The Ultimate Self-Care Guide
If you’ve ever flown on a jet, you’ve heard the safety instructions that are announced over the speakers before the flight. You might remember the part of the script that says: “In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will automatically descend from the ceiling. Grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have children traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs.”
Those directions always sounded strange to me until I stopped to consider the logic behind them. Since many children don’t have the ability or mental awareness to place an oxygen mask over their face, it’s up to an adult to aid their children in that process. But if an adult doesn’t affix their mask first, they may pass out from lightheadedness and fail to assist their kids.
The principle behind those preflight instructions also applies to your mental and physical health. Perhaps you have people—children, siblings, a spouse or even parents—who depend on you for daily assistance. If you aren’t taking care of yourself, how can you hope to take care of them?
1. Take Care of Number One
You’ve probably heard the expression “always take care of number one.” Although that saying might not be the best advice in business, team sports, relationships or many other areas of life, it holds a great deal of significance to your personal health. In fact, how you treat your body, and brain may well determine your ability to function in an increasingly busy world.
Like it or not, stress is a normal and unavoidable part of living. From work or school to shopping and paying bills, the list of demands on our time can seem insurmountable.
If it feels like your stress levels are being pushed to the limit, you may be experiencing the kind of exhaustion that can lead to serious mood and sleep issues. Taking care of yourself may require that you seek out additional help. The good news is that there are many practical steps you can take to get the support you need.
2. Get Some Nutritional Support
Whether you find yourself having negative or anxious thoughts, or if you feel that your stress levels have nearly reached the breaking point, BrainMD offers a range of powerful supplements for mood and stress that can help turn your day around. These brain-directed supplements have been formulated with the highest quality nutrients and ingredients that can help you feel calm, content, and able to manage stress or mental strain.
Everyday Stress Relief Supplement
To stay healthy in today’s fast-paced world, you need to be resilient to stress. Everyday Stress Relief replenishes your body’s levels of nutrients that can be depleted during times of excessive stress and has herbal extracts clinically proven to have calming and anti-stress effects. This formula includes:
- Magnesium, a mineral important for calm, balanced and mentally focused demeanor.
- The vitamin-like nutrient taurine, that has versatile benefits for electrical transmission in the brain and supports the adrenal glands which are crucial for coping with stress.
- Holy Basil, revered in the East for improving adaptation to occasional anxiety, feelings of exhaustion, forgetfulness and other problems related to stress.
- L-theanine from green tea reduces tension and promotes rest without diminishing alertness.
- Relora® is a unique mix of two herbs that can enhance healthy management of the stress hormone cortisol while easing anger, negative mood, and confusion.
These well-studied nutrients and herbals support your body’s coping with stress on multiple levels. Everyday Stress Relief can help you stay calm so that you can enjoy the good things in your life.
Serotonin Mood Support Supplement
Our brain produces the naturally soothing neurotransmitter called serotonin. Serotonin plays many important roles in the brain’s biochemistry and is involved in maintaining healthy mood and promoting feelings of calmness. Serotonin also can help control late-night appetite. Serotonin Mood Support is highly geared to promote serotonin activity in the brain. This formula includes:
- 5-HTP, a nutrient that the brain can readily convert into serotonin on demand.
- Saffron, the world’s most expensive herb, has a long history of traditional use for “inducing happiness.” Saffron has consistently improved mood in a number of clinical trials.
- Vitamin B6 is an essential cofactor for enzymes that make serotonin and other key transmitters.
- Methylfolate, the pre-activated and most readily utilized form of the folate vitamin. Methylfolate is paired with methyl-vitamin B12 to help ensure the brain makes sufficient melatonin (our sleep hormone) and has the biochemical tools for renewing and maintaining its nearly 200 billion cells.
Lifestyle habits such as consuming “smart” carbohydrates in moderation and taking a dietary supplement like Serotonin Mood Support can work together to elevate mood and promote calm.
In addition to supplements, there are many other effective ways to improve your emotional well-being to manage mood and reduce stress. Learn how to be kinder to yourself by implementing the tips in this Self-care Strategy Guide…
3. Give Yourself a Time Out
You may feel pressure to be everything to everyone, but there’s only so much one person can accomplish. Increase your energy and stamina by giving yourself a timeout. All of us need time to recharge our batteries and self-care is often the best thing you can do. Plus, others will benefit when your stress is reduced and your mood is improved.
4. Listen to Soothing Tunes
It’s no surprise that listening to music can increase pleasurable feelings, improve mood, boost energy, raise dopamine levels and help with focus and concentration. Remaining in a relaxed state of mind is easier to accomplish when you have a happy tune running through your head. Listen to brain enhancing music specifically composed to enhance mood, gratitude, motivation, and inspiration.
5. Get Quality Sleep
Good sleep is essential for optimal brain and body health. Insufficient and inconsistent sleep can increase irritability, moodiness and poor judgment. To remain at the top of your game, it’s recommended that you get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Whether you’re too wired to sleep or too stressed to sleep, natural sleep aids can help improve your quality of sleep.
6. Write It Down
The process of journaling gives stressful thoughts a home, another place they can live besides your brain. Once those thoughts have been expressed, they often lose their intensity and urgency which will allow you to mentally relax. Writing in your journal 10 minutes before you go to bed can help release the stresses of the day and put you in a restful state of mind.
7. Get Regular Exercise
Physical exercise is perhaps the single most important thing you can do to keep your brain healthy. Exercise can boost blood flow and other positive nutrients to the brain, increase your levels of dopamine and generate new brain cells that can help the brain self-regulate and calm down. Walking can help you clear your mind, decrease anxiety, improve your mood and burn some calories all at the same time.
8. Meditate Daily
Make time for yourself every day. Taking breaks for meditation and relaxation provide benefits for both your physical and mental health. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh your mind. Clearing your mind and slowing your breathing can help restore inner calm. Repeating simple words like “May I be safe and secure” can increase positive emotions and decrease negative ones. Loving Kindness Meditations (LKM) can reduce pain and improve other mental health challenges.
9. Get a Massage
One way to counter the effects of stress is to get a massage. Massage therapy has been known to increase dopamine levels by nearly 30% while decreasing cortisol (a stress hormone) levels.
10. Just Say No
Take control of your schedule rather than letting it control you. Say no to cravings, events and activities that aren’t essential to your life. Be mindful of what you do, how you spend your time and energy. Don’t do things the same way just because that’s how you’ve always done them. If what you’re doing isn’t making you happy or is causing you stress, it’s time to do something different.
By following these mood-boosting and stress-reducing techniques they can help to improve your overall well-being so that you can take care of yourself and the other important people in your life.
For more information about Everyday Stress Relief, Serotonin Mood Support or our full catalog of brain healthy supplements, visit the online store at BrainMD.
Keith is grateful to have the opportunity to write about supplements since many of them have made a dramatic difference in his life. He is often heard around the office saying, “We have supplements for that.”