An Introduction to Self-Care for Your Body
When we think of self-care, we often think of massages and pedicures. Those are fantastic but certainly not part of daily self-care. But some of the most important self-care activities are those that tend to the more mundane needs of the body: getting enough sleep, drinking lots of water, eating healthy food, and getting some exercise. When we don’t attend to the needs of our body, we usually wind up getting sick, feel run-down, tired or even exhausted. Today I would like to introduce you to self-care for your body and give you a number of ideas to help you look after the place that you live!
I’m going to split this into three categories/types:
Are you getting enough sleep for your mental and physical needs? Do you wake up feeling refreshed? Sleep can have a huge effect on how you feel both emotionally and physically. Not getting enough could cause major health issues. Stress and other distractions can wreak havoc on our sleep, so here’s a few tips.
- Make sleep a priority. If possible, go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. It does make a difference to your energy levels.
- Wind down up to an hour before going to bed. A regular nightly routine helps the body recognize that it is bedtime. This could include taking warm shower or bath, reading a book, or light stretches.
- Is your room set up for sleep. Is it clean and tidy. Are there electronics with bright lights?
Take time for rest and relaxation throughout the day. Looking away from your PC, taking a break from what you’re doing. This includes a break for your eyes and/or for your ears. We are exposed to so much noise, busy-ness, it feels wonderful to just take a break. Closing your eyes for a few moments. Or sit in silence. Notice what it feels like to “turn-off”. Read more about that here
Our bodies are made for movement, we weren’t designed to sit all day. It is no secret that it is good for the physical body. It is also good for the mind and soul. Exercise can help to boost your mood and reduce stress and anxiety. Find the time to move daily and exercise three time a week
Daily movement could be:
- Take the stairs, rather than the lift.
- Gentle walk
- Have a dance party at home when you’re cooking dinner or cleaning the house.
- A Yoga or Pilates class/exercise at home is fantastic for this. But so is a few gentle stretches. A stretch first thing in the morning is a great way of waking your body up.
The exercise that you do about three times a week, could take whatever form is right for you: gym for cardio or resistance training, swimming, running or a gym class for example. Find activities that you really enjoy and create a routine that works for you. Not always easy, but worth it!
Pay attention to the fuel you provide your body! The food we eat has the potential to either keep us healthy or contribute to weight gain or risk of diseases. It can also keep our minds working and alert; you’ve heard the expression brain food?
Self care and nutrition go hand in hand, because working towards a healthy relationship with food is self care. Eating things you enjoy, meal planning to save you stress later in the week, even eating ice cream to make you feel better can be self care.-That’s not daily self-care though!
When you’re busy, this can be one of the first areas of self-care to slip. Here are some tips to keep you on track:
- Menu plan or have some rough ideas of what you could eat when at least.
- Include brain food, such as fatty fish, blueberries, nuts and green leafy vegetables.
- Follow the 80:20 rule. I don’t believe in depriving yourself!
- If you struggle with drinking enough water, perhaps try adding lemon or cucumber so the water has more flavour.
- Keep protein-filled snacks to hand; Greek yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, apples and peanut butter, mixed nuts, etc. These snacks will help you keep your energy up, and you’ll avoid the “crash” that sugary foods can cause.
This is just a quick whistle-stop tour of how to look after your body. There is so much more to explore; we’ve not even talked about skincare for example.
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments, is there something you’d like me to cover in a future post?
If you’d like to get started with self-care today, download this At Home Guide to Self-Care, by clicking on the link.
For ongoing support and encouragement with your self-care, come and join my FREE Facebook group, Shine in Self-Care