Nutritious foods and water fuel our bodies with nutrients: fatty acids, amino acids, glucose, and glycerol. Our bodies feel and perform their best (short-term and long-term) when we consume intentionally, while also enjoying what we eat.
Self-care is taking time to care for ourselves. Contrary to popular culture, it is not purely indulgent or pleasurable. Instead, self-care is more often mundane activities (e.g., going to bed on time, brushing our teeth) that help us feel our best.
Exercise is a great form of self-care. Not only does physical activity strengthen our heart muscle, it also increases brain function, lung capacity, blood flow, and muscle tissue. Additionally, research has shown that daily exercise can improve sleep quality, life expectancy, and happiness.
Sleep and stress management are also types of self-care. Research has shown that each affects the other in both positive and negative ways. Although stress is a natural part of life, we can use strategies (e.g., taking a warm bath) to find calm in stressful times. We sleep better when we can slow down and relax.