#selfcare weekend on deck. (not pictured: netflix, lots of rest, tons of water, yoga, super long…
#selfcare weekend on deck. (not pictured: netflix, lots of rest, tons of water, yoga, super long showers)
September marks the official start of the school year for a lot of our CODE2040 family. Around the office, it also means many of us are on the road again, beginning the marathon of recruitment visits to colleges around the country, or attending one of the many events we’re organizing in the next few months. Because of our busy schedules, self-care often hits the back burner. We, like many of you heading back to college, are often horrible at taking proper care of ourselves.
Not adhering to a proper self-care routine can negatively affect all facets of our lives. Concentration after that all-nighter goes out the window. Low energy levels can make it hard to stay levelheaded in the face of difficult situations and decisions. Failing to make time to exercise can contribute to increased anxiety levels. Self-care is especially important to those of us with mental and physical limitations, where failing to heed our body’s limits can often lead to more damaging breakdowns in the long run.
Luckily, there are little steps that we can all take to be better at putting our bodies and minds first. Below are just a few of the steps we’re taking around the office to make sure that we set healthy limits during this very busy time of year:
1. Eat 2 or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Finding simple recipes to cram more fruits and vegetables into your diet is as simple as a Pinterest search. Fruits like apples can actually wake your body up more effectively than coffee and vegetables like carrots are versatile and contribute to ocular health. Replacing unhealthy snacks with fruits and vegetables is often linked to weight loss and increased energy levels — just what you need when things are ramping up during the semester.
2. Find twenty minutes per day for cardiovascular exercise. Cardio trains your heart to pump blood more efficiently which allows you to get the most out of your day. Finding twenty minutes to go for a walk, do your favorite Zumba video, or join a fitness class are great ways to start a fitness routine you’ll love.
3. Drink more water. Even though we may not need eight glasses a day, water can still help us maintain healthy kidney function and manage over-eating.
4. Take a nap! Twenty minute naps are the brain’s best friend. In a pinch, taking one of these can give you more energy than two hours of sleep. As a rule, you should also strive to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.
5. Take your medication. For those of us with physical or mental limitations, medication is an important part of regulating our personal health. Weekly pill boxes can store vitamins and anti-anxiety medication, so you can track how well you’re following your daily routine.
6. #Treatyoself. Rigid routines and diets may get you places in the short term, but every once in a while it’s nice to kick your feet up, eat some cake, and watch Real Housewives. Moderation is key.
7. Learn when enough is enough (and respect it). Learning the limits of your physical and mental health are key to living a healthy life. When you’ve reached the point where you feel overwhelmed and exhausted, let a medical professional or a loved one know and take a break. While a seemingly scary proposition at first, letting people know your limits and respecting them when they rear their heads will set the stage for better relationships with people, your job, and your health.
How will you be taking care of yourself this month? In the CODE2040 office, we love Boba tea and the Another Round Podcast during our down time. Have more suggestions? Let us know in the comments. We can all be better at self-care!