Socializing with others is a big part of senior self care.

On July 24th of each year, we recognize International Self-Care Day, as a way of making people aware that taking care of themselves is just as important as taking care of others. Home care professionals in Marysville and elsewhere are well aware of this, and try to keep that important message in mind throughout the year, as well as on July 24th. Professional caregivers urge everyone in the are, especially area seniors, to keep this self-care idea in mind, both for the month of July and afterward.

There's an old saying that boils down to the fact that you can't provide good care for others without first looking to your own health so that you can maintain a sufficient state of wellness to provide that external care. On this upcoming International Self-Care Day, let's spread the word to all seniors that they should also be practicing good self-care too, because most of them provide care in their own way to others, even while they are also receiving it.

What's included in self-care?

The broad notion of self-care generally includes all those activities which relate to maintaining good health, such as establishing and continuing with a balanced diet, getting lots of exercise, having regular good sleep and rest periods, engaging in mental activities, and socializing with others to whatever extent that may be practical. All these activities taken together help to improve physical, mental, and emotional well-being, and contribute heavily to the quality of life that a senior should enjoy.

Simple self-care activities

One really nice thing you can do for yourself is a senior is to create your own version of a man cave, i.e. to set aside a personal space where you can unwind and spend some time enjoying the things you like to do. You can make it comfortable by adding a pillow or two, and possibly an Afghan to keep you warm on cooler days. This can be a personal sanctuary and a retreat for whenever anxiety or stress intrudes on your daily life.

Keep active

Even if you don't feel up to exercising every single day, or doing something that you feel is a little too vigorous for your state of fitness, you should do your best to stay active to the extent you are capable of each day. Even a little stretching can go a long way toward relieving tired muscles and keeping you a little more flexible. It's known that almost any kind of movement will trigger the release of feel-good endorphins, which will then add to your sense of self-satisfaction and happiness.

Be more food-conscious

Take ownership for the things you eat at each meal and don't just assume you're being provided with all the healthy foods you need to maintain good health. If you're still able to prepare your own meals, you should do so with the thought in mind that fruits and salads are terrific additions to your daily diet, along with slices or chunks of low-fat chicken and turkey.

It doesn't take much time to prepare an all-inclusive salad like this, and for those times when you're not in the mood to eat much, these can also make great snacks. It's best to avoid the foods which are high in sugar, fat, and carbohydrates, and to avoid alcoholic beverages in excess. Eating healthy doesn't take much effort, but you may have to discipline yourself a little when you're first trying to change your eating habits.

Remember to socialize

Socializing is a very important part of self-care because it makes you feel less withdrawn and alone, and studies have shown that it also promotes better memory retention. Whenever you can, try to attend community events or parties which include people you know, and make sure to try and interact as much as possible at these events.

It is well documented that the benefits of being socially active are almost as important as being physically active, and they provide some of the same advantages of self-esteem and improvement of quality of life. Participating in events like this is even more important if you aren't able to exercise regularly, because it at least gets you out and about, and moving around. Humans are inherently social creatures, and we all feel much better about ourselves when we have the opportunity to be involved with others.

Mental stimulation

It's a good idea to include activities like solving crossword puzzles and other kinds of thought exercises and brain-teasers because they serve to keep the mind active and engaged, and they promote better mental functionality. If you can include some kinds of activities like this regularly in your daily routine, you will be able to keep your mind sharp and maintain a more positive outlook on life, because you'll feel better about your daily mental accomplishments.