Tips to Help You Practice Self-Care During Your Workout
Too often self-care is mistaken for self-indulgence. Instead, self-care and mindfulness are about self-awareness and the ability to address your mental health needs. While many people can justify prioritizing exercise, for some reason, the same logic cannot be applied to self-care when emotional health is equally as important as physical health.
Not that much time is required to practice effective self-care on a daily basis. In fact, there are many ways that you can incorporate mindfulness into your routine.
During Your Workout
If you are someone who is serious about their health, you may already hit the gym or take workout classes. Health.com says that the gym is one of the best places to practice self-care and mindfulness.
Limiting distractions is a great place to start. Turn off your phone and stay present in what you are doing. This allows you to fully pay attention to your body so you can keep from overexerting yourself. Knowing that you need to allow yourself some recovery time after an intense workout is an excellent example of self-awareness.
Be sure to take advantage of your warm-up and cool down, too. Use this time to practice breathing exercises and work on emptying your mind.
Making Time in Your Day
If you do not have an established weekly workout routine, it may seem like an impossible task to create one. However, building a well-rounded exercise and self-care routine will help increase your physical and mental health. You should be aiming to exercise for about 20-60 minutes a day about 3-6 days a week.
In fact, there are plenty of opportunities in your schedule to carve out time to work out. You can set your alarm an hour early and hit the gym before you start your day, which has the added bonus of not having to worry about it later. Or, take advantage of an hour lunch break by going for a walk in a nearby park, working out at a local gym, or attending an exercise class. Stepping out of the office will also help clear your head and mentally prepare you for the second half of the day. Or, if you live in an area with good weather, consider turning your commute into a workout by biking or jogging.
Mark It on Your Calendar
After establishing how much extra time you have in a day, pick a few days and times of the week that work best for you, and add them as repeating appointments. This will reduce the risk of over-scheduling and help you visualize and mentally prepare for the workouts.
This may mean learning to say no to your friends or telling your boss that you cannot take on any extra work. Remember, there is nothing wrong with prioritizing yourself. Use your “you” time to do something you enjoy. Indulge in a long bath, insist on taking your full lunch break, eat that delicious slice of cake, or take that exercise class you’ve been dying to take.
Self-care should be a daily practice. If you cannot make it to the gym one day or if you take a down day to rest your body, this does not mean you should take a day off from mindfulness as well. No matter how busy your day, you can step away from what you are doing for 15, 10, or even 5 minutes to check in with your emotional well-being.
The Huffington Post recommends doing self-care sprints for busy schedules. This can be taking a 10-minute walk to clear your head, using 15 minutes to declutter your desk, or spending 5 minutes before you go to bed to meditate.
Putting Yourself First
There is nothing selfish about taking time during your day to practice self-care. It is necessary for creating a well-balanced and healthy lifestyle. Make it a priority to carve out time in your daily routine to practice. Your body and mind will thank you for it.
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