3 Simple Ways to Practise Self-Care
A big warm hello to all of our clients and friends.
We are happy to be back with our monthly blogs at Newcastle Aquatic Physiotherapy.
While we are almost back to our pre-COVID services, our safety policies and measures as a COVID-safe Newcastle business are still in place which you can read in our previous posts. We will continue to post updates regarding our changes in services.
This month's post is focusing on mental health, mainly the way we use self-care in our daily lives. The past few months have been a big reflection of how aspects of our lives can be changed by things out of our control, and it is important to focus on the things that we can change. October (Mental Health Month) and November (Movember) have also marked big awareness months for our mental and physical wellbeing. Discussion around mental health and wellbeing is all too important in starting to rebuild connections with our friends, family, community and ourselves as restrictions ease.
What Is Self-Care?
Self-care can be used to define any action that we take to improve or focus on ourselves in a way that contributes positively to our health.
Mental health and physical health are linked in our overall wellbeing.
People with mental illnesses are more likely to develop physical illness, and physical illnesses can become a barrier for mental health, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. A holistic health approach is about treating the whole person – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing. In a holistic health approach, physiotherapy can assist in addressing some of the barriers of persons with mental illness accessing appropriate physical healthcare.
In all aspects of rehabilitation from physical or mental illnesses, the patient should always be an active participant in their recovery. As physiotherapists, we can work as part of a team of other health professionals to provide you with tools and guidance based on our experience in this area. At the end of the day, it is your health and journey to achieving this balance. Here are some examples of how you can incorporate self-care into your lifestyle:
Physical activity is any activity or movement that uses your body’s energy. Research shows that physical activity stimulates the release of multiple brain chemicals including dopamine, serotonin and endorphins which contribute to mood and managing stress. Australia’s physical activity guidelines recommend adults (18-64) participate in 150-300 minutes (between 2.5 and 5 hours) of moderate physical intensity activity or 75-150 (1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity each week. Any movement is better than none, so the key is to start with any movements or activities that you enjoy. This could be gardening, playing with a pet, or going for a stroll around the block.
All foods stimulate the body’s production of the “feel-good” chemical dopamine which is linked to contributing to positive changes in mood. There is some early research to indicate that our body’s dopamine pathways can be impaired with high exposure to processed and high sugar-content foods. Foods including fruit and vegetables, oily fish high in Omega-3, dark chocolate and dairy foods can boost dopamine.
Celebrate little victories!
Setting small goals and reaching them can have great effects on your mood too! Similar to our body’s response to food, achieving tasks activates the reward centre of our brains, releasing dopamine. Take some small steps through the day, whether that is spending 5-10 minutes doing an activity or exercise, making a list or running an errand.
If you are considering physiotherapy to treat an ache or pain, develop a rehabilitation plan or to just provide some guidance in your physical health, our team are available to help you get started on your journey, Call us on (02) 49550143 to speak to our reception for more information.