The subject matter of this post was inspired by some of the answers I received in the newsletter and one of my own personal revelations from my own self-care practice as of late.
And that revelation is this: We need to set our bodies up to be successful with our everyday self-care practices with an overall healthy lifestyle.
Let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time, there was a woman named Randi. She was never much into sports (except that one time she tried to play soccer in Junior High). She enjoyed being active and in the out of doors, but cringed at the thought of going to a gym. Though she did on occasion, she despised lifting weights or having any structure to her free-spirited ways of physical activity.
And then one day, she decided to do something different. With the push of her loved ones, she made the various gyms activities a habit, just to see what the hubbub was all about. She changed her mindset to make these activities a game, a practice, and a means to doing all of the other physical activities she enjoyed better.
She noticed herself getting stronger, leveling up, if you will. But she also noticed that her daily self-care practices of yoga, stretching, working out body pain, etc, were more enjoyable and more effective. “What luck!” she gasped, at the thought that something she resisted for so long was actually the missing link in taking her self care to the next level.
With joy she continued on her journey of physical fitness, and she lived happily ever after. The end.
That woman, ladies and gentleman, is me. I know, I know. Didn’t see that one coming did you?
But seriously, I don’t know what got into me these past few weeks, but I’ve been very diligent about my exercise and getting more fit.
Yes, I can accomplish a lot with yoga and my movement practice, but I kept getting this nudge that I needed to be even more active. And the results have taught me a lot, the biggest lesson being that I needed to build a new foundation for my health.
Our bodies change over time. We age. We have injuries and illnesses. We go in and out of healthy and unhealthy habits. We have to act accordingly, without judgment, to where we are at in the present moment with our bodies. It’s ok to course correct and switch up what we focus on for health so we can keep a steady baseline.
For some of you, it’s adding a yoga practice or meditation to your habits. Or it’s eating healthier. For me right now, it’s building strength in my muscles and improving my cardiovascular health.
And the results of doing so are not just looking better or other superficial benefits. But I feel better, my body functions better and, like I said, it amplifies my other self-care practices. It’s like tag-teaming with yourself!
And on the other side of the coin, a strong foundation can weather any storm. When we build that base, not only will it amplify our other practices but it will help us recover if and when we get hit with trauma, like illnesses and injuries.
One thing a lot of you mentioned from the survey is that you lack motivation for self-care. Well, instead of the self-talk of “I know I should exercise. I know I should go to the gym,” change to “I’m going to exercise (or do yoga, meditate, eat better, etc.) because I want to set myself up to be successful. I want to compliment everything else that I do and make it better.” Or whatever it is that gives you a “why” for your self-care and helps you with your goals.
So take a moment to tune in and ask yourself, “What is my base? What do I need to do to build my self-care foundation?” And then, in a gentle and loving way, go forth and prosper!