Developing a Physical Self-Care Routine

developing-a-physical-self-care-routine

 

 

*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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

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