Sure, we’re kind to our barista, we let someone merge while in traffic, and maybe we even chase down a stranger if they’ve left behind their keys or cell phone, but often times we forget to be mindful of the most important person, OURSELF!
One of the most imperative things we can do to make our own lives more balanced and harmonious, is to take care of ourselves first. I know, this can sound selfish, self-indulgent, and maybe even arrogant, but think about it… How can we GENUINELY be mindful of how others are feeling or how we are affecting them, if we aren’t making sure our OWN needs are being met?
Taking care of your physical body is an important first step to taking care of your psychological and emotional body.
Motivation: What inspires you?
o Set attainable goals for yourself.
- Set a short-term goal (ie: lose 10 lbs before your high school reunion in 3 months, training for a marathon or 5K, wedding, birthday coming up).
- Set a long-term goal (ie: getting off your high blood pressure meds, conditioning to be able to keep up with your kids).
o Choose an activity that excites you, something you look forward to doing
- Group fitness classes are a great option if you’re lacking motivation for your workout, or you just enjoy the varied routine and enthusiastic group energy.
- Find out what works for YOU. Think about something you enjoyed when you were a child, and try an activity that translates into your life now.
- Or choose something totally different that you never tried before.
o Enlist an Activity Accountability Partner
- Workout buddy- go on a hike or walk instead of/ before/after going to lunch or drinks.
- Long walks/ jogs with your dog, best friend, or spouse
- Hire a personal trainer to help keep your exercise routine fresh and prevent injuries
Don’t fail before you start. We often talk ourselves out of experiencing new things because they can be intimidating or challenging. Remember, we are ALL beginners at some point.
A clear and present mind will allow you to listen to your body, and treat it with the care it needs in every changing moment.
Attitude- You ARE your THOUGHTS. What you THINK becomes your REALITY.
o Have a positive attitude about your health and wellness. Being GRATEFUL for your physical body is an excellent step toward mindfulness.
- You are setting aside time to focus on yourself. Enjoy it!
- You know you will feel better once you are finished, so get going already!
- A negative attitude breeds negative results, such as burnout.
- Shift your thoughts from “AM I going to exercise today?” to “WHEN am I going to exercise today?”
- Pack your exercise clothes, towel, water and pre-workout snack the night before, so you don’t forget them in the morning scramble.
o Commit to your health every day of the year.
- Listen to your body. It will tell you if it needs a rigorous workout or a rest day
- Your body is in a different state every day. It’s imperative to listen to this, and respect that we change from moment to moment.
- The sooner you accept that exercise must be a constant in your life, the sooner you will stop resisting it. You are putting your health first, and that is an imperative step on the path to life balance
Be sure to take some quiet time for yourself every day. This may mean setting your alarm clock 10 minutes earlier that usual, just so that you can sit with a cup of tea in silence for a few extra moments. Perhaps all you can manage is locking yourself in the bathroom for 5 minutes to practice some breathing techniques. Or maybe you have 20 minutes you can carve out of your evening to sit in quiet meditation or reading. This is about tuning in to YOU, so you can care for yourself in whatever capacity you may need each day, which will give you more capacity to care for others.
By Allison Wells