You will learn:
When I ask someone how they are taking care of their body, they usually reply with, “Well, I could be doing a better job.”
When probed a little deeper, I learn there is a stigma that is usually attached to this. Almost like it’s ‘greedy’ to take care of your body, or that it is only something that the ‘well to do’ are able to do, not the little folks.
Well, this post is to remind you that:
it is not narcissistic to take care of ourselves, it is a necessity.
Tip 1: It is necessary to take care of ourselves
Because if you don’t, nobody will do it for you.
Tip 2: Respect your body
This is a huge mental and emotional component that many of us sweep under the rug for ourselves. We neglect ourselves and ignore what our bodies are trying to tell us. If something internally is not going well, it will eventually express itself outward. This can be something like low energy, body weight fluctuations, deteriorating work or personal relationships.
Tip 3: Lifestyle shift
It is not a fad to take care of yourself. You live in your body for a lifetime, so why treat it like a cheap apartment? Don’t get lazy and wait for the water to leak from the sink and ruin the carpets before you call an irate landlord – YOU are that landlord. It is easier to maintain what you have now, when you are younger, than to try and regain it back as you age.
Tip 4: Be intentional with your body
There are too many easy outs (social media distractions) that make us feel low about our personal appearance, lifestyle, perceived wealth or happiness. We make up excuses about not having what others have and we give up before we begin. Start with you and surround yourself with people who can help you with your goals.
Tip 5: We are in service all day
When you give all day, whether that is physically, mentally or emotionally, you have left nothing for yourself and the end of the day. When the tank is empty, you cannot give what you don’t have. Instead, take some time during the day that is just for you. Do what you need to do to make yourself happy, so that when you get home, you are pleasant and engaged with those at home or in your world. If not, your ‘bad day’ at work will be projected on those around you which can lead to arguments, misunderstandings and hurt feelings. If you cannot escape this, at least preface to those around you what you are feeling and thinking so that they can appropriately respond by giving you what you need (i.e. a sympathetic ear, time alone, space to process).
Tip 6: Overworked = lack of fitness
When work grabs you, the body begins to suffer. Exercise becomes an afterthought and we turn to foods and medications to pacify our emotions. Rather, engage and be present with what you are are feeling and thinking and either talk it out alone or with a spouse or friend. Find that motivational outlet and maybe go for a walk while you are pondering.
Tip 7: Don’t ignore the red flags
These are huge and occur slowly over time and we tend to brush them aside. They can be things like steadily worsening health symptoms: chest pains, muscular pain that never leaves, a persistent cough, steadily darkening circles under your eyes, shorter and more violent tempers. If you are noticing a decline or other around you are, do the smart thing and reach out to a health care professional for an assessment.
Tip 8: Be honest with yourself
You live in your body. You know habits, patterns and behaviors that serve you and those that don’t. Lack of sleep, non-existent fitness and chronic stress and self medication (food, alcohol, medication) is never a long-term solution. Do a self-assessment: is there one small thing you can change – right now – that will have a positive impact for tomorrow? Something as simple as going to bed 30 minutes earlier or adding a glass of water (takes sip as I write this) is a great way to reinforce a new and better health habit, pattern and behavior.
Tip 9: The check-in
Nobody is going to check-in with you, but you. Do the work and do a physical, mental and emotional check-in with yourself at least once a week. When was the last time you laughed? Or enjoyed a meal? Or thanked someone for a favor? Perhaps had a meaningful conversation with a family member or a friend? This list is endless, but self check-ins really do work and show you where any gaps are.
*BONUS: Tip 10: Internal motivation
Find your spark – internal motivation comes from your inner drive to not just survive, but THRIVE. We all have it and we all tuck it deep down in our bodies. It serves no purpose being buried. This is where our passion, creativity and zeal for live is. Why would you want to bottle that up?
These ten tips are designed to motivate and inspire you to get the most out of your life. Check-in with yourself, give yourself permission to love and respect your body and to ask help when you need some. Your body should last your lifetime, why would you want anything less than your personal best each and every day?
Until next time,