Our body is an ultra-sophisticated machine which shelters our spirit and above all allows us to survive in the biological sense. It is therefore essential to take care of it. The importance of physical self-care definitely extends to all the physiological aspects of our health. This type of caring for oneself includes a wide range of habits to adopt in order to keep our body in perfect health. They include our diet, physical activity, our state of hydration and even our sleeping routine.
– Improve your overall health: There is evidence that a number of self-care activities activate your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). This means that your body enters a restful and rejuvenating mode, helping it to strengthen its immune system. Thus, with better self-care, there are often fewer infections and organs tend to function more properly.
– Improved self-esteem: When you regularly spend time meeting your own needs, you send a positive message to your subconscious. Specifically, in doing so, you treat yourself as if you are important and increase your sense of your own intrinsic value. This can go a long way in discouraging negative inner dialogue and a critical inner voice.
– Increased self-awareness: Self-care requires thinking about what you really like to do. The exercise of finding out what you are passionate about can also help you better understand yourself. Sometimes this can even lead to a career change or a redefinition of previously abandoned leisure priorities.
– Increased happiness: Happiness also triggers many other positive effects: The person becomes more open to others mentally and intellectually more available, they are able to manage stressful situations better and gain greater control over their lives.
Physical activity is an essential part of self-care. It is essential not only for your body’s well-being but it also has many benefits to your psyche and even on your emotions and relationships. In addition, physical activity is the main guarantor of good health because it helps prevent cardiovascular diseases, as well as many types of cancer and obesity.
Physical self-care also makes it easier to undertake the activities required by everyday life (climbing stairs, walking a long distance, etc.). And beyond its benefits on the physiological functioning of our body, it also helps to counter depression, social isolation and anxiety.
Here are some important tips to take care of your physical self:
1. Eat regularly and healthily
The food we eat is the fuel of our body. A rich and varied diet that contains enough vitamins and antioxidants helps to reduce the risk of many diseases such as cancer and diabetes. It also helps to promote the functioning of our various organs including the brain, which allows better regulation of mood, and more controlled thought processes.
– Drink enough water. (Most studies recommend drinking at least 8 cups a day).
– Vary the food you eat
– Eat enough fruits, vegetables, and fibers.
– Limit your intake of refined sugars and processed foods.
– Avoid an excess of alcohol.
– Avoid toxic habits such as tobacco and drugs.
2. Exercise, dance, swim, walk, run, play sports, anything to get up and MOVE.
Whether it is a simple walk, a hike through the hills or a bike in the countryside, get up, get outdoors, and MOVE. For those looking for a greater challenge, sign up for a gym membership, join a dance class or learn a new sport. Whether you go on a solo run or enlist a friend to keep you motivated and accountable, taking responsibility for your physical movement can go a long way in securing mental stability.
3. Get enough sleep
Experts recommend engaging in 7-9 hours of sleep per night, especially for those in early recovery. Establishing consistent routines centered around going to bed at a decent time, and regulating when you wake can be one of the most beneficial things you do for your health.
4. Rest when needed
Don’t let a busy schedule get in the way of taking care of your physical body. Whether it’s taking regular baths or scheduling a monthly massage, make sure to allow your body the downtime it needs. Of course, taking a vacation is not always feasible, but what about scaling the venture to something more manageable, either a ‘staycation’ at home or a ‘daycation’ somewhere local.
When we don’t feel good, it is difficult to function well in other areas of life. Make sure to get regular medical care for the prevention of further illnesses, and to allow yourself to take time off work when you’re sick and seek the medical care you may need.
If you missed it, make sure to read about The Importance of Self Care and check out the next part of the series on Psychological Self Care.