Taking care of ourselves should be a top priority, but many of us put our health and well-being on the back burner. Are you taking care of you? Here are the top signs you’re not taking care of yourself:
1. You’re frequently stressed out. Stress can be extremely hazardous to our health over time. Headaches, high blood pressure, obesity, depression and other ailments have been linked to stress. Many people will focus on treating the symptoms of stress, but never get to the root cause of what’s causing their stress.
2. You’re always tired. Are you always on the go? Getting adequate rest is essential to good health. Here are a few dangers caused by lack of sleep:
- Ghrelin and leptin are two hormones affected by lack of sleep. These hormones control feelings of hunger and fullness. An imbalance in these hormones could cause a person to overeat, possibly increasing their risk of weight gain and obesity.
- The body repairs itself while sleeping. A lack of sleep can contribute to a weakened immune system, increasing susceptibility to illness and disease.
- When sleep deprived, the body releases insulin, which could cause an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. This can also lead to an unwanted accumulation of excess body fat
3. You need (fill in the blank) to function. For some people it’s several cups of coffee in the morning or throughout the day. Others can’t sleep without taking a sleeping pill. Quite a few of us need a glass (or 2) of wine or a few beers to wind down after work. Who must have their cigarettes, soda or chocolate cake every day to feel complete? These actions could be signs of addiction: are these possible symptoms of underlying problems that require further investigation?
4. You get colds frequently. Getting sick often could be a sign of a weak immune system. Here are a few things that can weaken the immune system:
- Unhealthy diet
- Too much/not enough exercise
- Lack of sleep
- Alcohol consumption
Instead of just taking medication to feel better, take the time to discover why you’re getting sick in the first place.
5. You’re surrounded by clutter. Being surrounded by clutter can affect your health in many ways. For example, physical clutter in your home or office can attract dust and mold, which could increase the risk of having allergies and asthma. Mentally, clutter can increase feelings of depression and anxiety. Clutter could be a symptom of other underlying issues as well, such as being overwhelmed.
6. No “me” time. Sometimes, you just need a little time to yourself. Taking a few minutes to be alone, away from work, family and friends can yield the following benefits:
- Clears your mind of clutter
- Gives you time to think
- Increase productivity and creativity
- Improves work/life balance
7. You’re gaining weight. People tend to gain weight as they age, but not all weight gain is equal. For example, if a person is spending a lot of hours at the office, they might consume more empty calories such as energy drinks or sugary snacks from the vending machine for energy. Others may not have the time to prepare healthy meals, so fast food is their primary option. If you find yourself suddenly gaining weight, took a good look at your eating habits to determine if that’s the culprit.
Are You Taking Care of Yourself?
No one can take better care of you than you. Take a look at this list and make the necessary changes if any of these apply to you. Every day, make the effort to practice self-care. Your body will thank you.