Logo

    About this Episode

    Most of us have heard how important “self-care” is and how important it can be for healthy living. But what exactly IS self-care? In this episode, not only do we define what self-care is, but we talk through the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of what’s involved in self-care and why this can so often be misunderstood and challenging. While we might be familiar with this term, many may not consider how they can be deliberate around managing themselves by both reflecting on and engaging in activities that help support their brains and bodies. It isn’t enough to simply know that self-care is important, rather discovering practical actions you can take to improve both how you feel and how you engage with the world.

    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • Being intentional and purposeful with self-care is crucial in uncertain times. We should focus on developing individualized strategies that help nourish us and create habits, loops, and expectations that support our well-being.
    • Self-care is not self-indulgent, it's a responsibility towards ourselves and those who depend on us. Prioritizing self-care helps in maintaining and promoting health, preventing diseases, and coping with illnesses.
    • Prioritize sleeping, exercise, and healthy eating for a better quality of life. Don't feel guilty about practicing self-care, it's about adding to your overall well-being. Incorporate spiritual self-care through acts of gratitude and kindness. Focus on foundational aspects rather than overwhelming yourself with lists and ideas.
    • Engaging in movement and walking are simple ways to boost our well-being. Having a good foundation of the fundamentals, planning our time, and prioritizing our well-being can help us incorporate exercise into our daily lives.
    • Being accountable to someone and prioritizing self-care can help us overcome perfectionism and manage stress. Just showing up for nourishing activities can create momentum and real-time data cultivates a sense of craving for repetition.
    • Reflecting on daily routines and optimizing for happiness can lead to long-term benefits for mental and physical wellness. Enduring pain to achieve goals is challenging, but focusing on joy can make it worthwhile.
    • Taking care of ourselves, our homes, and our lives is essential. Understanding our resources, capabilities, and choices help us make better decisions. Having respect for ourselves, making space, and being part of a community is crucial to fulfilling our purpose.
    • It's important to have a little buffer in life to cope with challenges and find fulfillment through a strong life purpose. Exercise and self-care are essential for longevity, and enduring present challenges can lead to future success.
    • Self-care involves prioritizing emotional and social well-being alongside physical health. Overcoming barriers and giving back to the community without expectation promotes self-care. Engaging in real-time connections and laughter is also crucial for self-care.
    • Prioritize activities that energize and ignite passion by scheduling them in your calendar and having an emergency self-care plan ready. Seek support from loved ones and stay open to feedback to overcome challenges and keep learning.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    The Importance of Deliberate Self-Care during the Pandemic

    The pandemic has made it harder to adjust to life and requires a more deliberate approach to self-care. Forethought is necessary to be purposeful about our days and incorporate our idiosyncratic preferences. Looking at tomorrow, next week, and the month after can help develop an intentional mindset. Uncertainty or lack of predictability contributes to psychological and emotional challenges, and it's important to focus on strategies that nourish us individually. This requires a better understanding of what self-care means to each individual and how to succeed at it through creating habits, loops, and expectations for ourselves. Being more deliberate and intentional with self-care can help navigate the moving objects and targets in life, especially during pandemic life.

    The importance of prioritizing self-care

    Self-care is essential for maintaining a healthy mind, body, and soul. The ability to promote health, prevent diseases, and cope with illnesses is not just the responsibility of healthcare providers but also of individuals, families, and communities. It's important to grow nourishing thoughts in our brain and be protective of the soil we work within. Many people misunderstand self-care as self-indulgent, costly, and selfish. However, it's selfish not to care for ourselves as we have a responsibility to others who depend on us. We must strive to prioritize self-care in our lives and understand that it's a collaboration towards maintaining and promoting health.

    The Core Aspects of Self-Care for Preventing Chronic Diseases.

    Self-care is important for overall health and well-being. The core aspects of self-care, including emotional, physical, and spiritual self-care, contribute to preventing chronic diseases. Dr. Wayne Jonas suggests prioritizing sleeping, exercise, and healthy eating as foundational aspects of self-care. Self-care is not about taking away from others, but rather adding to your own well-being. It is essential to take permission for self-care and to explore and invest time in it. Act of gratitude, kindness or volunteering are also spiritual self-care. There are lists and ideas, but it is best to focus on the foundational aspects of self-care.

    The Importance of Exercise for Our Well-being

    Exercise is crucial for our well-being and can be as simple as engaging in movement and walking. It is essential to have a good foundation of the fundamentals, as it makes all other things much more manageable. Misconceptions and lack of knowledge about the cost and time needed for self-care are significant barriers to caring for our bodies, minds, and souls. Being purposeful and planning our time can help us incorporate exercise into our daily lives. It is vital to prioritize our well-being, and even small steps like taking a walk or going mountain-biking, can significantly boost our mental and physical well-being.

    The importance of accountability, self-care, and realistic expectations for sticking to commitments.

    Being accountable to someone, like a friend or a therapist, can help us stick to our commitments. Our own self-expectations and perfectionism can become barriers, so it's important to recalibrate expectations and recognize that something is better than nothing. Nourishing activities like yoga, walking, or a preferred workout can help us manage stress and show up differently in the world. Just showing up is half the battle, as it creates momentum and snowballs into more actions. Prioritizing self-care and scheduling it on the calendar can ensure that we make time for it, and real-time data can cultivate a sense of craving for repetition.

    The importance of understanding habits, motivation, and productivity for sustaining self-care.

    Self-care is essential for mental and physical wellness. It's important to reflect on our daily routine and habits to incorporate feedback that puts us back on track to achieve our goals. Understanding habits, the habit loop, motivation, and productivity helps to sustain self-care. To qualify for self-care, we need to feel good and experience joy. Joy is an enduring emotional state that creates a sense of satisfaction. Optimizing for happiness brings long-term benefits to one's health and well-being. Enduring pain and discomfort while pursuing a goal is challenging, but focusing on joy, understanding our goals, and enduring the pain can bring long-term benefits to our overall health and wellness.

    The Importance of Self-Care and Prudent Choices

    Self-care is not wasteful. Taking care of oneself, one's home, and one's life is inconsiderate and wise. We shouldn't waste our resources and should make prudent choices that help us show up in the best way possible. To do something, we have to give something up. Understanding our resources, our capabilities, and how our choices affect our family helps us make better decisions and cope. It's important to have respect for ourselves and recognize that we are unique individuals with no other copies. Community is also crucial for us to fulfill our purpose and intention. We should avoid operating at full utilization and make space for margin in our lives.

    Coping with Aversive Things: The Importance of Margin and Purpose.

    Coping with aversive things does not mean you have to white-knuckle through them every day. Coping involves having a little margin, a little buffer which provides a sense of fulfillment and meaning. Having a strong life purpose decreases mortality rates. Reverse-engineering your life by projecting to the future, and determining who you want to be, and where you want to be, helps in making significant life decisions. Caring for oneself is essential, and requires commitment and buy-in. Exercising 2-8 hours per week throughout life reduces the risk of dying early by 29% to 36%. Enduring present-day challenges is worth it when it helps in achieving future goals.

    The Importance of Emotional and Social Self-Care

    Self-care involves caring for oneself emotionally, physically, and socially. Recognizing emotional self-care and caring for how we feel is as important as physical care. It is important to be aware of the barriers that make emotional self-care difficult. Additionally, it is important to care for the community and give back, but not with the expectation of receiving something back. When changing how you function in life, it is important to ask more questions and assess what is in your hand that someone else could benefit from. Self-care also involves connecting with others in real-time, without latency, and enjoying their laughter. Laughter is a big deal and is important in self-care.

    Importance of Creating a Personalized Self-Care Plan

    Creating a personalized self-care plan is important for maintaining mental and emotional wellbeing. By identifying activities that energize and ignite passion, individuals can prioritize them by scheduling it in their calendar and putting it in their visual field for easy reference. In case of an emergency, having an emergency self-care plan ready helps to deal with sudden setbacks or tipping points. Being accountable to others like friends and family makes it easier to follow through on commitments. Instead of fixating on the problem, looking for solutions and finding workarounds to get support from others can help overcome challenges in a tailored way. It's important to keep learning and growing by seeking feedback and staying open to new ideas.

    Recent Episodes from Brain Science: Neuroscience, Behavior

    Develop a high-performance mindset

    Develop a high-performance mindset
    In this episode Adam and Mireille discuss what it takes to develop a high performance mindset. Your mindset is the mental framework that influences your actions, your decisions, and your overall approach to life. Discover how to nurture a growth-oriented and positive mindset, fostering resilience, adaptability, and a commitment to self-improvement. This episode is a must-listen for anyone looking to optimize their mental framework and cultivate a growth-oriented mindset to achieve success in their personal and professional lives.

    Your brain on burnout

    Your brain on burnout
    We’re back! This is from our “lost episodes” — This is your brain…and this is your brain on burnout, any questions? OK, but seriously, burnout effects everyone, even if they/you don’t admit it. Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged stress. It can affect ANYONE, but it is especially common among high-performers who push themselves to the limit. In this episode, we dive into the latest research on burnout and its effects on the brain, as well as offer practical advice for preventing and managing burnout. If you’re heading into 2023 feeling overwhelmed and drained, this episode is for you.

    The practice of being present

    The practice of being present
    We’re joined by Elisha Goldstein, PhD - one of the world’s preeminent mindfulness teachers, a clinical psychologist, founder of the Mindful Living Collective and, creator of the six-month breakthrough program - A Course in Mindful Living. If you’ve ever used the Calm app, you might be familiar with his voice as he walks you through mindfulness practices to help calm negative emotions and anxious thoughts. He has extensive expertise in mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) and today he’s sharing his wealth of knowledge using mindfulness to naturally reduce anxiety and be more present and aware in our lives.

    It's OK to self-care

    It's OK  to self-care
    Most of us have heard how important “self-care” is and how important it can be for healthy living. But what exactly IS self-care? In this episode, not only do we define what self-care is, but we talk through the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of what’s involved in self-care and why this can so often be misunderstood and challenging. While we might be familiar with this term, many may not consider how they can be deliberate around managing themselves by both reflecting on and engaging in activities that help support their brains and bodies. It isn’t enough to simply know that self-care is important, rather discovering practical actions you can take to improve both how you feel and how you engage with the world.

    I'm just so stressed

    I'm just so stressed
    Stress is something that we will inevitably encounter throughout our lives. It isn’t all bad or maladaptive, but how we manage it can make a significant difference in our lives. The degree of stress we feel impacts how we show up in the world including both how we relate and how we do the work before us each day. In this episode, Mireille and Adam discuss the impact of stress on our systems including the role of different stress hormones on our immune system, cardiovascular system and our metabolism. Like many other conversations on previous episodes, we provide research relative to the value of relationships as having close connections helps us all combat the stress that loneliness can cause as well. When we utilize resources to support us as well as set limits on what we expose ourselves to and focus our attention to, we have the opportunity to better navigate the stresses of our lives.

    Clarity and expectation

    Clarity and expectation
    When you lack clarity or have uncertainty for a direction or goal, it’s going to be difficult to succeed in your actions. Today Mireille and Adam discuss the topic of clear communication and expectation, two of the most important ingredients of success. How do we create better clarity? Like so many things — clarity begins with awareness, and awareness of yourself. You have to know what you want and what you value in life. We must assume 100% responsibility for creating our own clarity in our lives. After all, “if you don’t have clarity, you are operating from assumption.”

    Dealing with conflict

    Dealing with conflict
    Conflict is a part of everyday life. If you are connected to other humans, conflict will eventually occur. But what exactly is conflict? Where does it begin? How can it be resolved? In this episode, Mireille and Adam dive deep into those details to examine the framework of conflict end-to-end, to hopefully equip us with the tactics and skills we need to better navigate and resolve the conflict we encounter in our lives.

    What does it mean to be Indistractible?

    What does it mean to be Indistractible?
    Distractions will always exist – managing them is our responsibility. We often talk about the need for new information in order to change the old patterns of our brain. One of the best ways we can do this is through reading good books. In this episode, Mireille and Adam discuss the highlights of Nir Eyal’s book, Indistractible – how to control your attention and choose your life. In his book, Nir highlights this clear connection between people’s distraction and its relationship to psychological discomfort, otherwise known as pain. He says, “all behaviors, whether they tend toward traction or distraction are prompted by triggers, internal or external. When we learn how to recognize these “triggers,” there is opportunity for change. And changing in the direction that you desire, as based on what you value, is key to having the life you want to live.

    It all begins with empathy

    It all begins with empathy
    Have you heard the phrase, “Put yourself in their shoes?” In this episode, the conversation focuses on the “HOW” and why it all begins with empathy. Empathy is the key that enables access to another person’s perspective and emotional state. It is also a fundamental aspect of building and sustaining relationships with others. The fascinating thing is that there are 3 types of empathy: cognitive, social, and empathic concern. Plus there’s a counterpart component called compassion that moves us to take action.

    The science behind caffeine

    The science behind caffeine
    Today’s episode features our very first guest. We’re joined by Danielle Rath, a notable expert and product developer in the caffeine and energy drink industry. Danielle is the founder of GreenEyedGuide Research and Consulting where she shares science-based information about energy drinks and caffeine, and helps people and companies where fatigue and caffeine use are prevalent. In this lengthly episode, we talk through all aspects of the science behind caffeine — its chemical structure and half-life, where and how it’s being used, the good, bad, and the ugly, as well as practical advice for everyday consumption. If you consume caffeine of any sort, this is a must listen episode.