Living busy lives can sometimes mean that we prioritize ourselves last. When we make our lists of activities, chores, work tasks, and family obligations, we often neglect our own self-care. Being able to pause and find a few moments for ourselves may sound like a luxury, but the science behind these mindful pauses is compelling. Allowing the body these restorative moments improves our concentration, sleep, stamina, and mood. In fact, the body and mind can enter a state of healing, and inflammation can decrease. Imagine all of the things we can do when our minds are functioning at their best.
Take a few moments to enjoy this pause in your day by listening to Katherine Hillgren, Whole Health Coach and yoga instructor at the VA St. Louis Healthcare system. As Katherine points out, give yourself permission to be present; for this brief moment, there is no where else you have to be.
Guided relaxation exercises such as this are frequently offered throughout VA healthcare systems, and you can reach out to your local facility to find out about opportunities for learning more of these skills. These practices only take a small amount of time, and you can often do them in your home or at work.
Looking to do more self-care, but don’t know where to start? Whole Health offers the support you need to make the changes you want. Start your self-care journey with the Circle of Health: https://www.va.gov/WHOLEHEALTH/circle-of-health/index.asp
Another part of self-care is stress management. Check out this short Healthy Living Message on Managing Stress from the National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15GaKTP0gFE&list=PL3AQ_JVoBEywH95nwBCpq0mAWbUlMfG0y&index=15
Kavitha Reddy, MD FACEP ABoIM, is a national whole health champion with the VHA Office of Patient-Centered Care and Cultural Transformation and Whole Health System Clinical Director for VASTLHCS.