How to Find Balance Between Fitness and Self-Care to Live Your Best Life
Having a good fitness routine makes your body healthier, boosts happiness, and helps you look and feel your best. But what about when life gets busy and you feel like between work, fitness, and other obligations, there’s little time left for self-care? It can be hard to find that balance, but the truth is that making other self-care needs part of your regular routine makes exercising easier and improves your overall health.
Choose Exercise That Incorporates Self-Care
You’re engaging in self-care anytime you exercise, but some types of exercise involve self-care in more ways than one. Yoga is a practice that is balanced because it works your muscles and raises your heart rate, but it also revolves around focusing on your breath and calming your mind. Multitasking isn’t typically the solution for a busy life, but this is one case where multitasking works to your advantage. When you do an activity like yoga, you are maximizing your time spent exercising by easing stress through physical fitness.
Besides helping reduce stress and anxiety, a recent study has shown that the benefits of yoga carry over into other parts of our lives, such as getting better sleep, making healthier food choices, and even being more motivated to exercise. As a result, practicing yoga makes it easier for us to engage in other forms of self-care and achieve our overall wellness goals.
Yoga is also incredibly versatile, and your practice can be adapted to suit your body. This makes yoga especially beneficial in contributing to recovery for anyone who is in treatment for addiction. Exercise and managing emotions are two critical components that help someone in recovery stay on the right track, and yoga meets both of these needs. It’s also important for anyone in recovery for addiction to start slow with exercise and be careful not to overdo it, which is another reason yoga is ideal.
If yoga doesn’t appeal to you, consider taking up mindful meditation. There are numerous tutorials online that can get you started. Should you discover that meditation checks a lot of those self-care boxes, consider creating a meditation space/area in your own home. Although you can dedicate an entire room to meditation, all you really need is a comfortable space away from the everyday hustle and bustle. Throw in some calming decor, scented candles, and a little relaxing music and you have the perfect recipe for a relaxing environment.
Make Rest Part of the Equation
When we’re busy, we often cram so much into our day that we don’t get enough rest, but this is one self-care practice that has a huge impact on your overall wellness. According to Mental Health America, sleep is necessary to give your body the energy you need and also repairs muscle tissue. So if you’re focused on fitness but aren’t getting enough sleep, you’re essentially undoing all your hard work because your body can’t recover and build muscle. The quality of your sleep is just as important as the amount of sleep you get. Sticking to a sleep schedule and creating a relaxing bedtime routine are two good sleep habits to create.
Bring Balance to Your Daily Routine
When we struggle to find time for self-care, that often means that something else in our lives is out of balance and getting in the way of what we should be doing for ourselves. It may be that we don’t have a good work-life balance, or there could be other things we spend time on that don’t really serve us. As adults, we tend to fall into a regular routine and don’t think about changing up our habits. Forbes recommends looking closely at your habits and changing the structure of your life to prioritize the activities that give you the most value.
Change How You Look at Self-Care
For many of us, finding time for self-care feels impossible and unproductive when we’re overwhelmed and busy. A contributor to Psychology Today describes this as “doing mode,” when taking a break to go into “being mode” through self-care might be what we need to handle stress better and be more productive. Switching to “being mode” doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Doing something as simple as petting your dog or enjoying a nice meal can break that rut.
Self-care is all about creating a healthy daily routine. Making changes can seem hard, but sometimes all it takes to strike the right balance is changing a few simple habits. Fitness, self-care, and overall wellness are all intertwined, so when you make these changes, finding that balance gets easier.
By Sheila Olson — Torq Guest Blogger