*If you’ve missed the introductory post to this series on self-care, click here.
Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel – Eleanor Brownn
Now that we’ve established that we, in fact, need to look after ourselves first, to be able to look after others, let’s get down to business.
I decided to touch on physical self-care first because it’s the easiest to write about. Funny enough, it’s one of the more difficult ones to put into practice. This is because physical self-care is not a once-off action like reading a book. It will only be effective if you are consistent and build a daily habit.
Are you afraid of tackling physical self-care?
Ok, maybe you’re not ready for what seems like a big commitment! Don’t stop reading yet.
The benefits of looking after ourselves physically far outweigh the effort that we put in. Being physically healthy has a domino effect on all other areas of our lives. So before you knock it, I recommend trying one little thing to improve your physical health this week.
So how does one practice physical self-care?
I’m sure you’ve heard this 100 times before but it really is the gospel on improving your physical health. Say it with me:
Healthy Foods + Exercise + Quality Sleep So basic right? If you already have all of these waxed, well done and you are free to stop reading right about now. Personally, I find that when I feel like my life is out of balance, I’m tired all the time, I feel lethargic or I’m irritable, it can usually be attributed to one of the three puzzle pieces being out of sync.
*If you have all of these sorted, well done! You are free to stop reading right about now!
My physical self-care practice
When you read these blog posts, I want you to know that I am preaching to myself as well. So here’s what’s happening in my world when it comes to physical self-care practice.
I find that when my life feels out of balance and I am fatigued, lethargic or irritable, it can be attributed to one of the three puzzle pieces above being out of place. For the last year I ate a mostly low carb high fat diet, but since returning from my vacation in May, I haven’t managed to fully get back to that way of eating. Additionally, I haven’t exercised consistently for three months now. And, due to my increased online activity, I seem to be going to bed later and later these days.
I believe in eating an elephant one bite at a time. Experience has taught me that when I try to set unrealistic goals like exercising seven times this week, I never achieve them. So while I would like to be one of those people who exercises every day, I know that when I start something new, it’s better for me to set small goals that I can achieve. And pat myself on the back when I do!
Your Physical Self-Care Practice
While I could give you a list of 100 things that you could do this week to improve your physical self care, I thought I would challenge you to start with the basics.
To get started, use the three puzzle pieces as a guideline for setting three realistic ways to begin or improve a physical self-care practice this week. Here’s an example if you are unclear.
This is how I plan to look after my physical health this week:
- I’ve planned three workouts this week. When I exercise it has to be something that I enjoy doing like dancing or group classes so I’ve booked a class at the gym for Monday evening and set a calendar reminder for myself. Anyone keen for a pound class tonight?
- I’m going to try my darndest to cut out refined sugars this week. I feel like it is a huge contributor to my energy levels yo-yoing so I think it’s time to sever this relationship once and for all.
- I really need to get between 7-8 hours sleep a night to function as a civilized human being in the morning. This means in bed by 10:00 pm for me and lights out at 10:30 pm. I feel like I could write a whole post just on bedtime habits. Sigh!
A disclaimer on physical self-care
You don’t have to belong to a gym or eat any pricey, healthy foods to set your own goals for this week. A walk outside in the fresh air might be all the physical self-care you need!
I’ve written this post to inspire you AND to keep myself accountable to you. Hopefully next week I will have some positive habitual behaviour to report!
While I know setting some goals for yourself can be a personal thing but if you feel comfortable I would love it if you would share your three physical self-care goals in the comments below!