Some consider self-care an indulgent luxury because they feel guilty about “pampering” themselves or spending money on unnecessary services that should be spent on essential needs.
But self-care is more than a sleep mask and a massage.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “Self-care means taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical health and mental health. When it comes to your mental health, self-care can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, and increase your energy. Even small acts of self-care in your daily life can have a big impact.”
Self-care is essential to maintaining a healthy well-being – to feeling whole and enjoying a full life!
Our well-being includes emotional, psychological, social, physical, and spiritual dimensions.
A healthy well-being is much more than the absence of disease.
Having a healthy well-being and feeling whole positively impacts how we relate to others, feel, think, and make choices; an unhealthy well-being tends to negatively impact every area of our lives.
Self-care promotes healthy and happy living.
One of the cool things about self-care is its effect on hormones.
Taking care of your body and mind makes you feel good and helps to balance your hormones.
Hormonal imbalance creates unpleasant, harmful physical and emotional symptoms such as fatigue, body aches, depression, or anxiety.
Here are four ways self-care promotes hormonal balance for a healthier well-being and happier life.
Self-Care Promotes Self-Confidence
Self-care gives you a renewed sense of confidence and self-worth by elevating mood and boosting serotonin levels, which helps regulate hormones like cortisol.
Everyone wants to look and feel good. Lifestyle habits of exercise, healthy eating, and adequate rest help keep us fit, vibrant, and cheerful, boosting confidence levels and promoting healthy relationships.
Self-Care Manages Stress
Stress triggers the release of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, disrupting the delicate balance of hormones necessary for optimal health. Regular breaks throughout the day, getaways and vacations throughout the year, and enjoying activities that produce peace and relaxation, such as leisure walks, listening to music, meditation, praying, volunteering, participating in a faith community, or even something as a warm bath before bedtime, help reduce stress levels and keep hormones in check.
Self-Care Promotes Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Self-care involves eating healthy meals and snacks. Eating habits are essential in maintaining hormonal balance. So, include lean proteins, healthy fats, whole grains, and plenty of water while reducing or eliminating highly processed foods and sugar because they spike blood sugar and cause hormone imbalances.
Self-Care Improves Sleep Quality
Sleep is more than getting the rest you need so you don’t feel tired and lethargic. Adequate sleep promotes a healthy balance of leptin, melatonin, and cortisol. You need a certain amount of sleep nightly – at least seven to eight hours for adults is essential for healthy hormone levels.
You’ve heard all this before, but it is a helpful reminder: Stick to a regular sleep schedule, avoid screens before bedtime, and create a relaxed bedroom atmosphere to induce and promote healthy sleep.
Self-Care Promotes Thoughtful Awareness
Practicing mindfulness through prayer, meditation, deep breathing, journaling about your faith and emotions, and full-body stretching positively affects hormones like oxytocin and endorphins. These “feel-good” hormones are released when you experience connection, love, peace, and contentment.
Self-Care Deepens Intimacy
Enjoying physical and emotional intimacy is a part of self-care. Hormones like testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone give you a sense of connection with others. Therefore, engaging in healthy relationships that involve physical touch, such as cuddling or handholding, is highly beneficial for maintaining hormonal balance.
Practice self-care to keep your hormones in check. Life is so much better when you feel happy and whole. So, please don’t resist or hesitate to take time for yourself. Make sure you listen to your body and honor what it needs; maybe it’s sleeping an extra hour or saying no to certain social obligations. Make self-care a priority if you want healthy, balanced hormones and to experience greater peace, fulfillment, and joy. Nurturing your well-being is one of the best gifts you can give yourself to unlock your best life.
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