health

Six signs you’re not taking care of yourself.

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Adulting is hard, okay?

Being a grown-up is a strange thing. As soon as you leave home, you realise how good you had it, which is something you never really appreciate as a kid.

Your parents’ job was literally to look after you and to make sure you became a fully-functioning adult, but when you moved out of home you found yourself living on cereal and microwave rice (or is that just me?).

Honestly, throughout adulthood and even when you become a parent yourself, life just gets in the way and the whole looking-after-yourself aspect can be put on the back burner.

But our health and wellbeing is important and even though you think you might be taking excellent care of yourself, here are six signs you may not be…

1. You have dry or cracked lips.

This is the most common tell-tale sign of dehydration. To prevent this, it is recommended that you drink around six to eight glasses of water per day. So why not switch your afternoon coffee for a glass (or two) of water (and always have a bottle next to you to sip from).

how to take care of yourself

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2. You’re constantly exhausted.

Life is busy. Whether you work, study or look after children, there is always something to be done and sometimes this can be exhausting. However, if this fatigue is persistent, it could be a symptom of anemia, which is a lack of red blood cells that carry oxygen from your lungs, as well as other health issues.

If you have a diagnosed iron deficiency, it can be supplemented by adding more lean, red meat into your diet or by taking iron tablets. We recommend a quick visit to the doctor before taking on any new tablets or supplements though.

how to take care of yourself

3. You get headaches when stressed.

Stress headaches are a result of just that, stress. More prevalent in women than men, they can come from a number of different areas of your life, and the stress or anxiety can trigger tension headaches or even migraines.

One option to help alleviate this can be regular exercise and hydration, which relieves the muscle pain. Meditation can also be a great form of stress release and help to clarify the mind. If all else fail, you can seek advice from your doctor.

how to take care of yourself

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4. You’ve gained weight.

If you’re unintentionally gaining weight, your body could be missing vital nutrients. Being low in magnesium, Vitamin D and iron can compromise your immune system and alter your metabolism, which can cause fatigue and possibly increase your intake of caffeine and sweets.

To get your health back on track, you can take iron tablets for your iron levels and snack on a few Brazil nuts or almonds for magnesium. For vitamin D, visit your doctor for a recommended dosage.

how to take care of yourself

5. Your skin is pimple city.

A number of different things can contribute to your skin breaking out: using the wrong skincare, eating spicy food and even kissing someone with a beard. But you could actually just be scrubbing your skin too hard.

Sure, that smooth-skin feeling after an exfoliant feels great, but this could be making your skin worse. Instead, try cleaning your face with a gentle yet effective system – cleanse, tone and moisturise.

how to take care of yourself

6. You have trouble sleeping.

There are a countless reasons for your lack of shut-eye. Not enough exercise, dehydration or simply doing too much before bed time can prevent a great sleep. You could even be your own worst enemy when it comes to your sleeping habits. With our shifting TV-watching patterns, “just one more episode” of Scandal turns into three and before you know it, it’s 2am and you have to get up in four hours.

Sleep is so important (if you don’t believe me, watch Arianna Huffinton’s TED talk below) and it’s recommended we get at least eight hours per night. So shut off the Netflix and read a book or have a bath before bed. Being relaxed before bed will get you sleeping in no time.

how to take care of yourself

Mamamia recommends you consult your doctor before trialing new tablets or supplements.

Do you struggle to look after yourself sometimes?

Without further ado, here’s Arianna Huffinton’s TED talk on sleep:

Video via TED

Want more? Try these:

The 7 major health repercussions of not drinking enough water.

A foolproof way to drink more water (and love it).

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