Self-care, Managing Stress, and Promoting Healthy Routines

By Debra Staton, Wellness Coordinator for the Arkansas Health Network
Wellness Coordinator

There is no better time than the present to focus on self-care, managing stress and promoting healthy routines. What a great opportunity to make those changes and create some healthy habits! Even small changes make a big difference and a positive impact on your wellbeing.

  • A good night’s sleep is a positive step to optimize your health. Poor sleep can have negative effects on our wellbeing. There are some things you can do to improve your sleep and help you face the morning. Your brain will thank you because it can function much better after getting adequate sleep. 
    • Increase bright light exposure during the day 
    • Don’t take long naps during the day (if you must…take a 10-15 minute power nap)
    • Eliminate caffeine late in the day
    • Aim to schedule the same time going to sleep and waking up
    • Try meditation before going to bed

  • Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. In fact, half of your plate need to be fruits and vegetables. Bonus: most fruits and veggies are low in calories.
    • Go for the darker green, red, yellow and orange for the most nutrients
    • Add extra tomato sauces and vegetables to your soups and pastas
    • Try going vegetarian a couple of times per week
    • Experiment with some new vegetables & fruits
    • Enhance your veggies & fruits with different spices
      • FYI…August is National Peach Month – this is a fantastic way to add flavor to a variety of recipes
    • Wash & cut up fruits and veggies ahead of time for easy and quick snacking
      • If time is an issue, you can buy the pre-cut and already packaged for convenience
  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. Don’t forget your body is about 70% water.
    • Replace other liquids with water
    • Drink a glass of water before every meal
    • Enjoy delicious vitamin rich watermelon as part of your hydration
    • Drink before you get thirsty
  • Reduce your stress & improve your mental health. Too much stress over time can contribute to headaches, anxiety, depression and other problems. 
    • Just Breathe! Deep breathing can lower stress in your body
    •  Get active
    • Fuel your body with nutritious food
    • Laugh, laugh & laugh