This may be the type of self-care people think of when they think about caring for themselves, but let me show you what physical self-care means in a little more detail, and it’s relationship to emotional and spiritual self-care.
When we begin a self-care journey, it’s easy to fall into the belief that self-care is a lavish and exclusive lifestyle left only for those with enough time on their calendar for a weekly massage. I’m here to say – that’s simply not true.
To me, self-care is a practice that is focused on always inviting in and creating space for what’s best for us through not only physical self-care but also emotional self-care and spiritual self-care. When we combine these three different types of self-care we are setting ourselves up for a life that feels satisfying and grounded. We begin to feel taken care of by ourselves and don’t rely on others to fill up our cup. It’s a beautiful gift to feel content and full on our own, allowing us to give our love freely to others as they deserve.
If you’re curious about how to begin your physical self-care journey, I’m sharing four ways to help you get started. If you feel like you don’t have enough time for yourself, I challenge you to start small and start where you can, all while remembering that self-care isn’t selfish.
1. Eat well
Eating well doesn’t mean that you have to become a total health nut, but drinking enough water (try for 60-80oz per day) and adding in some leafy greens can make a drastic difference in your day. Start each meal with a large glass of water before you sit down to enjoy your food. Also, I’ve found that the mindset of “how can I add more vegetables to this meal?” is a great way to get as many nutrients as you can throughout the day.
Something important to keep in mind – healthy fats are your friend. Some quick and natural sources are avocados, extra virgin olive oil, salmon, flax, and chia seeds.
I like to think of food as a powerful form of self-care. It’s a lot of small decisions throughout the day that all have the power to make me feel like the best version – or the worst version – of myself.
If you choose to fuel yourself with food that makes you feel nourished and taken care of 80% of the time, the other 20% you can enjoy life’s treats without any guilt or frustration. Eating well doesn’t have to be an all or nothing mindset.
2. Move your body
Getting your blood flowing is a really impactful way to practice physical self-care. When we move our body, we release endorphins that can help make us feel good. There really are so many benefits of regular exercise – every bit of movement counts!
When I do workouts that made my body feel awesome – horseback riding, pilates, and walking – I enjoy the physical activity so much more. Permitting yourself to let go of workouts that leave you feeling exhausted and burnt-out is, in fact, a form of caring for yourself. I challenge you to find a movement that works for you.
If you want to start working out but have no idea where to get started, check out the tips below:
- Go on a 15-minute walk in your neighborhood
- Park the car further away than usual and enjoy that walk across the parking lot
- Opt for the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator
- Find a local gym or studio and sign up for some classes that might interest you
3. Create a zen space
By creating a peaceful home you are giving yourself a calming space to unwind and relax. When you love the space you live in, taking care of yourself doesn’t seem as stressful because you’re not preoccupied worrying about needless clutter and or chaos.
Here are some simple steps to create a zen-like space:
- Organize and clean the counter
- Open the windows to let in fresh air
- Donate items you no longer use
Taking pride in your surroundings can help you fall back in love with what you already have, which is certainly something we need to remember to practice with ourselves.
4. Get enough rest
Carving out enough time to get as much rest and sleep as possible is an essential physical self-care practice. When we rest, we allow our body to do its natural work like detox, digest our food, and balance our hormones.
Getting enough rest at night is not the only thing you need to consider. Creating space within your busy life to disconnect from the working world and take a breather has the potential to improve your overall wellness. It’s easy to get caught up in the rat-race and feel like we have to be on all the time to be productive, but sometimes, being productive means ultimately slowing down. If you’re someone that has trouble getting enough rest, consider trying one of the below tricks I use:
- Practice 4-7-8 breathing
- Use organic CBD oil daily (this has greatly improved my daily hum of anxiety and sleep)
- Wear blue-light blocking glasses for at least two hours before bed
- Use an eyeshade while sleeping as this will help cut down on light pollution that might be disrupting your sleep
More physical self-care ideas
If you’re looking for more ideas to help jumpstart your physical self-care routine, I’ve curated a list of my personal favorite self-care rituals to help you on your journey. Make sure to check out the one on dry brushing – it’s one of my favorite practices!