Everyone is stressed nowadays. In fact, as a society, we’ve started glamorizing stress. Think that’s weird? Well, if someone was telling you that they had to somehow figure out how to run to 5 different stores, get their kids to three different sports (all on different ends of town), go to their own high-intensity spin class, and still work full time – what would you think? Odds are, most people think “Wow, they really have their life together! I am so not measuring up.” But, if you really stop and think about how that must feel, they probably feel like a frayed rope trying to hold up an elephant.
These levels of stress are severely unhealthy, and we’re doing them to ourselves. Society has put such a premium on “busier is better” that we don’t take time to relax or unwind.
High levels of stress have been scientifically proven to shorten our telomeres. Telomeres are essentially caps on the ends of our chromosomes that are responsible for protecting our DNA. While they naturally shrink as we age, long-term stress accelerates this shortening process. When the telomeres are no longer there, our chromosomes begin to get damaged, which causes aging and decreased cellular health. Yikes!
(In summary: Being excessively stressed ages you prematurely and causes cell damage.)
As the weather gets warmer here in the northern hemisphere, many of us get a lot more active! An increase in activity necessitates an increase in hydration. When it’s hot outside, even if you’re not active, you need to increase hydration as well. Heat causes you to sweat, and sweat causes you to lose a lot more water than you would if you weren’t sweating. While hydration is important year round, I thought the warmer weather would be a good time to really focus on your hydration levels!
Lately, I’ve been feeling less and less like myself. With everything going on in my life, my self-care routines have been abandoned – which has created this empty “not me” shell. I’ve still been helping support Izzy and her family (posts 1 & 2), recovering from my arm surgery (posts 1, 2, & 3), and then the general life busyness intensified.
Self-care is different for everyone. Some people go all out and spend an entire day in a spa or go on a full vacation to relax. Some people don’t like those things (my mom hates being touched by strangers so massages/manicures/pedicures are torture for her), or can’t afford them, which is fine. Other’s with limited funds or resources may do spa days at home (I created some luxurious bath bombs for use at home, and they were quite a bit cheaper than the ones you can buy), or choose to take a staycation. And then there is the amazing #BoringSelfCare movement, which I absolutely love!
Or maybe taking a break in the grass is your idea of self-care!