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Self-Care in the Quest for Personal Growth

This article was another contribution by Kelley Coleman

In a lot of ways, that’s what it all comes down to: personal growth. Everything else – a nicer house, a bigger salary, a fancy alma mater – is chasing after wind. Finding out who you are and what nourishes you is a process that will last a lifetime. Some concrete actions to get you started might include reading, journaling your thoughts, and surrounding yourself with people you love. Just be sure to practice self-care.

As somewhat of a new term, the concept of self-care seems to still be evolving. But perhaps it’s best defined as “a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.” In other words, pay that bill – don’t avoid it. Make hard decisions, but the right ones. Here are some tips on how to maintain self-care in the quest for personal growth, whether that means starting a new career, going back to school, or taking on some other big change in your life.

Eating Well

While this may not seem like a hard decision, eating well comes with its own challenges. In this context, eating well does not mean ordering a steak mid-rare with a glass of port. No, we’re talking about cutting sugar, drinking plenty of water, and consuming lots of vegetables. Some of the world’s most nutritious foods include fruit, eggs, plain yogurt, nuts and seeds, whole grains (oats and quinoa), and lean meats like chicken and omega-3 fish. You can concoct plenty of healthy meals out of these ingredients, and they provide a wide range of health benefits. These include lower weight, stronger bones and teeth, an improved cardiovascular system, and, potentially, warding off type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. For a nourishing well-balanced diet, the food pyramid is better source of your reference guide.

Exercise

A natural complement to a good diet is a steady exercise regimen. The health perks are just as numerous: better sleep, a longer lifespan, improved digestion and metabolism, and sharper cognitive function in older adults. Per week, Americans aged 18 and older are supposed to get 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise and 15 minutes of vigorous exercise. But plenty of us fall short of that goal, possibly because we view fitness as a chore rather than as a joy. If that’s the case, try switching it up. Tennis, hiking, jogging, basketball, gardening, hiking through the woods – whatever you love, keep doing it so you go back to it over and over.

How to Improve Your Self-Confidence

Granted, hitting the gym may not seem like the path to enlightenment, but working out does often clear our minds. Staying active has been shown to ease anxiety, fight off depression, calm PTSD and trauma, and sharpen your thinking and ability to retain information. Moreover, it’s a good way to improve your confidence. That doesn’t mean that you think you’ve got it all figured out. Instead, one of the emotional benefits of exercise is watching yourself set realistic goals and meeting those goals. Other healthy habits to improve self-confidence include working a job you enjoy, practicing good hygiene, and being around people you love. Perhaps at the bottom of self-confidence is self-knowledge, which consists of the life-long quest to work on yourself at the same time that you accept yourself for who you are.

Another way to reinforce positive beliefs is to recite mantras. Try to stay in tune with the cadence of your thoughts. Take note of whether they’re mostly negative. If you convince yourself that you’ll never amount to anything, you won’t develop as a person. Psychologists sometimes say that a true adult’s self-perception is that he’s neither amazing nor worthless. He’s just like everyone else – simply finding his way in the quest toward personal growth.

by Kelley Coleman
colemankelly@consumerhealthlabs.com

 

Image Courtesy of Unsplash

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