Five Simple and Fulfilling Physical Self-Care Ideas

Physical self-care is often what comes to mind when thinking about self-care. Keep reading to learn what physical self-care really means and how it relates to spiritual and emotional self-care.

physical self care infographic

If you’re ready to dip your toes into the world of self-care, physical self-care is a great place to start. In fact, you are probably practicing physical self-care without even realizing it in one way or another.

woman lifting weights

A holistic self-care practice for wellbeing

Before we dive into physical self-care, it’s important to address one thing. 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. But, I’m here to say – that’s not true.

Self-care focuses on tending to our needs through physical self-care, 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 cared for 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.

What is physical self-care?

If you’re curious about the idea of physical self-care but aren’t really sure what it means, don’t worry. It’s a pretty straightforward concept and is one of the most well-known forms of self-care.

Physical self-care is any positive action we take to care for our physical body and its needs.

Carley Schweet

Physical self-care includes – but isn’t limited to – the food we eat, how much water we drink, going to doctor’s appointments, moving our body, and getting enough sleep. Physical self-care can also look like having a skincare routine, taking a hot bath, and getting outside in nature.

Keep in mind; there is a difference between physical self-care and basic hygiene. While things like brushing your teeth and taking a shower may feel like physical self-care, they are basic hygiene practices and something everyone should make time for in their day, no matter how busy they feel.

woman tying shoes on the ground

Five physical self-care ideas to try today

If you’re curious about how to begin your physical self-care journey, I’m sharing five 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 nutrient-dense foods

I like to think that food is 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 my best.

Keep in mind; the word “best” is subjective depending on who you are and your nutritional needs. For some, feeling your best looks like maintaining healthy blood sugar, and for others, it looks like eating enough protein throughout the day.

Eating well doesn’t mean that you have to become a total health nut, but adding some leafy greens, high-quality protein, and healthy fats can make a drastic difference in your day. 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 without added pressure.

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.

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, nor is your worth determined by the food you eat.

woman eating grapefruit

2. Move your body daily

Getting your blood flowing is a really impactful way to practice physical self-care. When we move our bodies, we release endorphins that 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 peaceful 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 stressful because you’re not preoccupied with worrying about needless clutter 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.

woman sitting in the windowsill

4. Prioritize quality sleep

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, check out this nighttime routine for better sleep.

5. Drink enough water

While it may seem like a trivial act, drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day can help your mind and body function at their best. When we become dehydrated, we can experience dizziness, headaches, sleepiness, low blood pressure, and more.

Aim to drink 60-80 ounces of water per day or at least half of your body weight. This small act of physical self-care can really pay off and help keep you feeling your best.

woman drinking a glass of water

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.

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