by Sally Whitaker
Self-care is taking action to improve your physical and emotional well-being. While treating yourself to a latte, a pedicure, or even a trip to the dentist all count as self-care, wellness and fitness should also be included in your habits.
Taking time for just you each day is difficult, but can provide benefits such as reducing stress, boosting mood and energy, and clearing your mind. Use these examples as a starting point to create what self-care looks like for you.
Set your phone to silent, turn the television off, and embrace the silence for just five minutes. Sit outside and look out at the clouds, trees, and all of the little things we tend to ignore. Take a walk around the block and pay attention to what you smell, hear, and feel. Or simply close your eyes and just focus on taking 3-5 full breaths.
Make Time for You
Set aside a specific time each day, whether it’s ten minutes or an hour, to move. From a full workout to a few stretches or walk around the block, it all adds up to improving your overall health.
Working out is definitely a form of self-care, but so is rest. Make sure to factor in rest days when you are making a workout plan. If you have done several challenging workouts in a row, an easy day or rest day will help your muscles and joints to recover.
Self-care is mental as well as physical. Work on changing the voice of your inner critic. Instead of saying “I need to work out, I look terrible,” try “I will get a workout in today to feel better inside and out.” It seems like a small thing, but positive thinking pays off.
Sally Whitaker is a Pilates and Yoga instructor with 15 years of experience teaching group classes and private clientele, primarily in Independence, MO. During the summer months you can find her teaching Sunset Yoga at Armstrong Park in Grain Valley.