Welp, it's that time of the year again. June is our birthday month and we always look at it as our personal new year. The close of one chapter and the start of a new. Just so happens, this year we turn the big 3-0. (Uh-oh!)
In honor of this step into our new decade, we decided to share a 29 Days of Self-Care series that we hold ourselves accountable to, with all of you!
First, what does 'Self-Care' even mean?
Why is it important?
Self-care is essential for your physical health as well as your mind, soul, and overall health. Without self-care, your relationships with others (and self) can suffer tremendously. We often look to others to define our worth in how they treat us, but in reality, we actually teach others what we deserve in how we treat ourselves. So this begs the question, How do you treat yourself?
Your actions, habits, and values are some of the many ways we define how we treat ourselves. You might always be there for those you care about but are you there for yourself when you need to be cared for? Do you even know how to care for yourself? Big questions that can be difficult to answer. As we grow and learn, we end up understanding more about our own true answers as we experience challenges.
This has been something we have been consciously working on for some time and will continue to (probably till we are on our death beds) but we figured sharing some of the things we have learned so far might strike a chord with you.
So, here it is- DAY ONE:
During our day-to-day lives, we push our bodies, minds, and emotions to various degrees of work. Working our jobs, working our bodies at the gym, providing support and care for others, creating home and support for our families as well as when we push ourselves to work through conflicts we experience day in and out.
Its very easy to brush off our own needs with feelings of guilt or selfishness, but the fact of the matter is- we are responsible for ourselves. No one else is. To put it into straightforward terms, we are not robots or machines that can override any mechanical hiccups. We are HUMAN BEINGS that are diverse, complex and LIVING THINGS. Without proper nourishment, both physically and mentally, we start to wilt away.
So how does REST play into all of this? In our bodies (e.g., .sleep), in our minds (eg.decompression) and our souls (eg.creating balance and happiness).
As a personal trainer, we also know the science behind making physical rest a significant part of our programs for our clients as it deeply affects their goals and training abilities. Overtraining is a real thing and can cause considerable backtracks in fitness goals and can often lead to serious health concerns if not caught in time. Throwing away all your time, hard work and money is not what you want to do right? So practice REST to ensure you keep your strides forward and your overall health positive.
What can REST look like?
Since there are TONS of ways REST can be applied, we compiled 3 easy ways we get REST ourselves:
-TAKE A REST DAY: Break up your training with 1-2 days away from your weightlifting and cardio circuits. That doesn't mean you have to sit on your couch all day binge watching Netflix while crushing a few pizzas (although you really can if it works for you!), it can be as simple as taking a restorative yoga class instead of that CrossFit class. Swapping a run for a infrared session or getting a massage instead of jumping into that HIIT Circuit. Your body and muscles actively need time to recover and repair from all the stress you place on it. After our rest day we end up feeling way more energized and have much better workouts. It can also fast-track your fitness goals by allowing your body to recoup and replenish its energy stores so when you hit the weights or track, your ability to crush your goals feel much more accessible!
-TAKE SLEEP SERIOUSLY: We all have been there, having long days and longer nights to catch up on that work project, studying for that exam or keeping up with friends, but lets be very clear- if you aren't getting proper sleep consistently, you're damaging your body in ways that can be very difficult and time-intensive to repair. Rest plays a vital role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in the healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. We only get one body to work with for our lifespan so taking those kinds of risks is not the smartest thing to do if you want to live a long and healthy life. Get to bed at a decent time, keep your electronics out of your bedroom, spray some lavender oil on your sheets and shut out your daily chaos.
-DONT PUSH YOURSELF BEYOND YOUR MEANS: Ok, so we get why this could be confusing as we spend our days pushing our clients through their challenges, but we also have taken extensive training to be able to accurately gauge what is a healthy push versus a detrimental one. If you feel depleted, foggy brained, low-energy or are caught in a negative mind spiral, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! As previously mentioned, we are not machines. Our bodies are at higher risk of injury if we don't listen to what it needs and can get seriously injured if we are not careful. You don't want to tear a ligament, snap show on your boss or dishonour yourself because you didn't tune into your internal voice when it shouted those warning tones!
Seems simple enough?
Test yourself. When was the last time you did any of these small practices? Step outside of yourself and consider how you would treat a friend or family member if you saw they weren't taking care of themselves with rest. Apply it to yourself. Then make it a habit.
Thanks for reading amigos, stay tuned for DAY TWO of our 29 Days of Self-Care Series!