Exhausted, Burnt out, Unhappy, Uninspired? Have you recently made time for physical self care?
Practicing physical self care is not easy. Most of us have stressful jobs, demanding family lives. We are too busy consuming all the technology around us. “Me- Time” is usually the last thing on the agenda.
There is a belief attached to self care that it is only possible for the rich who can spend money on massage and spa treatments every week. Or for the ones blessed enough to have lots of free time in this busy, chaotic life.
We can feel guilty prioritizing our self care before kids, partners, social commitments, and so on. There are endless things that need to get done in a day.
Self care is vital to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself. It is not selfish. If you are in a better place mentally, you can take better care of the people dependent on you.
It is the same idea as putting your oxygen mask first to help the people dependent on you. Self care sustains and enhances the health of everyone around you.
There are many benefits to prioritizing your mental and physical health. Some benefits include less stress, improved physical health, better relationships, positive feelings, higher self-esteem and confidence, more energy, and mental clarity.
Self care can be any activity that we do that refuels us rather than takes from us.
“Make yourself a priority. You are your longest commitment.”
Four Examples Of Self Care
- The Body- Physical self care
- The Heart- Emotional self care
- The mind- Psychological self care
- The Spirit- Spiritual self care
This article focuses on physical self care. You can click the links above to know more in-depth about the other types.
Physical self care is the most simple and straightforward aspect of self care. It comes down to the fact that our body is well-rested, we feed it good nutrition and get the necessary exercise.
The body is often referred to as your “real home” because you only have one throughout your entire life. You want to make sure it functions well, and you treat it right.
Physical Self Care Ideas
Regular Sleep Routine
For the last couple of months, I have disciplined myself to go to bed early every night. I can wake up at 5:30 am in the morning and start my day right.
It gives me a couple of hours to set the tone for my day, whether through meditation, journaling, having a nice cup of tea by myself, or reading a book.
I had become a bit of a night owl after I had my son. Once he went to bed, I felt like that was my time to relax finally. But in reality, I usually ended up mindlessly scrolling through social media, Pinterest, or shop online.
Sleep is usually the first thing to go when our schedules are “busy.” But the quality of our life goes out the window when we are trying to be more productive on less sleep.
Benefits of proper sleep include reduced stress, improved mood, more energy, a sharper brain, healthier heart, regulated blood sugar, and regulated hormones.
For me, the most significant change I saw was an increase in productivity, more energy, and an overall better sense of well-being. As soon as I fixed my sleep schedule, it created a domino effect to practice other healthy habits. I had the time, energy, and mental clarity.
Most people associate exercise with weight loss or weight management. But it is so much more than that.
Exercising helps with muscle tone and strength, combats health conditions, strengthens your heart, improves mood, boost energy, promote better sleep, improved immune system, and so much more.
You can benefit from any form of exercise, no matter the intensity. Some of the reasons people stop exercising are; unrealistic goals that fall short, lack of knowledge, or hitting a plateau stage.
Eating a well-balanced diet is the foundation of good physical and mental health. That is how we get fuel, the energy for our bodies. Good nutrition means your body gets all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to work its best.
A healthy diet includes lots of natural foods such as whole grains, seeds, nuts, beans, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
Physical Self Care Plan
Set realistic goals. If you have not exercised in a while, set a small goal. Start by stretching for 10 mins every day or a quick walk around the neighborhood.
Have you ever tried to follow a routine you found on YouTube and then gave up halfway? All the exercises were new to you, and you had trouble following along? Research the night before. Have a game plan and know what each activity requires.
Keep It Interesting
Try new things that you may have dismissed before because it did not fit your definition of exercise. Keep it interesting. Try kickboxing, Pilates, yoga, outdoor circuit, dance class.
Find creative ways to add more physical activity to your day. It may include finding a parking spot at a distance, playing tag with your kids, taking the stairs, deep cleaning your house.
The idea is to lose the excuses and find ways to incorporate movement into your routine if you cannot dedicate a specific exercise time.
Physical self care does not have to feel like a chore.
Some Tips For Eating Well
- Eat plenty of fruit. To get the benefits of natural fiber in fruits, try eating whole fruits instead of juice.
- Eat a variety of colors and types of vegetables every day.
- Eat more of the whole grains. Most of the cereals, kinds of pasta, and bread you eat should come from whole grains.
- Choose leaner cuts of meat as it has fewer calories and less fat. They are a good source of protein still. You can try other sources of protein such as beans, poultry, fish, and tofu.
- Avoid things like refined sugars, trans fat, processed foods, and refined grains such as white bread and white rice.
Water is also an essential component of our body. 70% of our brain, 80% of our blood, and almost 90% of our lungs is comprised of water. Proper hydration improves concentration and focus. Water also helps to relieve fatigue, flush toxins, aids digestion, lubricates joints, and regulate body temperature
Your physical self care plan and the journey is unique to you. It is all about your goals, expectations, and your needs in life. It is about being in better alignment with yourself.
All four types of self care are essential. You can start by incorporating small activities of each kind. And remember, healthy habits are formed over time with consistency and discipline.
Half the battle is getting started. Pick one area you would like to work on, and the domino effect will follow. The domino effect states that when you change one behavior, it will activate a chain reaction and cause a shift in related behaviors.
Start today and keep at it. It won’t be long before you notice a difference.