Back to Basics: Self-Care Essentials


Having recently experienced increased anxiety and panic attacks, I realized I needed to reflect on ways to decrease everyday stress. I wanted to prioritize my mental health as well as my physical health. I had been asked what I do for my self-care and my response was an occasional pedicure, some alone time shopping, or a massage. Those are all great things that I enjoy doing, but I was quickly reminded of the importance of self-care essentials like water intake, adequate nutrition, exercise, and sleep.

This discussion made me want to dive deeper into the self-care aspects that I had not prioritized. It is shown that adequate water intake, nutrition, exercise, and sleep all play a role in taking proper care of our mind and body. I set personal goals for each of these four basic but essential needs after realizing how important they are to my health.

The Self-Care Essentials


We need to be properly hydrated for our bodies to run efficiently. Drinking adequate fluid is essential for proper digestion, nutrient absorption, and flushing waste from our body. The amount of water that each person needs to drink varies but even mild dehydration can cause physical symptoms like fatigue, headaches, dry skin, constipation, and brain fog. So let’s face it, if you don’t keep your body adequately hydrated, you are not going to feel your best!

Personally, I have been terrible about drinking adequate amounts of water and my body has FELT IT! Since being more aware of it, I have noticed a difference in how I feel and have become much more conscious of my water intake. I wake up and start my day with a warm cup of water (instead of a cup of caffeinated coffee), and I always have a bottle full of water with me wherever I go. I also keep track of my water input on my watch, which holds me accountable for sticking to my daily input of H2O!


Eating a healthy diet is important for mental and physical health. Evidence suggests that a well-balanced diet can decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression. Healthy food makes your body feel good and can alter the chemical messengers in your brain to reduce symptoms of depression. A well-balanced diet includes more minerals and vitamins, healthy fats, and fiber from a variety of nuts, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

I have always eaten relatively healthy, but I was never great about eating a more balanced meal for breakfast. I started adding healthy fats like avocado and eating more eggs, which kept my blood sugar from dropping with a more wholesome meal. When I tend to eat a more carb-heavy breakfast, I feel it and don’t feel as energized for the day. This was preventing me from really wanting to exercise like I wanted to do, as well.


Research on exercise has shown to have positive effects on how we feel. It improves our mood and decreases anxiety by releasing chemicals in the brain that enhance our well-being. Getting your body moving is a great way to deal with anxiety. It can lead to increased confidence and allow you to take your mind off the constant anxious thoughts and worries. By exercising, you reduce anxiety and stress, which then increases serotonin in your brain. Serotonin is one of those chemical messengers in your brain that plays a role in your sleep cycles and makes you feel happy!

I set reasonable goals for myself and do exercises that are enjoyable to me. Walking, using weights, and free apps are what help keep me motivated. Being able to get outside and simply take a walk with my family is beneficial too. 


Proper sleep hygiene is also important to our mental and physical health. We all know lack of sleep can make you feel irritable and on edge. It has been shown that establishing healthy sleep habits can improve the quality of sleep that you get. 

Getting adequate sleep as a parent has been a struggle. Working the second shift also makes it difficult, but I go to bed early on the days when I am not working. By 8:00 PM, I am in bed so that I know I get a full night’s rest with my early-rising children. I also limit screen time before bedtime. I keep my room dark with darkening shades and always have a fan on for white noise. It is shown that exercising does improve sleep as well! I always exercise in the morning to help my body to sleep better throughout the night.

Take Care of Yourself!

Basic self-care seems so simple, but as busy moms, it’s easy to forget what’s most important for our mind and body to function properly and efficiently. Being the best version of ourselves is important so that we can be the best mom!

Disclaimer: The above information is for informational purposes only and is only based on my personal experiences. Anyone looking for health advice should consult their doctor for any questions regarding their health. 


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