Physical Self-Care 101
“If you are not sleeping, eating, and exercising, then all of this will be for naught. These core self-care skills are fundamental to your life and functioning. We cannot expect to grow and move forward as people if we do not get the basics right.” - 7Cups
Physical self-care is all about looking after your body and your physical wellness. This is the starting point of your self-care journey and it should be a core part of your daily routine. This is an incredibly large and diverse topic, but to start off with, we can divide physical self-care into three main pillars: rest, nutrition and exercise.
1. Getting enough rest
Sleep helps keep your body and mind healthy. Most adults need between 7 – 8 hours of sleep every day, however the number of hours is not the only component of being well rested - the quality of your night sleep is just as important.
Tips for getting a healthy night sleep:
- Avoid consuming caffeine in the late hours of the day
- If you take power naps throughout your day, make sure they last between 25-30 minutes and they are not too close to your bedtime
- Reduce blue light exposure before going to bed. Try reading a book 30 minutes before going to sleep
- Exercise regularly but not at night
- Stick to a consistent sleep schedule
2. Eating well
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health and can help you feel your best. This means eating a wide variety of nutritious foods and consuming the right amount of water every day. Food plays a vital role in absolutely every aspect of our body, such as regulating hormones, increasing focus, and maintaining high energy levels. This is why it is so important to know what we need to eat and why we need to eat it to keep our body in perfect shape.
Tips for nourishing your body:
- Try to eat at least 2 portions of vegetables with every meal
- Drink lots of water during your day. Hydration is key!
- Cut down on processed foods and replace it with natural alternatives (hint, if it grew on a plant, it’s good for you!)
- Swap your breakfast cereal for some yogurt and fruit in the morning
3. Moving your body
Getting your daily dose of exercise is vital for both your physical and mental health. Moving your body certainly doesn’t just improve your physical wellbeing - it is also incredibly good for your mental health too. In fact, there are countless benefits that come with exercising regularly, some of these are: boosting your energy levels, helping you with relaxation and quality sleep, regulating hormones, improving your mood, and helping maintain and strengthen your bones and muscles. Even committing to 30 minutes of exercise a day can improve nearly every aspect of your health from the inside out.
Ideas for getting your daily dose of exercise:
- Go for a walk outside with your dog or invite a friend
- Try a new activity such a yoga class or go for a swim
- Consider walking or biking to work or get off the bus one stop before your destination
- Download an at-home workout app or play a workout videogame
Physical self-care comprises the essentials we discussed but also many other practices that include your “me-time” and relaxation. Stay tuned for more ideas and reflections coming up on this topic!