Traditionally this is the time of year we celebrate our loved ones and relationships ..
But how about the relationship you have with yourself, your mind, and your body? You know, giving yourself some self-care?
The concept of self-care or self-love is simple: making time to take care of yourself for the benefit of your overall mental and physical well-being. Even though the idea is simple many of us overlook the importance of doing this regularly.
The good news?
Many of you are already doing some self-care by simply coming to the gym on a regular basis, go you! Chances are you’re also feeling stressed, rushed, some nagging muscular tension, or generally worn down. This happens when we start to overlook the other parts of self-care. For example, when was the last time you slowed down to foam roll, stretch, or take a rest day?
Taking the time, even if just for a few minutes, to give yourself a little more attention, might make a big difference.
It can reduce stress and anxiety, create a higher level of satisfaction in your workouts and daily tasks, aid recovery, soothe tight muscles, boost energy and motivation, and help you to feel better overall.
I challenge all of you to spend this month practicing more self-care! Maybe even schedule a goal setting session with a coach to hold you accountable to that. At the end of the month, touch base to see if you notice a difference in your mentality and in how you feel physically.
Unsure of where to start?
Here are 4 easy ideas:
- 1. Commit to foam rolling for five minutes before and after every class at the gym or at least once a day. These three spots are my favorites:
- – Feet – use a lacrosse ball and gently work the arches and the ball of your foot (right under the toes). Make sure to go up and down the foot as well as side to side. When you find a tender place, keep pressure there for at least 30 seconds.
- – Upper back – place the lacrosse ball between your upper back and the wall, an inch or two away from your spine and towards your shoulder blade. Use the same up and down, back and forth technique to find any knots. Holding on those for 30 secs.
- – Glutes – sit on top of a foam roller. Cross your right leg over your left knee and lean towards your bent knee. Roll into your glute muscles, making sure to pause on any of those tender spots. Repeat on the left side.
- 2. Set a reminder alarm to take a short stretch break in the middle of your work day. Target areas that you use repetitively or hold tension in. The neck, shoulders, and wrists are three common ones.
- 3. Spend 5 minutes in quiet reflection. Try downloading a meditation app for guidance.
- 4. Take an extra rest day once in awhile. Yes, your gym buddies will miss you and probably give you a hard time about skipping a day …but they’ll shut up when you kick their butt in the next WOD.
Last, but not least, be kind to yourself and have an awesome February!