Self-love is more than just a buzzword. It’s an everyday practice that can drastically improve your well-being and overall quality of life.
This practice promotes mental, physical, and spiritual growth by encouraging you to actively care for yourself and treat yourself with high regard.
There are many ways to put self-love into practice; most often, this includes positive thinking, engaging in healthy behaviors, and fostering good interpersonal relationships.
While self-love carries many benefits, it can do wonders for your immune system, too. Here are 10 ways that a little personal TLC can boost your immunity.
The importance of rest is impossible to understate. Your body needs a good night’s sleep to perform essential functions. If you suffer from sleep deprivation, this directly weakens your immune system. In fact, people who don’t sleep well are more likely to contract colds and viruses after exposure.
Practicing self-love means honoring your body’s need to rest and recharge. This can mean actively facilitating good sleep with a bedtime routine and creating a conducive sleep environment. You should also schedule downtime into your day to ensure that you aren’t overexerting yourself mentally or physically—this too can be detrimental to your health.
Remember, rest and relaxation will make you more productive and healthy in the long run.
Achieving balance in your day-to-day life can be extremely challenging, and the modern world is hardly conducive to this. Pressures to perform at work while keeping up with social expectations can be overwhelming. Often, this leads to chronic stress. This, in turn, leads to a host of other issues, with a weakened immune system being one.
Self-love teaches us to take a moment to reflect on our needs. It encourages questions about how we can manage our stress more effectively, which promotes optimal health. This can be as simple as identifying your needs and how much capacity you have for each area of your life.
Self-love also encourages boundary-setting with the people and responsibilities in your life. As people, we only have so much to give; don’t forget to pour into your own cup as well.
Regular exercise has observably positive effects on your mental and physical health.
Engaging in moderate exercise throughout the week will make you look and feel good by improving your fitness and immune system. Moving your body also helps to flush out toxins and improve circulation, and reduces your risk of lifestyle diseases.
A good way to practice self-love is by developing a healthy relationship with your body. The best way to do this is by incorporating movement into your weekly schedule.
Avoiding Harmful Substances
Sometimes self-love means making difficult decisions for the sake of your well-being.
Recreational substances like alcohol and nicotine may be difficult to avoid, but they’re deeply harmful to your immune system. For the best health, limit your consumption of drinks, cigarettes, or try to cut these things out altogether.
Spending Time in Nature
Going for a walk outdoors is the perfect opportunity to spend time with yourself, away from technology and the expectations of others. This is a great time to reflect on life and give your feelings and experiences some thought.
Alternatively, it can be a good time to unwind and simply appreciate the natural beauty around you. At the same time, you’ll soak up some much-needed Vitamin D and get a good dose of fresh air.
Spending time outdoors is linked to significant mental and physical health benefits, with studies revealing that green, natural environments are associated with decreased mortality. Prioritize this act of self-love to reap several benefits.
Being kind to yourself is a pillar of self-love.
When you’re kind to yourself, you’re more likely to respond to your body’s needs and notice when it requires extra care and support. Many people engage in negative self-talk and have a demoralizing internal voice. This leads to negative emotions, which can spiral into anxiety and depression. Both anxiety and depression have been linked to a weakened immune system. These conditions can also cause you to further neglect your health. By practicing self-love, you can avoid putting any extra emotional and physical burden on yourself and your body.
Nourishing Your Body
Is there a better way to practice self-love than treating yourself to good food? The occasional treat is well-deserved and sure to spark joy, but nothing will make you feel better than nourishing your body with a healthy diet.
Self-love entails making the best decisions for your health, as you should be actively invested in your own well-being. This means eating a well-balanced, nutrient-dense diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. This diet should provide all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants your body requires on a daily basis, ensuring a healthy immune system.
If you need an extra boost, incorporate supplements into your diet; when your immune system is fighting off a cold, a healthy dose of Vitamin C doesn’t hurt.
Positive thinking has the power to boost your body’s ability to fight disease and depression. Your body responds negatively to stress, and this can suppress the immune system and lead to a spike in cortisol (the stress hormone).
If you’re kind to yourself and actively practice self-love, this positivity can keep you healthier. Practicing a positive mindset can encompass all areas of your life, from your mental and physical health to your sexual health too.
Mindfulness involves being fully present in your body and maintaining a conscious awareness of your surroundings.
It can be practiced alone, with a class, or even guided by a practitioner. It has been associated with numerous mental health benefits and has also been found to improve physical well-being.
One study found that mindfulness meditation was associated with reductions in proinflammatory processes, increases in cell defense, and protection against cell aging. This practice is deservedly celebrated in the wellness and self-care communities.
Sometimes, we’re at capacity and seeking support will allow us to make space for self-love in our lives. Neglecting your needs can have serious consequences on your life and health.
If you find yourself struggling with your responsibilities or failing to put together a healthy meal on a regular basis, reach out for a helping hand. More often than not, your loved ones will be happy to help.
If you require more serious intervention, you should seek out professional help. This can help address mental health concerns while reducing the risk of stress-related immune issues.
A little bit of self-care goes a long way to boosting your immunity. Put yourself first, and your body will thank you for it!