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A local business I follow on Facebook recently posed the question, “What is your definition of self-care?” Although I didn’t comment with my answer, it got me thinking about what the basic definition of self-care is for me.

Often, my first thoughts about self-care drift to relaxation activities: quiet time to read or pursue a hobby, a bubble bath, or a good TV show and a fresh coat of nail polish. But as positive as all those things are, they don’t make up for a deficit in more basic forms of self care.

If I haven’t been taking care of myself on a simple, everyday level—getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating nutritious foods—then no number of at-home “spa nights” or solo Saturday mornings at the coffee shop can make up for it. Conversely, when I do take care of the basics, I’m much less desperate for a break.

One element of self-care my husband and I have been trying to focus more on is nutrition—not necessarily following any particular dietary trend, but rather, being more aware of how what we’re eating is affecting our bodies and our overall health and well-being. And while I’m not giving up my baking hobby any time soon, I’m also learning that a delicious, nutritious meal is better self-care than a piece of cake that’s eaten to cope with stress.

This week at Verily, we’re taking a look at some of the building blocks of self-care on a day-to-day level, with a particular focus on nutrition.

Today’s piece by Aimee McNew, nutritionist and author, explores the benefits of Vitamin D as they relate to mental health. Later this week, Fay Schaeffer runs us through some hardy vegetables you can still grow this fall, and Laura Loker’s article on soup season is sure to inspire some home-cooked meals.

Along with nutrition, we’ll also tap into a few other ways to practice caring for yourself: minimal-effort tips to consider for your beauty routine and ideas to prepare your home for winter. We also have a piece about relationship recovery, demonstrating the importance of caring for our relationships.

How do you build a foundation of self-care into your day-to-day life? Tell us here, and we may feature your answer in our daily email.