Fall is a season of change, and presents a perfect opportunity to improve your self-care tools and practices. Here are a few simple and convenient ways to up your self care game this autumn.
Mental health is one of the foundations of overall wellness. Taking care of your mental health is SO important, especially with the changing of seasons. With winter looming, a lot of patients find themselves facing seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D. for short). S.A.D. is a type of depression that typically occurs at the same time every year - symptoms often start in the fall and continue until spring. One of the best ways to treat S.A.D. is through light therapy. We love these lights for combatting S.A.D. (we even have one in the clinic for our staff!).Many people who live in the Pacific Northwest Suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) S.A.D. is a type of depression
This light is not only a great price, but it’s also compact and easily portable so you can take it from home to your office.
Anxiety is a common condition in adults and children alike. Chronic anxiety often goes hand-in-hand with disrupted or poor quality sleep, which furthers the anxiety cycle. One easy way to help combat anxiety and improve sleep is with the help of a weighted blanket. Whether you or your child suffers from anxiety, getting a weighted blanket might be just the ticket to help improve sleep quality and mood.Ideally, you want a weighted blanket to be 5-10% of the recipient’s body weight. Here are a few of our favorite weighted blankets:
Grounding exercises are another helpful way to manage anxiety. An easy and quick grounding exercise that you can do is the 5-4-3-2-1 exercise. This exercise should be used when you're feeling anxious or feeling your anxiety increasing. Take a deep breath and name 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste. This works because your brain can't do two things at once, so it helps you take a step back from your anxious feelings and find yourself in the present moment.
So much of feeling happy & healthy comes from taking care of your body’s physical needs. Three of the simplest and most effective ways you can take care of yourself physically are to stay hydrated, exercise regularly, and develop a consistent sleep schedule.
I don’t know about you, but I stay better hydrated in the summer - heat and sunshine are constant reminders for me to drink water. In the winter, I find it more challenging to remember to drink water throughout the day. That’s why I like hydration reminder lights, because they're impossible to miss and help me stay hydrated even in the winter. Personally I love the adorable cactus design, but it comes in multiple colors and designs. There's also a light-up water bottle too.
Let's talk about exercise! Exercise and movement are crucial to overall health, but exercising doesn't have to break the bank. There's a huge variety of at-home exercises that you can do. From using your own bodyweight to incorporating resistance bands, there's an exercise out there for you. Our friends over at Dynamic Health Professionals (featuring our very own Dr. Ashok Bhandari) have dozens of videos demonstrating how to safely and correctly do a variety of exercises. Honestly, the most important thing is that you find a way to move that you enjoy - exercise shouldn't be a punishment, it should be a self-care practice that makes you feel good.
You can check out our SageMED Pinterest for a few quick and easy at-home exercise ideas.
Creating space for yourself and taking the time to do activities that make you feel happy, relaxed, and fulfilled is SO important. Making sure you feel happy and fulfilled is how you raise your spirits and can truly enjoy life. Here are a few ideas that I’ve incorporated into my own life to help me feel fulfilled and valued.
The biggest change in self-care that I've made this year has been to actively practice gratitude. Sometimes it can be tough to remember that a bad day doesn't equal a bad life. I started a nightly tradition with my husband where we each ask one another to list 5 things we are grateful for that day. This practice has really helped me to feel more fulfilled in my day-to-day life - it reminds me that I have so many things to be grateful for.
Volunteering is another great way to lift your spirits and help you feel fulfilled. Giving back is one of the best ways to build your own happiness. In the Seattle area, we are fortunate enough to have a wide variety of volunteer opportunities. I listed a few volunteer opportunities I found in Bellevue below.