Sound Healer Garth Roberson.
Fitness & Self-Care: A Partnership
Self-care encompasses intertwined physical and mental health. The American Heart Association notes that exercise boosts mental wellness, and regular activity relieves tension, anxiety, stress, and depression.
Balancing fitness and incorporating it into overall self-care is a 21st century challenge, but it’s well worth the effort. As you explore ways to live a more mindful, healthy life, enjoy the journey of trial and error—you may surprise yourself with finding new things to love.
Give yourself the gift of self-care by:
Prioritizing. Find ways to balance priorities and commitments to yourself, your job, and your family. Your mental and physical health should be among the most important things you address each day. Schedule time for yourself by putting it on your calendar like any other appointment.
Committing. After you prioritize your needs and goals, create a plan to address and accomplish each one. Set small goals to start—if you’re starting an exercise program, working out three days a week is easier to commit to than diving into an hour-long program seven days a week. Set yourself up for success.
Getting active. You don’t have to go to the gym if that’s not your bag. Look for an activity that you enjoy, like biking, walking, rollerblading, swimming, playing tag with the kids, or gardening. Try classes, like cardio kickboxing, Zumba, barre, or dance—these classes are hard work, but fun!
Choosing flexibility. Sometimes, life interferes with your plans, and that’s okay. Are the kids off from school today? Take everyone to the park to play or head to a state park to hike. You’ll get in your workout while spending quality time with your loved ones. No time for the park? Choose the steps over the elevator, park further from the door, or turn up the music after dinner and challenge everyone to a dance contest.
Cutting yourself some slack. You’ve worked a 14-hour day, taken one kid to baseball and another to the doctor, finished a presentation—and done it all on four hours of sleep. Gym time might not be the best use of what little free time you’ve got; instead, give yourself permission to crawl into bed early. Even Wonder Woman needs a break sometimes!
Eating well. You’ll feel better when you eat better. Prep easy snacks for healthier meals-on-the-go so you’re not tempted to hit the fast food drive-through. Put that crock pot to good use, and train your older kids to help cook meals. A healthy diet doesn’t have to mean giving up your favorite foods. Instead, it’s all about balance. Who doesn’t crave comfort foods now and then? And that’s the key—eating those foods only occasionally while balancing them out with healthier foods and activity. If you’ve fallen into bad eating habits, check out this articlefrom the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to improve your eating habits. It’s never too late to start.
Using positive affirmations. We’re our own harshest critics. The only person responsible for your own happiness is you. And you don’t have to change to please anyone but yourself. If you find your mind wandering down a more self-destructive or negative path, try saying some of these affirmations to yourself—and when you say them, believe in their truths.
Supplement addiction recovery with exercise
Exercise offers a myriad of benefits. Losing just five percent of your body weight lowers blood pressure, reduces risks of type 2 diabetes and other diseases, and shrinks the chance of developing the number one killer in the US—heart disease. Additionally, many studies show that adding exercise to a treatment program aids in recovering from substance abuse addiction.
Did you know that regular exercise also:
Repairs brain chemistry that’s become unbalanced from addiction.
Releases stress healthfully.
Builds muscles—and optimism and self-confidence.
Clears your mind and cultivates a more zen-like attitude. In fact, the Mayo Clinic calls exercise “meditation in motion.”
Do it for yourself
Seek and make opportunities to refuel yourself and address your needs. Self-care improves relationship skills, promotes feelings of well-being, increases optimism and hope, decreases stress, facilitates better health management, and improves your overall quality of life. You’re absolutely worth it.
Photo Credit: Pexels.com
Written by Sheila Olson