• Rev. Dr. Katy

A Self-Affirming Lifestyle: Balancing Exercise With Daily Self-Care Practices

Updated: Sep 27, 2019


This guest post is from Sheila Olson. Thank you, Sheila, for giving us this important message about the mind, body, spirit connection.

Let me tell you a little bit about Sheila! A fitness trainer for five years, Sheila created FitSheila.com to spread the word about her fitness philosophy. She can be reached at info@fitsheila.com.

A Self-Affirming Lifestyle: Balancing Exercise With Daily Self-Care Practices


Achieving lasting, robust health is about much more than physical exercise - particularly since an estimated 80 percent of Americans who have gym memberships don’t use them. Your overall well-being depends on a number of factors, such as how much sleep you get each night and the kind of diet you follow. If you’re feeling unfulfilled after a solid two-hour workout, it’s probably because you’re deficient in other areas that impact the way you feel, your perspective on life, and your overall sense of well-being. Here are some tips to help you find balance in your effort to maintain a well-rounded and healthy lifestyle.

Anti-Stress Stretching

Engaging in purposeful stretching is a simple and effective way to keep stress at bay. It’s an excellent supplement to a physical workout regimen and can be done almost anywhere at any time. Deliberate stretching exercises help reduce the amount of cortisol your body produces and help keep your muscles strong and flexible. Learn to breathe deeply as you stretch (a key factor in yoga), which will help quiet your thoughts and make it easier to relax and focus.

Personal Affirmation

Many of the things one does to practice self-care are affirmations of your existence. That includes making sure you get plenty of sleep at night, following a healthy and well-rounded diet and spending time doing things you love. Practicing self-affirmation keeps your mind and body in balance, and makes it easier to maintain a steady exercise regimen. Getting between seven and nine hours of quality sleep every night helps protect the immune system and keeps your metabolism and weight under control.

Find a Hobby

Although many people look at hobbies as a way to fill their free time, doing something that occupies your mind in a healthy way has numerous benefits. For example, learning an instrument can improve neural activity, help foster creative thinking, and boost your coordination. In fact, according to the Huffington Post, you’re never too old to learn to play. So, whether you’re into guitars or woodwinds like saxophones or clarinets, pick up an instrument (new or used) and tap into a creative outlet that can help enrich your life for many years to come.

Watch Your Diet

Eat a balance of healthy foods, including fruits and vegetables, whole grain foods, protein, and low-fat dairy. If time restrictions make it hard to be a discriminating shopper and cook, look for a meal delivery or grocery delivery company in your area. Eating healthy will be much easier, and you can find low-calorie meal options with many services. If you’re exercising, eating well, and getting enough sleep but still lacking energy, you may want to consider taking an energy-boosting supplement. Make sure to speak to your doctor before taking any new supplement and to research the best options online.

Consider Group Fitness

Studies have revealed that you’re likely to get more out of a group workout because exercising with others encourages you to push yourself to do more and makes physical activity more fun and engaging than spending two or three hours by yourself running laps or lifting weights. Group exercise is also a good way to extend your personal social network, another important aspect of self-care. In fact, self-care becomes more natural and easier to practice when you’re involved in a collective, healthy group activity.

Meditation

Meditation is a powerful mental discipline that benefits you mentally and physically. It’s a centering practice that enhances concentration, lowers blood pressure and alleviates stress. Best of all, it’s easy to do and can be practiced just about anywhere, though it’s easiest when done in a quiet, restful space. Consider setting up your own personal meditation room at home. Choose a quiet part of your house, use minimal lighting (you may want to light candles), play soothing, relaxing music, and incorporate visual elements (paintings or photos) that help you relax.

Get Outside

Many of us these days are tied up with busy lives and the demands of work and family. Making a point of getting outside every day can improve your mental outlook and benefit you by exercising in fresh air. Take your dog for a walk around the neighborhood or make time every day for a stroll in a nearby wooded area.

Practicing self-care is a lot easier when you accept the fact that it’s about much more than just working out at the gym or going for a run every day. Those are positive activities, but it’s important to strive for a healthy mind-body balance. That means incorporating self-affirming practices like getting at least seven hours of sleep every night and eating a balanced diet.

Image courtesy of Pixabay


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