Enhancing Your Well-Being Through Self-Care
By Donald Currie, RP, Clinical Director, Dimensions Algonquin Highlands
Pulled in so many directions by our modern lifestyle, it’s easy to lose sight of how vital self-care can be. Daily stressors become so overwhelming that we disregard our bodies and minds. But, renewal and growth are hallmarks of the summer season. It’s the ideal time of year to refocus our lives and establish habits that will benefit our health.
As a psychotherapist and integrative mental health practitioner, I incorporate an integrated, holistic perspective on wellness that encompasses beneficial practices for the mind, body, and spirit. These approaches can enhance the effectiveness of therapy, and it’s essential to recognize that comprehensive health and wellness cannot be accomplished by single modalities or panaceas. By incorporating various mind-body techniques into treatment, we can regain homeostasis psychologically, physiologically, emotionally, and spiritually. We thrive when our bodies are in a state of homeostasis. Our lives are filled with meaning, our sense of connection to others is strong, and we are healthy and happy.
Engaging in mind-body practices for 10 minutes per day can significantly impact your health. Consider scheduling this time for yourself just as you would a meeting at work or a dinner with friends. Think of this time as an investment in your well-being and health.
Summer ’s warmer weather encourages us to move our bodies more, so let’s start with some exercise. Check back here regularly for more mind-body-spirit practices you can adopt to enhance your well-being.
Movement enhances our mental and physical well-being, improves our cognitive abilities and increases concentration and focus.
There are four main types of exercise, each offering its own benefits. These include strength, balance, endurance and flexibility. Incorporating these different styles of workouts throughout the week provides a wide array of benefits. For example, strength training increases lean muscle mass. In addition, studies have shown that yoga practice and aerobic exercise can reduce depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms. Tai chi can help to improve balance and improve proprioception, which is the sense of self-movement and body position.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise three times per week. You can make your exercise routine fun by putting on your favourite music or working out with a friend or a group. Remember to start slowly and build your intensity over time. Be aware of your own body’s needs and go at a comfortable pace for you. Even a 10-minute workout will raise your heart rate. Ideally, you should find ways to move your body daily.