~ from Alicia, Countryside Public Market Manager ~
Self-care doesn’t have to be just one day a week. Why not incorporate it into daily habits and give yourself some time to relax, unwind and heal from the stresses of life?
What is Self-care? Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Weekly trips to your neighborhood farmers’ market are the perfect way to incorporate a little dose of self-care into your day and helps you to incorporate healthy decisions throughout the rest of your week.
Mental Health- Have you heard about the power of brain foods? According to Harvard Medical School, foods such as leafy green vegetables, berries, tea, coffee and walnuts “are particularly rich in healthful components like omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and antioxidants, which are known to support brain health,” they add that “Incorporating many of these foods into a healthy diet on a regular basis can improve the health of your brain, which could translate into better mental function.”
Emotional Health- Sometimes we all need a little peace and quiet without anyone else around but generally most people are craving more human connectivity in their lives. Especially in a society that is so connected to phones and technology, it’s now more important than ever to have face-to-face interactions with others. A study by the Project for Public Spaces revealed that “people who shop at farmers markets have 15-20 social interactions per visit, while they would only have one or two per visit to the grocery store”. The vendors, farmers’ market staff and shoppers are generally a very friendly bunch and eager to strike up a good conversation! If you’re nervous to meet new people, bring some friends or family! Oh, did I mention the live music every week? That will certainly raise your spirits AND get your toes a-tappin’.
Physical Health- I like to think that I eat fairly healthy but in a recent trip to the doctor I realized that I actually had a vitamin deficiency. How to fix this? Eat the rainbow! According to the Food Revolution Network, “The variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables have enormous healing powers. And many of them bring their own distinctive colors. Eating a diversity of colorful foods can be an easy way to get a complete range of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to thrive.” I’ve noticed that when we meal plan and buy the majority of our groceries for the week I make better choices because I have access to healthy food at my fingertips. Meal plan, shop when you aren’t hungry and make (mostly) healthy choices. It all comes down to balance, eat what makes you healthy AND what makes you happy!
Self-care shouldn’t just be about massages and pedicures on Sundays (although those are important too). Take a daily inside-out approach and live a happier, healthier life. How do you incorporate self-care into your week?