When you make the decision to place conscious and consistent effort toward your physical self care regimen, you are acknowledging the importance of your physical body to your overall life and your life experience.
Honoring your physical self is
- Recognizing how your physical body contributes to the life you are able to live today
- Respecting the needs of your body and placing these needs as a priority
- Celebrating the gifts that your body provides you with access to engage with the world around you
- Realizing that your body gives to you always by way of an intricate system of health, healing, restoration and flow that harmonizes and synchronizes with your being at each and every moment
When you fully acknowledge how remarkable your body is and what it gives you instinctually, the practice of physical self care is more and more easy to see as a natural compliment.
What is Physical Self Care?
Physical self care is a form of self care where the emphasis is placed on the total body, its condition and health, and its maintenance and sustainability. Wellness and preventative care can complement your physical self care regimen as well as actions to address, improve, or eliminate concerns related to your body’s functioning and well-being.
As with any other aspect of your life, you get to decide what physical self care is to you. Regardless of your perceived health status or the perception of others, you decide what form of physical self care is a priority.
You may be motivated to place importance on this aspect of your life due to
- health conditions,
- personal goals to expand and become more,
- physical limitations you seek to have lifted,
- external influence that you trust to advise towards your betterment, or
- concerns that family, friends, and other loved ones have shared
Identifying what you want to achieve by way of physical self care can assist with clarifying your personal definition of self care and start a productive path towards achieving your personal goals.
How Do You Build a Physical Self Care Mindset?
Your body is a complex vehicle with many different components that contribute to your health and well-being. When you possess a physical self care mindset, you respect, honor, and appreciate the care necessary to maintain such a complex system.
Part of respecting your physical form is to embody acceptance just as you are. While you may have areas of improvement or a definition of optimal physical condition, you also have many positive attributes at this moment.
When you can accept and then appreciate the body that you have, flaws and all, you can envision yourself in a balanced way. You are not a project desperately in need of repair, but a beautiful gift that can be further enhanced and shared. From this healthy viewpoint, you can seek to further honor your body as a gift that you cherish and develop ways to improve or maintain its condition and sustain its ability to perform at its best.
Why is Physical Self Care Important?
Physical self care is important as a means to maintain or improve your health and bodily condition. Just as with any other assets that you may own, better performance and longevity can be attained when focused on preventative care and timely response to concerns.
Alternatively, neglect of the body can result in a host of issues including:
- Strain and sprain
- Disease and illness
As you are the primary observer of your body, you are the first true caretaker of you. Without you, your body cannot gain access to the care it needs whether you perform it yourself or alert others to its needs.
Your body needs you to survive and this is why physical self care is so important.
Physical Self Care Tips and Ideas
Physical Care Tip #1: Perform a Full Body Scan
A body scan is an excellent starting point on your physical self care journey as it provides opportunity to give focused attention to your well-being that you may not always do.
To scan your body fully is to permit your awareness to travel around your physical self, part by part, and to focus on and evaluate its condition.
A full body scan has many benefits:
- You have the opportunity to focus your attention on any and all body parts, big and small, and acknowledge gratitude for its movement, flexibility, protection, or function that it provides
- Placing focus on different sections of your body opens the internal dialogue of any special needs or care required or healthful actions that you recommend to yourself
- You give yourself opportunity to know your body through personal self awareness. This process may result in new learnings, understanding, and prediction of changes and concerns. It also develops your own personal opinion regarding your condition.
Perform a brief scan daily and an in depth review of your body on a regular frequency that you feel matches the needs of sustaining your best health.
Physical Self Care Tip#2: Educate Yourself on Your Version of Nutrition
Nutrition can sometimes be an underutilized educational opportunity. With so much information on different forms of diet, an emphasis on restriction consciousness, and constant focus on weight loss initiatives, proper nutrition can easily get confusing.
Rather than taking fix-it-fast steps to ensure that you are providing your body with the nutrition it requires, study the subject of nutrition and yourself more.
Learn and know the basics of healthy eating.
Investigate what maintaining a healthy diet really is. The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) provides details on balanced nutrition on their website https://www.myplate.gov.
In addition to general data, the USDA offers a customizable resource called MyPlate Plan that recommends the right food combinations and calories for you to have. See this service below:
You can also find a dietician or nutritionist who can guide you through the process of learning your body and your diet and nutrition needs. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a website that provides you access to local professionals to perform one-on-one consultations to assist you in navigating your own personal health journey.
Most importantly, gain an understanding of what food works for you:
- Some foods affect your energy levels differently.
- You may have allergies or food intolerances unique to you.
- At times you may experience ravenous cravings and respond to them unhealthfully because you never explored their origin.
- Your body may need small meals frequently or prefer intermittent fasting.
While different people can have common nutritional requirements, we are all unique in what exactly works for us. Take the time to know your version of proper nutrition and create meal plans that make you and your body happy and aligned.
Physical Self Care Tip#3: Stretch Daily
Your body helps you to experience yourself and the world around you. When you are limited in your mobility or feel tension and pain when moving, you are more likely to disconnect and withdraw.
Including stretching in your physical self care routine is another means of providing mindfulness and self awareness in your day. Stretching helps to open you up and to invite you to engage with movement, flexibility, and relaxation.
Yoga with Adriene has been providing routines and practices through stretching and yoga for 10 years. She acts as an excellent at-home companion if you are new to developing stretch routines. When performing your stretches, you do not need to overextend or challenge yourself to the point of discomfort. Instead focus on consistency in your movement and the gains achieved through repetition and commitment.
Participating in daily stretching allows you to be regularly mindful of the condition of your muscles and joints and to be purposeful in your routine makeup and execution. Physical self care in the form of a stretching regimen serves to honor your movement and the healthful engagement with life that your body provides.
Physical Self Care Tip#4: Maintain a Sleep Routine
Sleeping is your body’s opportunity to experience rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation from your daily movement and mental engagement. Your mind and body take in many inputs throughout your day. And physically your body fluctuates in its energy levels, strength levels, agility, and flexibility while managing these various inputs.
Sleep gives you an opportunity to restabilize and bring your body and mind back into balance. If you repeatedly suffer from a lack of sleep then you may be experiencing issues with:
- Mental fatigue and lack of focus
- Increased cravings for sugar or caffeine
- Lack of fluidity in motor functions
- Physical fatigue and tension
Developing a consistent, restful sleep schedule can be a great compliment to prevent or combat unwanted concerns. It also creates a positive expectation in your day of your care for yourself through preparation for rest, body consciousness, relaxing atmosphere and personal downtime. If you are ready to put new emphasis in creating a soothing sleep ritual or learning more about the process in general, read my post Wake Up Brand New by Creating a Sleep Ritual.
It is important to note that at times life will pull you away from restful sleep. A newborn baby, time-senstive and important project, or heavy personal problems often disturb your ability to sleep as long or as well as you would prefer.
Being ever mindful of your need for sleep can help to ensure that time is spent renewing your commitment to a full night’s rest, napping when needed, and otherwise being aware and prioritizing your physical health condition as it relates to your current sleep regime.
Physical Self Care Tip#5: Perform Exercises You Love
Some people love exercise and easily keep a workout routine as an excellent form of physical self care. But some of us struggle. If this is you, make a special effort to look for the best ways to keep your body moving that feels good to you and helps you to reach your goals.
How often do you think of exercise as something to look forward to?
Change your mindset for the better by creating a plan that makes consistency, good form, and enjoyment all part of the equation. Physical self care is not only doing exercises that keep your body healthy but sustaining a healthy mindset regarding your physical routine.
- Create a workout playlist that keeps you inspired
- Find videos, apps, or a physical trainer that keeps you engaged and interested
- Use a workout buddy when trying out a new class
- Engage your friends and family, including your kids, to encourage you on your workout journey
- Pay attention if you like to walk outdoors or use a treadmill, lift dumbells, or use bodyweight exercises only. Do what you can and what works for you!
Physical exercise is not just the gym and workout classes. Regular life can be physical, healthy, and fun.
- Take a long walk in a beautiful park.
- Go roller skating or ride a bike.
- Jump rope (try double dutch).
- Play on a trampoline.
- Garden or mow your grass.
Just get moving. And let what you love to do be a bigger part of how you give physical self care to yourself.
Physical Self Care Bonus Tip: Drink Water!
Drinking water is the most basic, common, and repeated physical self care recommendation there is and yet it is often the practice most neglected.
Whether you forget to drink water, don’t like the taste of it, or simply do not want to drink it, water is a key component of your health.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one significant reason to drink water is to prevent dehydration. The regular deprivation of water to your bodily system can create a host of problems. Alternatively, drinking water regularly strongly supports normal functions of the body like:
- Aiding in digestion
- Transporting oxygen and nutrients to your cells
- Regulating your body temperature
- Preventing constipation and
- Protecting organs and tissues
Drinking water directly is the easiest way to hydrate your system. But you can also increase your daily water intake through your foods. As a complement to your water intake, consider these foods with high water content:
In addition to eating these foods independently, they can also act as a nice enhancer to plain water as an enticement to drink more.
Build a daily hydration routine and watch your physical self care regimen flow right into place.
Physical self care is a much needed compliment to your daily regimen targeted on maintaining and sustaining your body. Whether you are improving your sleep, drinking more water, or exploring fun ways to exercise your body, caring for your body with intention and regular frequency is a good way to demonstrate care for your body.
If you are looking for more ways to enhance your self care regimen, look at these posts:
- 3 Key Traits You MUST Use to Make Self Care at Work Actually Work
- 5 Simple Emotional Self Care Ideas to Relieve Your Stress and Improve Your Mental Health
Do you have the perfect add to your physical self care routine? Did you learn a new idea from this post? Share your comment below. Don’t forget to share this post with someone you know who may need a self care idea or reminder.