Self-care is something that for many is a challenging habit to build and then maintain. Although you would think it should come naturally to us, I find myself chatting to clients all the time about the importance of self-care, the daily need to keep body, mood and health in good shape so we can function at our best.
Why is it so difficult to prioritise our own needs? We’ll give everything to others before we consider caring for ourselves? And if we do look after ourselves why do we tend to feel guilty about it? Of course self-care is not always possible to fit in amongst work and family responsibilities, but it’s important to know when to hit the “pause” button on life.
Personally I know that if I go too long without eating healthy, nutritious meals or incorporating some exercise and relaxation into my week I get tired and grumpy… just ask my husband! From this a vicious cycle can begin, we are tired so we don’t exercise and we don’t spend time preparing our meals, we then succumb to take-outs and alcohol to unwind which then just makes us feel worse. People can get stuck on this cycle for literally years! What’s worse is that your entire family suffers from this cycle too.
If you know that you are not very good at self care the following points might be of some help to you:
1. Aim to do one nice thing for yourself each week, this could include a hot bath or watching a favourite movie.
2. Schedule at least 3 exercise sessions each week out in nature, even when you don’t feel like it. Focus on the outcome, the proud feeling you have after you’ve stuck with it even when you didn’t want to.
3. Aim for one fun social event each week, this could actually include a walk with a girlfriend, or a round of golf with a mate;
4. Plan at least one break or holiday to look forward to each year. It doesn’t have to be expensive or long, sometimes all we need is just a night away or even just a day out at the beach to relax & recharge.
Once you create these “pause” buttons in your life, you’ll be surprised how much better you feel and how much more energy you have to make the effort to eat well and move your body. Even if you aim for once per week and only do it once a fortnight you’ll see and feel the difference. Try it, I dare you!
Adriana Solorzano – Owner & Head Personal Trainer