking, and doing basic stretches at least once per day. Certain volunteer activities for seniors can even serve as an effective physical activity.
Recognize Your Limits
Many strong-willed individuals are tempted to keep working well into their senior years. However, it's important to recognize the limitations that come with age and to cut back when necessary. Whether this means retiring from a career, seeking senior home care, or cutting back on physically taxing hobbies like fishing or jogging, it's important to put the body and mind's needs first.
More and more people are learning to practice mindfulness with every passing year, and there's a good reason. Staying mindful is different for everyone, but it starts with turning off auto-pilot and trying to be present in every task and experience, no matter how commonplace. This is a great self-care practice, as it can help seniors stay sharp as they age, and family members can stay aware of their mental and physical state to know if they need respite.
Self-care is simple, but the hardest part is making sure to invest in it every day. For more information about how we can help, or to learn about our senior care services and costs, call SYNERGY HomeCare of North Valley today at 480-947-1234.