7 Ways to take Care of Your Body and Mind
I'm just back from a sports massage. The osteopath did a fantastic job of releasing a number of knots, tight muscles and the odd alignment issues. This got me thinking about self care as I was laying on the massage table drooling slightly.
There are a number of elements of my life where I should optimize my self care to achieve both a healthy body and a healthy mind. Without taking care of my body and mind I'm not only letting myself down by not performing at my best, I'm also risking my health over the long term.
I've recently taken a decision to make a big life change, resigned from my job and decided to put my effort into remote working, of which Wealthy Affiliate is a big part of my slowly developing plan (don't worry - I've got 6 months before I finish my current job). All of the training, support, excellent hosting and interactive community have played a big role in making this decision. This being said - I need to be on my A game for the next 12 months, both to finish off my old life on a high, and start the new one successfully, so onto the 10 ways that I will be caring for my body and mind to optimize my success!
1. WaterI love water, I think it is my drink of choice. Still, or sparkling, with or without a slice of fruit (lime by preference), I always have a water bottle close by. Your body functions better when hydrated, it wards off snacking (thirst is often mistaken for hunger) and best of all - it's the only actual hangover cure!
There is some debate over the amount of water that you should drink, if in doubt consult your doctor, and be aware that it is possible to drink too much.
2. Running - DistanceI love running. It's my preferred form of meditation. As the miles pass away under my feet I get mesmerized by the action of one foot in front of the other and repeat. If I'm particularly stressed a good run helps to shake out all the tension that I'm carrying in my body.
I'm fortunate to live in a small city with beautiful scenery all around, so I only have to run a couple of miles from my house to reach marsh runs, beach runs or even hilly countryside just to challenge the legs and get the heart pumping!
3. CrossFitAs much as I love running I'm afraid my body does not. If I was a horse I'd be considered conformationally challenged, I'm just not really built for athletics. I am so envious of those runners who can keep going without encountering pain or body imbalances, but I'm just not one of them.
I've tried cross training programs on my own, but the motivation and planning effort required doesn't work for me. I'm much happier to turn up to a high energy, high intensity CrossFit class and follow the program that the coaches have set to work my body in all the different ways that it really needs to work to be optimized, all without having to plan it myself! It also has the benefit of getting high quality coaching at a fraction of the price of having a personal training session!
4. MindfulnessI've used the Calm app for about a year. I find everything about it soothing and the guided meditations are just the right length to fit easily into each day. If you think about it, you can always find 10 minutes, even if it means you have to lock yourself in the bathroom!
The best bit though, is the bedtime stories - I find them so soothing and they even work when I'm traveling, you can download them and use them on those long international flights when it's almost impossible to sleep!
5. Self Care and Body AwarenessI knew I was suffering from stress tension, a build up of niggles from going back into intensive workouts and some pretty bad muscle tension. When I finally decided to book a sports massage I realized that there was a new clinic a 5-minute walk from work! Let me tell you, that Osteopath was amazing, I'm feeling so relaxed, and amazingly mobile - very noticeable when I bent over afterwards to tie my shoes!
Taking that time to focus on what my body was telling me it needed will pay dividends over the next few weeks. I've also booked another session in 3 weeks, just to keep on top of keeping my body in tip-top shape.
You are what you eat they say! I do believe that they are correct. I am trying my best to eat lots of vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. I do spend some of my time flirting with veganism, so I'm conscious of protein matching to cover all necessary amino acids and supplementing with nutritional yeast (which is actually quite tasty - although I'm not convinced by those that say it tastes like cheese...)
Being conscious that I don't always have the time, or perhaps take the time to eat properly I do take a number of supplements to make sure I'm covered on the B complex vitamin, Iron and Omega 3, 6 and 9 front. Also because sometimes I can't be bothered to make lunch to take to work, and the canteen food isn't the most healthy, I keep a bag of Huel (a nutritionally complete food) at my desk to defend me from the lunchtime chocolate bars that sometimes try to leap into my mouth when I least expect it!
All this exercise is exhausting, I know! But it's not the only reason that sleep is important. As well as allowing your body to repair and prepare for the next day, sleep is key in facilitating your mind synthesizing information. This is one of the reasons why an all nighter is one of the worst things you can do before an exam!
Personally I know I function best on about the 7 hours of good quality sleep. I can get by on less, but I'll start to get grumpy and find that my brain doesn't work as well. Right now, as I write just before bed, my upstairs neighbor is interrupting my wind down to sleep with loud music and loud footsteps. The bit of this that I don't understand is the room above my bedroom is their bathroom - so they must be having a prebed bathroom rave party!
This is how I'm going to take care of my body and mind to make the most of my next 12 months building my business with Wealthy Affiliate. What else should I do? I'd love your suggestions!