Guest Blog Post by Sheila Olson – Self Care Practices to Compliment your Fitness Routine

Self care is so important and often overlooked. Please enjoy this guest blog post from Sheila Olson! You can learn more by visiting www.fitsheila.com or e-mail Sheila at info@fitsheila.com. Thank you Sheila for taking the time to write this article.

Sheila Olson
These Are The Self-Care Practices That Should Complement Your Fitness Routine

 

There’s no denying that physical fitness has numerous benefits. Improved mood, weight management, stress reduction, decreased risk of heart disease, tension relief, bone loss prevention, increased strength, and greater self-esteem are just a few of the many reasons why lacing up your sneakers is a good idea. Even so, exercise alone is not enough to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Without incorporating self-care practices that complement your routine, you run the risk of burnout, obsession, and a tendency to have a second or third addiction to alcohol, drugs, work, food, or cigarettes. To ensure your life has balance, infuse these additional practices into your personal regimen.

Make Sleeping A Ritual
Statistics show that Americans are sleep deprived to the point that it’s become a chronic problem. Lack of concentration, relationship stress, increased risk of accidents, impaired memory, and poor quality of life are among the laundry list of negative side effects associated with missing as little as an hour and a half of sleep. Not to mention, lack of shuteye also causes premature aging, dark undereye circles, and weight gain, so there’s something to be said for beauty sleep. Since it can be difficult to wind down at the end of the day, create a ritual so it’s easier to get into the habit of feeling relaxed, thus promoting quality sleep. For example:

● Invest in a good mattress, and be sure to find a model that keeps your spine in its natural position as you sleep. This allows your muscles and joints to relax (which is especially important when you hit the gym regularly), and helps you sleep more soundly and wake up feeling refreshed. Similarly, invest in good pillows that properly support your head and neck.
● Install blackout shades that can block out the sun or artificial lights from a city or neighborhood environment.
● While turning off the television is a must, complete silence can sometimes have an adverse effect. This is why experts believe white noise machines or the hum of a fan can relax the mind and induce sleep.
● Avoid using your computer before bedtime, as the light from the screen can have a stimulatory effect.
● Stick to the same schedule — have the same bedtime and wake-up time, even on the weekends.
● Clear any clutter from your bedroom, including on nightstands, the dresser, and definitely the bed.

Create A Meditation Space
Regular meditation has numerous benefits, including stress and anxiety reduction, enhanced self-awareness, improved emotional health, greater attention span, improved mood, better sleep, and resistance to addiction. One of the best things about it is that you can do it anywhere — like your home, for example. Create your own meditation space in a low-traffic area of your home. Elements to consider include:

● A bright (yet neutral-colored), clutter-free space that only contains things you love — never bring in negative elements, such as bills or distracting electronics
● Meaningful objects, such as affirmation stones and crystals
● Natural elements, such as plants
● Incorporate a yoga practice
● Adjustable lighting and candles
● Incense and aromatherapy
● A small fountain for visual and audible appeal

Use Up All Your Vacation Time
A survey suggested that only 23 percent of American employees are taking their vacation time, and when they do, 66 percent are working. Stop feeling guilty about taking time off, as that’s what it’s there for. Considering Europeans legally have four weeks off per year, you’ve got to take time to recharge your batteries mentally and physically. Even if jetting off to an island isn’t in the cards, take a quality staycation:

● Set-up an out-of-office message on your email
● Disconnect from electronics
● Get your home deep-cleaned by a pro
● Have a meal delivered from another destination (think lobsters from Maine or pizza from Chicago)
● Hire a babysitter
● Listen to music from a specific destination (like Jamaican reggae)
● Binge-read
● Take a candlelit bubble bath — or several
● Go camping in your backyard

The more self-care practices you incorporate into your routine, the better you’ll feel. It’s okay to put yourself first, so don’t look at it as a selfish act. You won’t be good for anyone else unless you’re well in your mind, body, and spirit.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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