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How to stay healthy with a busy lifestyle

A busy lifestyle can prevent us from doing many things in life, such as staying in touch with loved ones, enjoying personal hobbies, and most importantly, staying healthy. But telling someone to slow down or do less, simply isn’t enough. In fact, the advice shouldn’t be just to tone down but to incorporate self-care.

Self-care means taking care of yourself so that you can be healthy, perform well, and accomplish your goals. Without proper self-care, you can quickly lose track of what you are doing, burning out, or failing to succeed in life. Thus, it is vital to assess how you’re caring for yourself. Here in this Pacific Prime article, we look at the different self-care domains and provide you with some practical self-care ideas.

Self-care: physical, social, mental, spiritual, and emotional

“Treat your body like a temple, not a woodshed. The mind and the body work together. Your body needs to be a good support system for the mind and the spirit. If you take good care of it, your body can take you wherever you want to go, with the power and the strength and energy and vitality you will need to get there.” – Jim Rohn

The definition of self-care goes beyond giving yourself materialistic stuff or rewards like ice cream and a bubble bath or heading out to the shop to buy the latest, trending gadgets. These, of course, will uplift your mood or spirits, but they are only temporary. Self-care goes a lot deeper and is all about making yourself feel great in ways that:

  • Help you discover yourself
  • Help realign your thoughts and actions
  • Determine what it is you need
  • Help you find the triggers to disorders like anxiety and how to overcome them
  • Allow you to stay resilient in the face of adversity

What is self-care?

Self-care is about taking conscious actions to preserve mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing, especially when leading busy lifestyles. That said, a busy lifestyle isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It could be because you are involved heavily with helping others via charitable events, which yields many emotional and mental benefits. However, a busy lifestyle where one is working long hours, not eating correctly, ignoring one’s physical and psychological health, and inevitably burning out is not.

To understand better, let’s explore in more detail the different domains so you can start caring for your mind and body better.

1. Physical self-care

In life, you have to take care of your body and notice the changes over time. Physical self-care requires that you address any underlying health issues you may have, but also includes:

  • How you are fueling your body
  • How much rest and deep sleep you are getting
  • The amount of physical activity you are doing
  • Your ability to control your routine so that it is manageable and doesn’t induce stress

In general, everyones’ body functions are more or less the same. However, working style and ability to perform varies from person to person. This is why it is essential to focus on yourself. If you are working from home or in the office, make sure you take breaks when you need to and eat proper meals to fuel your body and mind. If you haven’t done one yet, then a comprehensive health check-up may give you a clear indication of how your body is.

Physical self-care ideas

Seeing your local doctor when the time calls or taking prescribed medication and/or managing your lifestyle are essential for good physical self-care. These self-care ideas are just the tip of the iceberg, but you can begin by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Are you getting good and adequate sleep? If yes, how can you maintain the routine? If not, what can you do to adjust your routine to achieve good sleep?
  • Is your diet fueling your body?
  • Are you getting the proper intake of nutrients, minerals, and other essential building blocks for a healthy body?
  •  Do you need to see a dietician to get proper advice on the foods you should be consuming?
  • Are you doing enough exercise?
  • Are you performing the techniques correctly to help improve performance and prevent injury?
  • Do you need a personal trainer to help guide and motivate?

Further reading:

2. Social self-care

Socialization forms an integral part of our lives. A busy lifestyle can make it challenging to make time for close friends (or even colleagues at work) and distract you from your relationships.

Thus, social self-care is about how much time and energy you give yourself to connect and learn from others. The social connections you make can help drive long-term relationships and even improve them to healthier levels.

While there isn’t an exact number of hours you should devote to those around and close to you, forming social connections is a must. And although everyone has different social needs and abilities, knowing your social conditions can help you create an optimal social life.

That said, you are encouraged to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you giving yourself time and space to arrange a meet-up with friends and family?
  • Are you nurturing your relationships with colleagues (even when working from home), friends, and loved ones? If not, what can you do to adjust your lifestyle and free up more time?

By attending to your social needs, you’ll be able to identify key areas that can help improve your overall health, even when leading a busy lifestyle.

3. Mental self-care

One can say that we know more about space and the universe than we do our minds. In fact, mental health is an area of our wellness that we have largely neglected for a long time. However, extreme global events like the COVID-19 pandemic have changed that forever. According to our Global Employee Benefits Trends Report 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic caused mental health to take a nosedive, resulting in many employees turning to employers for support and mental health benefits.

Did you know that 70% of employers have seen an increase in the utilization of their EAPs?

Turning to mental self-care

If access to mental health benefits is not yet possible, mental self-care is considered a good starting point for shedding light on how we can manage our psychological wellbeing. It can involve:

  • Doing self-care activities to help you stay mentally healthy, like listening to music or reading a book of interest
  • Practicing self-compassion
  • Forgiving yourself for mistakes of the past

Here are some questions to consider to begin your mental self-care:

  • Are you scheduling enough time to allow your mind to take a break?
  • Are you stimulating your mind with activities unrelated to work?
  • Are you staying on top of the trends and keeping your mind refreshed with new ideas?
  • Do you have a nagging thought that is holding you back? If so, have you spoken to anyone that can help listen and offer sound advice?

Try changing your routine and exposing yourself to new experiences. You can even try stepping out of your comfort zone to try something entirely different. Doing so could stimulate your mind and allow you to discover something special or even unknown about yourself.

Further reading:

4. Spiritual self-care

This particular domain is interesting as it doesn’t require you to be religious – centering on the belief in a higher power. But it can involve anything that helps you develop a deeper meaning and understanding of life. It could be a principle or connection with the universe and nature. Cultures can also play an important part in how we view the world around us. In turn, spiritual self-care can also lead to a healthier lifestyle through activities, such as:

  • Meditation
  • Attending mass or a religious service
  • Praying
  • Journaling
  • Being with nature
  • Practicing forgiveness
  • Reading inspiring content
  • Detoxification courses

Trying any of the above self-care ideas can help you develop a deeper meaning and understanding of life. Here are some questions to help you get started with spiritual self-care:

  • What spurs you to do better in life?
  • What are your values?
  • What matters most in life?
  • What can you do to improve your health and wellbeing?
  • What is your personality?
  • What does it mean to have a “good life?”

5. Emotional self-care

Last on our list of domains is emotional self-care. In life, it’s essential to have healthy coping skills to deal with the feelings that build up inside. Emotions are powerful, like anger, anxiety, sadness, sorrow, etc., and require a solid understanding to cope. That said, it is not easy to control such emotions without acknowledging them first. This is where emotional self-care comes in, which can help you express your feelings regularly.

When it comes to your emotions, nothing is better than talking to your partner, loved one, or close friend about how you feel. Perhaps you can set aside some time away from your busy lifestyle for leisurely activities. Take a break and head to your local seaside beach or trek through a nature reserve or national park. These and more can help you process your emotions.

Create a self-care plan

By now, you have probably realized that self-care is not a one-size-fits-all plan. Your very own self-care plan will need to be tailored to your needs and what is currently happening in your life.

A self-care plan for a middle-aged office worker who feels mentally stressed may need to emphasize physical and mental self-care. While a retired person may need to focus on social self-care and ensure their social needs are met.

Staying healthy is generally a universal goal around the globe, and conscious actions in the form of a self-care plan can help most achieve just that.

About Pacific Prime

Founded in 2000, Pacific Prime is one of the world’s largest employee benefits and health insurance brokers with a broad portfolio of clients, including expats, families, international schools, professional services firms.

See our Blog or visit Prime Guides to download the latest reports and infographics for more health-related topics.

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Content Creator at Pacific Prime
Jimmy is a content writer who helps simplify insurance for readers interested in international private medical insurance. He is on a mission in Thailand to support locals, expatriates, and businesses by bring the latest news and updates to his Pacific Prime blog articles.

His expert view and wealth of knowledge on insurance can also be found in his blogs for China, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Singapore.