Reflecting

The Importance of Self Care

Health and fitness journeys are not linear. We act, we go down the wrong path, we learn, we change, we get it wrong again, we listen, we repeat.

From my own personal experiences, which I highlighted in my first ever blog post, I know this to be true.

We often put our goals in front of everything. We place importance upon the big things so that we don’t even realise that the little things we are doing – or aren’t doing – are harming us.

Self-care is something that is so often neglected in peoples’ health and fitness journeys, and it was neglected in mine. But I have learnt, overcome, and realised I need to put myself first once in a while. Because there are several things we are all guilty of that make us forget that our health is why we began this journey.

Don’t let it rule your life
Health and fitness is a lifestyle, that is true. But don’t cross the line. Doing certain things and eating a certain way to achieve goals is all well and good, but once it becomes obsessive training and disordered eating, that’s when we need to stop. Take stock. Realise what we are doing. It will surprise you how common eating disorders and exercise addictions are in this game, and for me that became apparent when I let it happen to myself. Working towards a goal is amazing, but relax too: enjoy days out, meals off-plan, holidays with no exercise.

Be consistent, but mindful
To achieve your goals you do need to be consistent, taking an 80-20 or even 90-10 approach. But as the above point outlines, make sure you are mindful too. Make sure you are being lenient when you can, because having optimal, all-round health means that both body and mind must be in tip top condition. If you are achieving the perfect body, but have a mind full of self-doubt, self-loathing, and fatigue, you are doing the wrong thing. 

Be selfish
Realise that not only should you want to take out a little time for yourself, that you also need to. You deserve it. Have a massage, go for a walk and listen to a podcast, go and get your hair done, have a long soak in the bath and get into bed and watch a film. When your body is relaxed, you will be too, and you’ll be able to perform better in the gym because of it. Self care is incredibly important, and shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing.

Appreciate how far you have come
Self care has a lot to do with mindset. We often feel that we don’t deserve things and that we must work hard and take our body to breaking point in order to be able to reward ourselves. We must learn this is not true. Exercise is hard. Eating a balanced diet is hard. Meal prepping is hard. No matter how long you have done it for, the mindset you have to get into to do these things week in week out takes balls. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, wouldn’t they? Take stock of this: appreciate that you do put in effort, and that you do deserve some self-care and some time out, so that you can continue to do all these great things every day of your life.

Get your mindset right, and the body will follow.

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