It is important to understand that self-care is about adopting ways to consistently prioritize yourself and your mental wellness.

By Dolly Kumar

Every year, July 24th is marked as an international Self-Care Day and it means taking time to focus on activities that improve your mental health. Self-care has different connotations for different people. At the core, an idea is to make time for things that matter to you or opting for practices that are healthy for you.

From taking a hike with your pet or curling up with your favorite book, small self-care habits can go a long way in improving your mental health. For some people, Self-Care can look like spending time with the people they love, or taking a walk in the woods, taking that extra five minutes of sleep, sweating it out, painting your heart out or indulging in healthy eating.

We will tell you how healthy eating can kickstart your mental wellness!

Sprouts and salads that were once despised are having a moment. With an increased focus on health in the past year, they have gained popularity even among favorite brunch spots. Furthermore, a report by the American Public Health Association has revealed increased fruit and vegetables in people’s diets are not only beneficial for their health but also increased their happiness, life satisfaction, and well-being.

While incorporating more fruits can be a good start to jump-start your mental health journey, you can look at incorporating certain mood-boosting foods into your diet. For instance, leafy greens and citrus are packed with Vitamin B and are a proven mood-booster.

It is important to understand that self-care is about adopting ways to consistently prioritize yourself and your mental wellness. The mental wellness benefits of eating healthy foods can last longer, hence there is no solution in crash diets, what you need is lifestyle changes. Consider it as an investment in your future.

Are you ready to feed your mind and body? Here are the tips that you must try:

  • Start your morning with light & healthy breakfast: Both brain and body need fuel to be their best. People who take well-balanced breakfast have lower stress and depression levels, compared to those who skip the meal or go for unhealthy options, as per a study. Hence, start your day with some infusion teas, muesli or ready-to-cook oats. Since you may think there are limited options, but that’s not the case. While there are flavors like rose, moringa and hibiscus available in infusion teas, muesli also has different varieties like real fruit, fruit and nuts, strawberry, soya, nutty delight, etc.
  • Healthy snacking: Throughout the day, just three-time meals are not enough to provide you with the needed energy. While you work from home, hunger pangs can hit hard and ordering from outside may seem like an easier choice but stocking up on healthy snacks like granola bars, oatmeal cookies and trail mix will make up for healthier and filling options.
  • Avoid sugars: The benefits of cutting down on sugar are known worldwide. It also helps in controlling sugar cravings. You can also have it in moderation or go for alternatives like honey or stevia.
  • Keep checking with your body: You may practice mindful eating but it is important to listen to your body. Make sure that you are full as you go leaner with your eating habits and also honor your cravings when you have to. In the end, they are also mood-lifters.

Self-care is one of the most challenging things to do, you may give up on the practices and find it hard to make those lifestyle changes. But consistency is the key and at the same time, your peace of mind matters the most. You shouldn’t stress yourself out in order to eat healthily.

(The author is Founder & Director of Cosmic Nutracos, parent company of Gaia. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)

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