Being good to yourself has never been more vital. As we look back on the two-year anniversary of a global pandemic, it’s clear that our collective wellness has been severely impacted by a range of challenges including grief, isolation, financial hardship, and fear. Self-care has become a topic that concerns many.

But what is self-care exactly? It’s the thoughtful practice of protecting and improving our own physical and mental health within a balanced lifestyle. It includes the intentional acts of eating well, getting enough sleep and exercise, nurturing a strong social network, tending to our spiritual needs, looking after our financial security and so much more. Think of self-care as the gentle art of loving yourself.

As a leading health staffing agency, Advanced Home Care Solutions has devoted research and resources to raising awareness of self-care, and the integral role that it plays in our physical, mental, and emotional health. We believe that health care stakeholders like AHCS need to promote wellness as a fundamental human right, and not only “talk the talk”, but “walk the walk”. We are committed to the process itself. In the words of Katrina Mayer, “Loving yourself isn’t vanity. It’s sanity.” Practicing self-care has been likened to putting your oxygen mask on first so that you can help the people around you. And for it to be truly effective, it needs to be incorporated into your daily life. Here are some self-care practices that our AHCS healthcare professionals have identified as impactful, and accessible to nearly everyone.

Get outside and experience nature: Fresh air, sunshine and greenery are natural anti-depressants. Nature can ground us and help us feel connected to the universe – and research supports that spending more time outside can help with mood disorders.

Move our bodies: It’s a fact. Even 10 minutes of exercise will get our endorphins pumping.

Get your groove on: Yup – in other words – dance. Sounds mad, feels great, and there’s a reason that dance classes ranked in the top ten workouts last year for the first time ever.

Take a cold shower: The benefits of cold-water therapy have been proven – it’s invigorating, elevates mood, activates the vagus nerve, and the constriction of blood vessels can help with pain and inflammation.

Nurture your circle: Humans are social, and research shows that people with fulfilling social connections and healthy relationships score better on the wellness charts.

Read a book: Here’s a self-care strategy that’s simple but seriously effective – it truly counts as precious “me” time.

Practice daily gratitude: This isn’t just a flavour of the month trick – studies show that practicing daily gratitude supports a positive mindset. While humans are designed to look for the negative, rewiring your brain can be a great self-care tool.

Increase water intake: There’s a reason this is a fundamental rule of good health – two litres of water a day improve nearly everything – your skin, gut, brain function and energy.

Turn the phone off: Could there be any better way to unplug and refresh?

Learn to say no: It sounds easy, but for some of us, it can be difficult since we feel obligated to say yes when someone asks for our time or energy. But being your own best friend means that sometimes you only say yes to yourself.

As an agency, Advanced Home Care Solutions has been active in the healthcare staffing field for many years, and we have curated teams of healthcare professionals (including RNs, LPNs and Care Aides) that are dedicated, highly qualified and passionate about wellness. Whether the need is for in-home support for a loved one, or supplemental staffing to residential care and long-term care facilities, AHCS professionals consistently raise the health care bar.

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