Stop considering Self-Care as selfish and start building your long-term wellbeing with small changes in your daily routine.
Now, more than ever, people from all walks of life have had to zoom in on taking care of themselves. If you are among the hundreds of millions of people who spend much of their days sitting in front of a computer, you are probably all too familiar with regular joint pain and other musculoskeletal pain. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, prolonged sitting has been found to be associated with hypertension and a multitude of musculoskeletal disorder symptoms in the shoulders, lower back, thighs and knees. This reality puts into question how much we’re actually taking care of ourselves these days. With that in mind, here are some questions that can help you determine whether you are indeed taking proper care of yourself or not.
Do you eat healthy?
The food that you eat affects you more than you could ever imagine. Aside from being your main source of energy, the right kinds of food can also help relieve stress, boost your mood and alleviate body pains.
BBC Good Food detailed how fatty fish, ginger and garlic could improve the overall health of your joints. For instance, fatty fish varieties such as salmon, mackerel and sardines can reduce joint pain intensity, the number of painful joints and morning stiffness. Since fatty fish is a good source of vitamin D, it can also alleviate the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, which may be associated with low levels of vitamin D.
On the other hand, ginger and garlic could lessen specific inflammatory markers involved in arthritis and lower the risk of hip osteoarthritis, respectively. Other foods that have anti-inflammatory properties such as berries, walnuts, broccoli, spinach and grapes also help in keeping the joints healthy.
Do you take the time to exercise?
Due to how much today's jobs rely on computers and other similar gadgets, more and more people are living sedentary lives. Fortunately, the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle on the bones and joints can easily be countered with regular exercise. In addition to reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke and premature death, staying active can also improve joint mobility and flexibility, strengthen the muscles and improve balance.
Of course, with how demanding everyday life can be, finding the time to exercise can sometimes be hard. In this case, it would be best to stick to a few good stretches. To keep your neck and shoulders healthy, Pain free Working suggests simple stretches like the neck release and seated twists, which you can do in just a few minutes throughout the day.
Do you aim for quality sleep?
Getting a good night’s sleep is easier said than done. This is because the quality of your sleep depends on a myriad of things - from the temperature and smell of your bedroom to sound and brightness. Rooms that are either too hot or too cold, lights that are too bright, and strong smells and excessive noise all prevent you from getting the deep, relaxing sleep your body needs. Aside from trying to work on the aforementioned factors, two of the best ways you can optimize your sleep are by changing up your sleeping position and investing in better sleeping essentials.
As highlighted in our previous post ‘Good Sleeping Position: No More Back Pain Waking Up’, the best sleeping position is on your back. This is because this position lets the head, neck and spine naturally align and allows a lot of leeway for additional pillows that support certain parts of the body. For example, if you’ve been dealing with some neck pain all throughout the day, at night you can use our pillow Go, which boasts an ergonomic design that offers tidal neck support.
Taking care of yourself is a life-long practice that can be easily adjusted to fit your lifestyle. However, while variations are fine, you have to make sure that you are doing the basics such as eating healthy, exercising and sleeping well.
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