What is Self-Care?
Self-care has become a buzzword as of late—one often synonymous with bubble baths and “treat yo self” days. There’s more to the act than dropping your hard-earned cash on Batman suits and face masks.
This popularized version of self-care can have a negative impact on your bank account when unchecked and, after all, there’s more to self-care than swiping your debit card.
In fact, there are different types of self-care to help you be a well-cared for individual.
The one category of self-care that has a considerable impact yet is so often ignored by popular media is the act of self-care for our physical health. Regularly implementing this type of self-care, in a way you can feel good about, has far-reaching benefits—we’re talking decades.
Here are the lifetime benefits of four self-care habits for your physical health.
You’ll feel happier, may experience weight loss, and have increased energy. You’ll reduce your risk of chronic disease, can improve your skin and brain health as well as that of your memory. You’ll also feel more relaxed, increase your sleep quality, and reduce your risk of chronic pain while reducing any pain you may already have.
How to Do It:
You don’t have to pump iron or run yourself ragged on the treadmill to feel the benefits of exercise. What matters is that you are consistent and get your heart pumping above it’s resting rate. This can look like walking for 30 minutes a day, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or playing with the kids. It can be taking a dance class or picking up cycling. And yes, of course, hitting the gym if that’s what you enjoy.
When it comes to oral hygiene, the benefits are the diseases and symptoms you’ll be preventing from finding their way to wreaking havoc in your mouth. Poor oral hygiene can lead to inflammation, infection, tooth decay, tooth loss, and even bone loss. It is also linked to endocarditis (an infection of the lining of your heart) and cardiovascular disease. For those who are pregnant, poor oral health can even lead to low birth weight and premature birth.
How to Do It:
I’m sure you know what we’re going to say—brush for two to three minutes twice a day and floss daily. Use mouthwash twice a day to help eliminate the bad bacteria in your mouth. And of course be sure to schedule regular office visits to have your teeth cleaned and their health closely monitored. Limit your intake of acidic drinks like wine, coffee, and tea as well as sugary beverages like soda and fruit juices throughout the day. Eating a well-balanced diet will also help to boost your immune system and fend off infection that can lead to periodontal disease, most known as gum disease.
You can feel the benefits of getting enough sleep as you go through your day. But the less visible benefits include improved heart health and reduced risk of developing cancer. And did you know sleep is basically an anti-inflmmatory? You’ll feel more energized, have improved memory, and reduce your risk of depression. Sleep also gives your body critical time to rest and repair itself—which you guessed it—gives it time to fight off an infection that can lead to periodontal disease.
How to Do It:
Get your body into a regular sleep routine. Yes, ideally that includes the weekends. Give yourself an hour each night to wind down and prepare for bedtime. Avoid sleeping with the television on or using your phone in the last few hours before bed. Investing in a quality mattress and pillow will help you to fall asleep more comfortably while supporting the health of your spine. And set an alarm for the mornings, every morning.
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet can result in weight loss as well as improved mood and sleep. It can decrease your risk of cancer, improve heart health, decrease stroke risk, and if you are diabetic, manage your blood sugar levels. Eating well also models good behavior for your children which they will benefit from for the rest of their lives.
How to Do It:
You don’t have to do anything drastic to reap the rewards of eating a healthier diet. Instead, opt to make small, easy-to-implement changes over time. Start by cooking one meal at home each week or trying one new recipe. Plan out meals ahead of time and stock your kitchen with the tools you need to cook, store, and pack them. Try just eating one serving of fruits or vegetables a day and once you can do so easily aim for two servings a day.
The key to reaping the lifetime benefits of these self-care habits is consistency. Which is why as the saying goes, it is important to do everything in moderation, including moderation. Everything you do counts,and perfection isn’t the goal here. When you can embrace the journey of creating a consistent routine instead of obtaining perfect execution as the end goal, you are far more likely to stick with it. Choose the habits that feel good to you, not necessarily the ones you are “supposed” to do or are trendy at the moment. Whichever you pick, make it a priority—this is your official permission slip to prioritize your self-care without feeling selfish or guilty.
Dental Self-Care at Millenium Dental
When you’re making your appointment here at Millenium, you can be assured that you will be in the hands of a team who cares deeply for your well-being and comfort.
Our past clients have been so satisfied with the care they received they’ve given us a perfect 5-star rating from 479 reviews on Rate a Biz.
Take a minute for an easy self-care act: book your first appointment with us through this simple online form.