Incorporating Self-Care and Rest into Your Routine
The stereotypical self-care we see across social media usually involves buying stuff which is great, but while retail therapy, pedicures and face masks can be rejuvenating pick-me-ups, true self-care goes much deeper. It's about listening to your mind and body and intentionally carving out time for rest and renewal that serves you holistically.
As active women, many of us struggle to slow down. We feel guilty taking a day off from work and exercise or see rest as "lazy." But incorporating meaningful self-care into your routine is just as important as training itself.
- Evaluate your "why." Examine what motivates you to be active. Is it for health, looking good, mental clarity or to reach certain goals? Reminding yourself of your purpose for training can put its place in your life into perspective.
- Recovery. This allows your body to adapt and get stronger. Listen when your body needs a break, even if your training plan says otherwise. Honouring your needs prevents injury, illness, and burnout.
- Active recovery. Light walking, gentle yoga, easy cycling, or swimming can boost blood flow without taxing your body like an intense workout.
- Sleep, sleep, sleep! SO important, if at all possible stick to a consistent sleep schedule with 7-9 hours per night minimum. Sleep is when your body repairs and resets, missing out on sleep impedes performance gains and has a huge impact on mental health.
- Address stressors. Look at your calendar and identify unnecessary commitments to cut back on. Stress management tools like meditation, deep breathing, and journaling can provide a mental reset.
- Spend time outdoors. Studies show being in nature lowers cortisol levels and elevates mood. Get your workout outside when possible, or simply spend time walking, reading or enjoying a coffee outdoors.
- Nourish your body. Focus on incorporating wholesome, energising foods into your diet. Also address your hydration - dehydration taxes the body.
Fitness is a lifelong journey. Taking time to intentionally rest and care for yourself is sustainable self-care that lets you show up as your best self when it is time to train hard.