You know how much working out is a part of my life. I’m pretty good at making it a priority, even when life gets busy or I’m traveling. But what I wasn’t making a priority was taking care of myself away from the workouts. Eventually, that caught up to me.
Just because you’re working out and eating right most of the time doesn’t mean that you’re healthy. Spending so much time focusing on the workout and what you’re putting into your body doesn’t help you stay healthy. Sure, it helps. But there’s so much more to self-care than workouts and meal prepping. And it goes well beyond manicures and spa days too.
Self-care, especially as you age, includes stretching your mind and your body. It also involves finding those activities that bring you joy so your mind is just as healthy and fulfilled as your body.
How I’ve Found Self-Care
Through injury I’ve come to realize that self-care wasn’t a priority for me. I was working out, but I wasn’t stretching before or after. As a result, I developed both a knee injury and plantar fasciitis within the last year. My muscles were tight and I knew this, but I told myself that it was all related to the tough workouts I was doing. I didn’t take care of the underlying issue.
As I recovered from my injuries, I worked hard to follow my doctor’s orders. I needed rest and I needed new ways to stretch and even work out. So I found new exercises I could do while still resting the parts of my body that were hurting. This meant I was modifying workouts, but it also meant I found new workouts and wellness practices.
The best thing I did for myself was to start focusing on doing things that bring me joy and helped me to be a better person. I started group tennis lessons and joined a league. I bought a beach cruiser so we could take family bike rides around the neighborhood. And I focused on energy healing thanks to my friend Jennifer Stoller. I also started focusing on chakras and different massage techniques to find where my energy is stuck and release it.
What is YOUR Self-Care?
I encourage you to find your own favorite self-care techniques and give them a boost. Sure, it could look like treating yourself to a day at the spa, but I encourage you to take it further. If you’re working out hard, you may need a sports massage or some deep stretching before and after your workouts. If you’re stressed out at work, self-care may look like extra family time or maybe a weekend away by yourself.
Whatever self-care looks like to you, I encourage you to embrace it. Ask your loved ones for what you need and allow them to give it to you.