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How to Take Care of Yourself – Overlooked Steps

When we were little, sometimes a band-aid and a kiss were all we needed to make a boo-boo go away.   Solutions were simple.   Sadly, solutions aren’t always so simple for anxiety, depression, and all the other things that hound us as we grow up.

But what if there were some simple things we could all do to give each of us a healthier mental edge?  

Three basic contributors of brain health are often overlooked:  sleep, a good diet, and regular exercise. [1]  Healing things happen while we sleep: most of the production of our neurotransmitters and brain cells occurs while we get shut eye. [2]  To maximize the healing process, establish a calming bedtime routine: reduce evening consumption of caffeine and other stimulants,  stop using digital devices about 1-2 hours before bedtime, and choose quiet activities that help your mind and body unwind. [3]  Since the body has to process whatever we put into it, eat well and regularly, balance food groups, and try to avoid excessive sugar and stimulants to help diminish mood swings.   Last but not least, aerobic exercise releases endorphins that promote brain growth as well as counteract a down mood.

So now we have 3 ways to take care of ourselves and nudge us towards a mentally healthier future:  sleep, a good diet, and regular exercise.  They don’t provide a panacea, but they may give us a leg up.

How are you challenged to take better care of yourself?


[1] Daniel Siegel, Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation (New York, NY: Bantam Books, 2010), 87.

[2] Margaret Wehrenberg,  The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques (New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 2008), 47-48.

[3] Siegel, 88



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  1. Betty Hamlett says:

    Sooo hard to sleep. I know that is when your body and mind heal but have a hard time sleeping more than 4-5 hours per night.

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