You should always make time for your health. But when times are tough, it’s even more important to prioritize yourself. Taking the time to blend your fitness routine with simple acts of self-care can make a major difference in the way you look and the way you feel, and can even bring peace into your life. To make self-care part of your wellness and fitness routines, try starting with these very basic, yet effective, daily habits.
Up The Enjoyment Factor of Your Workout
Changing up your fitness routine can benefit your mental health. Instead of slaving away on the treadmill every other day, replace a couple of your sweat sessions each week with activities you truly enjoy. Hiking, biking, and gardening will still help strengthen your muscles and improve your heart health, but you’ll also get the added bonus of spending time in nature. If you’re really feeling adventurous, take some surfing lessons (just make sure you’ve got the right gear). Dance classes, team sports, and family walks after dinner will allow you to socialize while you work out. As an added bonus, picking activities you look forward to will keep you motivated to continue when your schedule gets busy.
Get More, and Better Quality, Rest at Night
A good workout is a great way to ensure a good night’s sleep. But if you’re losing sleep at night, you could actually be undoing all your hard work. A failing mattress is often at the heart of sleep issues, so if you’re unhappy with yours, boost your self-care by shopping around for a new one. Even on a tight budget, you can find a bed that supports your body, while also supporting better sleep habits.
Stay Balanced When It Comes to Your Diet
Eating clean, whole foods can help you feel better inside and out. But when it comes to your diet, there is a such thing as being too strict. Extreme diets often appear to offer fast results, but those results are overshadowed by some very real, long-term health issues. Your brain may start to feel fuzzy, and spikes in blood sugar can increase your risk of diabetes. In addition, your metabolism will actually begin to slow, making it more difficult to lose weight and keep it off. A better approach is to aim for balance. Allow yourself to indulge, but learn how to get back to your healthy eating routine. Remember that each person is different, and the diet and fitness regime that works for others may not for you. To find out what would be most beneficial, consider investing in a testing service like BlueprintFit, which makes it super convenient to discover data and insight about your metabolism, hormones, nutrition, endurance, and more—all from the comfort of your home.
Connect With People Who Keep You Happy
One of the most overlooked forms of self-care is supportive social connection. Staying connected to others who can provide essential emotional and functional support can help prevent burnout and keep your stress levels low. This is especially true for caregivers and in times when you are dealing with serious life issues. Cultivate those positive relationships, and remember to provide support for your loved ones as well. Just try to avoid overwhelming yourself or compromising your own health while providing this support.
Make Real Time for Your Hobbies and Passions
You may think of hobbies as a way to fill spare time, but pursuing your passions can be a beneficial form of self-care, too. Over the last few years, studies have shown that engaging in activities that you love is an effective way to relieve stress. Practicing hobbies can also lead to more happiness overall, so work some hobby time into your week. If you do not have any hobbies at the moment, use that time to explore skills and activities that will help you find success in your career or other areas of life. Take an art class or take up photography. It’s okay if you’re not very good; the important thing is to shake things up and have some fun.
Find Simple Ways to Relieve Stress
Combatting stress is perhaps one of the most crucial outcomes of adding self-care to your health routine. Effective stress relief, however, does not have to take a lot of effort or time. You can use simple techniques to relieve stress fast. Try doing a relaxing sitting meditation, or get up for a quick walking meditation. If you’re new to the practice or the thought of meditating intimidates you, consider downloading an app such as Calm—for less than $10, you can get a plethora of guided meditations right to your smartphone. Any activity that forces you to focus on your breathing is recommended, and you can even learn to incorporate this mindfulness practice into your workout. Doing so will help you feel less stress, and may improve your results and satisfaction as well.
Having a regular fitness routine is crucial, but you also need to make time to practice self-care. These two wellness habits go hand in hand, so try to make both a priority. By striking a balance between the two, you can bring more overall balance into your life, and in the process, greater happiness, too.
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