I’m learning that I need to take rest days from exercise, spend time outside, find a way to laugh each day, take frequent deep breaths, and spend some time in the quiet without technology and social media constantly buzzing around.
This type of self-care is new to me but I am noticing a difference. I remain calm longer, smile easier, and feel like I’m actually living life rather than focusing all my energy on being healthy.
So here are a few of the little ways that I’m caring for myself lately.
Get outside. Every. Single. Day. I’m lucky that even though I live in Chicago, I’m a block away from the lake and bike trail. It’s like a whole other world over there and I make sure I experience it every single day. I’m like the mailman. Rain, snow, heat, whatever weather, I get outside and just breath fresh air. I don’t look at my phone, track my steps, or make a fitness goal other than move in the fresh air. It does wonders.
Step away from social media. Believe me, I know this is tough. I’m a blogger/freelance writer so by nature I am always on my computer or phone but 6 to 8 hours a day online takes its toll. Even if I don’t realize it, I start comparing myself to every blogger or person I follow. Why am I not where they are? Am I not doing enough? Am I a failure? I’ve found it best to limit the amount of time I spend on social media and take a break where I don’t look at my phone or Facebook. It has been awesome for my mental health.
Gentle movement. I love a hard workout. I like sweating and barely being able to catch my breath. Lifting heavy and HIIT workouts are a big part of my routine but I’m finally realizing they can’t be everything. I used to fear “losing” all the progress I made by taking a rest day or doing a workout that is gentle like yoga, but it is SO important to treat your body with love. You can’t constantly beat your body up and expect it to perform at its best. I’m still working on this and probably will for awhile but I can tell it’s going to help me a lot.
Lose food guilt. I won’t get into this one in depth because it could be its own blog post (and might in the future) but I’m getting out of my own head when it comes to food. I’m exhausted from trying to be 100% perfect all the time and the ironic thing is I know that it’s impossible to be perfect! Food is food and the minute you give it power over you, it turns into a problem. It’s going to take a lot of work but I know it will get better over time.
What do you do to take care of yourself? What makes you feel the best version of you?