With our never-ending to-do lists, work days, and responsibilities, sometimes we forget to take care of the most important person in our lives: ourselves.
But our body is pretty miraculous. We can put ourselves on the back burner for days, months, or even years and our body will still be pretty okay.
Eventually, though, it starts to catch up.
If you’re feeling worn out, burned out, or if you’re dealing with a bad case of the blahs, your body may be telling you—as politely as it can—that it would love some TLC, please.
Even just a little self-care can help! Here are three simple ideas:
1. Feed your body
Your body needs extra nutrients when you’re dealing with a busy schedule or a lot of stress. But this doesn’t need to be difficult or time-consuming.
Juicing- Add some freshly pressed juices into your diet for a nutrient-packed energy kick. If you’re short on time, head over to your favorite juice bar and let them do the work for you.
Steamed/cooked veggies - Put away that salad for right now and grab a nice bowl of veggie soup or a stew. Or, steam some carrots or broccoli with some ginger for a warm plate of easy-to-access nutrients. Raw veggies are hard to breakdown and digest, so you’ll get more nutrients from cooked veggies right now.
Grab a piece of fruit at 4 pm - Mid to late afternoon tends to be a low energy time for many of us. Cortisol, along with our blood sugar, is naturally heading down and they team up for a big-time energy low. We might be craving something sweet like chocolate, but a piece of fruit is a better option for a nice boost of energy. Try it for a few days and see how you feel!
2. Stretch your legs
Our body doesn’t love sitting at a desk all day, especially on a stressful day.
Our natural stress reaction is fight or flight, so when you’re dealing with a stressful email or phone call, your body doesn’t fully understand why you haven’t run away from that danger.
A bit of movement can quickly reduce those stress hormones and give you a bit more mental clarity and focus.
Take a few minutes to walk around your office or go up and down the stairs. It’ll let your body relax and allow that stress reaction to dissipate. It’s extra helpful if there are trees or nature nearby.
3. Balance out any deficiencies
Nutrient deficiencies can creep up over time and can suck the energy right out of us. Fixing them doesn’t need to be difficult or time-consuming, we just have to find some absorbable nutrients.
Here are some of the most common deficiencies:
Iron– Low iron is especially common in menstruating women and teens, and low iron can cause overwhelming exhaustion, shortness of breath and pale skin. Look for a food-based supplement for the best absorption.
Magnesium– this is our relaxation mineral and it helps our cells produce energy. Muscle tension, low energy, and chocolate cravings are telltale signs of a magnesium deficiency. Adding a magnesium supplement can help you relax and sleep deeper each night.
Probiotics– issues that stem from a gut bacteria deficiency can show up all over your body. We’re only beginning to understand how important our inner ecosystem is. Symptoms include irregularity, inflammation, mental health issues and a sluggish metabolism. Because we live a relatively bacteria-free life, most of us would benefit from a healthy hit of good bacteria every day.
Sometimes, it doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to give our body a bit of a helping hand.
Lisa Kilgour is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN), founder of LisaKilgour.com, and a faculty member at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.