How To Live Healthy: An Essential Guide To Self Care

Posted by on Jul 22, 2011 in Personal Development | 20 comments

Healthy living is about more than diet and exercise. A truly healthy life means living healthy mentally, emotionally and physically. Taking care of your mind and body reduces stress and minimizes emotional and physical injury, boosts mood and creativity, increases focus and nurtures a happy life.

Practicing regular self care can positively effect your life and your career. At work you will be more alert, communicate more effectively, discover better solutions and handle stress with greater ease.

I realized I needed to write an article about self care to remind myself of the many benefits of taking care of me. I’ve been so busy with so many different activities, I wore myself out! I knew I needed a refresher on self care when I missed two appointments on my calendar- an extremely rare occurrence for me. When I practice self care, I am happier, more peaceful and more successful in my career.

So it’s back to basics, and while I revisit my own best health tips, I hope to inspire you. There are as many different ways to healthy living as there are people. No one set of guidelines is right for everyone, and I encourage you to try what feels comfortable to you.

Take time for yourself.
Take some time for yourself every day. Give yourself at least 20 minutes of uninterrupted time to do something just for you. Take a bath, read a book, listen to your favorite tunes. Whatever you do, do it for you!

Spend time with people you love.
On the flip-side of taking time for yourself is spending time with family and friends. Spend ten minutes genuinely engaging another person. Look them in the eye, and share something great about your day.

Get hugged.
I love hugs and will hug just about anyone. Want a hug? Just ask! A warm hug offers comfort and releases tension. Don’t limit your hugs to people- hug a dog, hug a cat, hug a stuffed animal or pillow.

Eat when you’re hungry, and only when you’re hungry. If you can, choose to eat something that will fuel your body with the good stuff. Eat at least one fruit or vegetable. You can do it!

Move your body.
Get up and get going. Go for a walk, stretch your body, take a deep breath, do yoga, ride a bike, dance in your pajamas- whatever you do, just get your body moving. It feels good, doesn’t it?

Give a compliment.
Look at someone you admire, or someone you don’t, and give them a genuine compliment. We’re all great at something, so find that greatness in others and share it. Trust me, you’ll feel great!

Live one day at a time.
Let tomorrow’s concerns be managed tomorrow, and yesterday’s concerns remain in the past. Live for today!

Stay hydrated.
Drinking water has a million benefits and that’s a scientific fact. Okay, maybe not a million scientific benefits, but if you stay hydrated you’ll feel like a million bucks! If you’re not the type to carry a re-usable water bottle around with you, try drinking at least one glass of water with every meal.

Check two items off your to-do list.
Take care of at least one important task in your work and at least one important task in your personal life each day. Enjoy the sense of accomplishment from getting something done.

enjoy your work

Be pleasant.
Practice courtesy and kindness today. Smile at a stranger. Make way for another person in your path. This may sound like it will benefit someone else, but I promise it will benefit you!

Get enough sleep.
Get to bed earlier than you need to go to sleep. If you have trouble falling asleep, avoid the glow of your cell phone, computer or tv screen at least a half hour before bed. Stretch your body and take some deep breaths to clear your mind before bed. You’ll be glad you did.

Have an attitude of gratitude.
Be grateful for life today. Say, “thank you”. Make a gratitude list. Find something beautiful in your life and hold on to the thought of that beauty.

Let go.
Let go of any burdens you’ve been carrying. Think a kind thought for someone that frustrates you. If you find yourself clenching your teeth or tightening your shoulders, take a breath and let go.

Speak up and shut up.
Say what you need to say, but say it only once. Allow space for others to speak. In short, speak up when you need to and shut up when you need to.

Be happy.
Choose to be happy. Abraham Lincoln said, “most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

Be uniquely you.
Honor your truth and be uniquely you!

Try one thing on this list today.
Which tip will you try today?

How do you practice self care? Did you get any new ideas you can’t wait to try from this post? I love your comments!

Photo Credit: Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos


  1. Hi Chrysta!

    I loved this blog of yours! So informative. Made me realize once more that keeping a healthy life is a matter of physical, emotional and spiritual.

    I’ve already started some stuffs that are in here like drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, and the one we call “ME-time.” And oh! By the way, this weekend, gonna try that “Get Hugged” item!! :)

    Thank you for this and I will really be glad to read one of your blogs again!

    God bless you!

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Joan!

      Getting hugged is one of my favorite methods of self care- all my stress just melts away. :)

      Great job taking care of yourself! Keep up the good work and keep trying new ways to be caring to you- you deserve it!

      Have a grateful day!


  2. Hey Chrysta,

    I just can’t over the fact that you make such wonderful lists 😉

    I did try a similar personal exercise at one point where I tick off two nice thing everyday and then at the end of the day I go to bed with a smile thinking of how I trying my best, at least two acts a day!

    Being active is something I would strongly recommend. I am such a lazy person, that at one point my mom actually told me that spiders would make webs around me and the couch! Well, I still am the lazy one, but I try to get up and going! Or I just go out for a nice quite walk! :)

    Also, keeping yourself a little busy always helps in keeping your mind off things that really don’t matter!

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Hajra!

      I had not realized it before, and you are right, I am good at making lists! Organizing my thoughts helps me be more effective and I’m pleased it can help others, too! :)

      I find it’s often lots of little things that help me live a great life, instead of one or two big things. I get easily discouraged when I focus on the big things, or when I focus on negative consequences. Both of these thought practices make me feel stuck and helpless whereas doing small things are easier to manage and tend to have a bigger impact!

      This is why I take a short walk every work day. It isn’t important how long I walk so much as the fact that I get up and walk- even just for a few minutes. And, as you said, keeping myself busy keeps my mind off limitations & distractions.

      Thanks for joining the conversation! Have a grateful day!


  3. I am definitely adding your blog to my follow list. I love all of the useful information that you post! And starting tomorrow I am going to try several tasks from the self care post!Thanks for sharing!

    • I am very grateful for your lovely comments!

      And I’m thrilled you’re going to try some of my self care tips. Please let me know how it goes! No doubt there are many more tips that work for different people- these are mainly the tips that work for me.


  4. What a timely topic! Thanks for keeping self-care in the forefront of our minds. Practicing good self care for me includes not only some pampering and indulgences, it’s also about making sure that I take good care of my thoughts, beliefs and values that guide my life.

    • Thank you for your comment, Gladys!

      I agree that practicing self care means taking care of my thoughts, beliefs and values in addition to my body. Those aspects of self care are so often overlooked!

      Looks like you’ve got a great post about self care, too. I can’t wait to check it out!


  5. It’s great to live one day at a time. But even better to live everyday like it is your LAST! This pushes you into a mindset where you cherish every moment, put your heart into all your works, focus on the present moment and live life to the fullest!!! Living everyday like your last is definitely the best way to GO.

    • Thanks for your comment, Jonathan! I love your idea of living each day like it is your last and mindfully cherishing each day- what a great way to live! I often ask myself, how important is it, when challenges interrupt my day. This simple question helps me gain perspective and realize that often things that seem important today might not really be that important in the long run and it’s easier to let those things go. If I’m living every day like it’s my last, that gives “how important is it” greater impact.


  6. WOWZA!! What a beautiful new design, Chrysta! Great choice and I totally commend your effort in putting this together. It’s so fresh and so appealing to the eyes! I feel healthier already! =)

    You know, I love how you used a blog post to remind you of the importance of self-care! That’s a great example in and of itself. =) My favorites are living one day at a time and getting enough sleep. The other favorite that I’m ashamed to mention is crossing things off my to do list. I shouldn’t be so obsessive about it — it’s so counter self-care. =P

    Great post, Chrysta! Loved it!

    • Thanks so much for your enthusiasm, Samantha! I always love getting comments from you.

      I’m so glad to hear you like the new design! A very talented friend helped me out and I couldn’t be more pleased with the work she did.

      Getting enough sleep is definitely one of my favorites, too! Along with drinking plenty of water. Oh, and getting hugs! I made sure to get lots of hugs over the weekend and it was great!

      Have a great day!


  7. I’m a fan of getting enough sleep … I think it makes a world of difference.

    • Thanks for commenting, J.D.

      I notice a huge difference in my ability to deal with stress when I’m well-rested versus when I’m not. It’s worth going to bed early for me to feel happy and peaceful throughout my day.


  8. Hi Chrysta – I came across your site via the SITS forum.

    What an inspiring site you have! I will definitely be back 😉

    I am getting back in the habit of drinking more water.

    • Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the comment! I’m thrilled to hear my blog inspired you in some way.

      Drinking more water is so important! And so easy to miss. I used to carry a water bottle with me everywhere and for awhile I stopped. I don’t know why I stopped but I did. Now that I’m back in the habit of carrying my water bottle I notice how thirsty I am and how much I appreciate having a water bottle handy. Especially in the hot summer months!

  9. Thank you.

  10. A self help guide that is a perfect health recipe for life. So good.

    • Jaky, thank you for your lovely comments! It’s always a pleasure to read your comments.

      I’m happy to enjoyed this post! I wrote something different and felt inspired to write about self care when I realized I needed to step up my own self care practice. It was a fun article to write!



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