Six Ways to Practice Self-care Every Day

September is Self-care Awareness Month, which provides us with the perfect excuse to pause and evaluate how well we’ve been taking care of ourselves. There’s (still) a pandemic happening, school is starting back up, many jobs are going back to some combination of hybrid or in-person after months of working from home — it’s a lot to take in, and it’s easy to forget to stop and do an internal wellness check. 

Luckily, if you have a Garmin fitness watch, you have a comprehensive look at how you’re doing at any given moment available with just the flick of a wrist. Here are just a few of our favorite ways to practice self-care with Garmin. 

1. Stay hydrated.

You hear it all the time, and yet we’re going to say it anyway: drink your water. No, really. Drink. Your. Water. Your body needs fluids for a host of reasons, not least of which include maintaining a normal temperature, aiding digestion, protecting your tissues and joints, and regulating mood. So whether you prefer to knock ’em back by the glass or slurp through a trendy to-go tumbler, drink that water.

To help stay on track, download the Garmin Hydration Tracking widget to your compatible smartwatch to log your daily water intake and set reminders to ensure you meet your hydration goal by the end of the day.

2. Watch your stress level.

Literally — some Garmin workout watches allow you to see your current stress level in real time on a scale of 1 to 100. Compatible Garmin devices use heart rate data to measure the interval between each one of your heartbeats. That length of time is regulated by your autonomic nervous system. Less variability between heartbeats indicates higher stress levels, and more variability indicates lower stress levels. Cool, huh? A stress score of 0-25 indicates your body is in a resting state (represented in a blue color); 26-50 indicates low stress (light orange); 51-75 indicates medium stress (darker orange); and 76-100 is high stress (red).

3. Take some time to breathe.

If your stress level approaches red, that could indicate an excellent time to pause and take a breath. Select Garmin smartwatches include a built-in breathwork activity that will walk you through mindful and calming breathing exercises when you need a little help. As you breathe, your watch will track your stress and respiration levels to help you get aligned and better understand how well your breathing techniques are working. If your stress levels are high, your watch can even send you a relax reminder that will prompt you to take a timeout and complete a breathing activity.

4. Get your beauty rest.

We’ve all been there — not getting enough sleep (or enough time in each sleep stage) can turn you into a zombie the next day, and it certainly doesn’t do your physical or mental health any favors. Getting enough sleep doesn’t only help you to stay sharp, but it’s also critical for your immune system. And yet, so many adults don’t get the amount of sleep they need on a consistent basis.

Enter Garmin Sleep Score. Garmin sleep tracking takes the guesswork out of analyzing your body’s sleeping patterns. Compatible watches with advanced sleep tracking can identify when you fall asleep, when you wake up and when your body enters the various sleep stages throughout the night. In the morning, you’ll receive a sleep score on a scale of 0-100 that summarizes how long you slept, the quality of that sleep and how well your body was able to recover from the day before. You’ll even get personalized insights that let you know what you’ve done well — or what you can do throughout the day to improve your chances at a better sleep score the next night.

5. Set aside some time to exercise.

While Reese Witherspoon’s courtroom performance in Legally Blonde might be a bit more dramatic than is applicable to your life on a daily basis, the gist is the same. Exercise does give you endorphins, and endorphins do help to make you happy.

Exercise is also important for muscle strength, heart and lung health, energy levels and more. From walking to bouldering to Pilates, the activity options in your Garmin sport watch are nearly endless, so find what works for you and earn those endorphins.

6. If you have a menstrual cycle, keep an eye on it.

How your menstrual cycle affects your body is a bit more complicated than bleeding or not bleeding. The four menstrual cycle phases — menstruation, follicular, ovulation and luteal — are all hormone-driven, and knowing which phase you are in can explain a lot about what’s happening within your body at any given time. By consistently using Garmin Menstrual Cycle Tracking, either from a widget on your compatible smartwatch and/or in the Garmin Connect™ app, you’ll get a better picture of your body’s overall health — and what it might need from you in terms of self-care. If you’re pregnant or expecting to be, the Garmin Pregnancy Tracking can help do the same thing.

In general, we believe things tend to work better when your mind and body are connected, and sometimes exercising a little self-care is all it takes. Don’t see your favorite self-care tactic listed above? Follow us on Instagram at @garminwellness for more tips — and to let us in on any secrets we might be missing.