Feel Good Friday: "Self Care" - Is your cup empty?
Self Care - Is Your Cup Empty by Hayley Bridgewater
I am a self described "go-getter". My curiosity tends to drive me to live as big as I possibly can. For certain, I like to keep very busy, and have a habit of saying "yes" more often than "no." This can result in what could appear to some as an insane schedule, and if not managed in the right way, a certain recipe for burnout.
But this phenomena is not unique, and many of you reading this, though your training programming is set and you have a fair idea of the way that you are eating and resting, may still be struggling to find balance juggling work, school, children, and caring for sick or elderly loved ones. You may have those weeks where one day is blending into the other ~ the hamster on the treadmill feeling.
It would be a simple solution to say, "Just rest." or "Take a vacation."
Yes, those are good and necessary things, but my guess is that we would find ourselves falling right back into the same patterns. When having this conversation recently with several coaches in the health and fitness industry, the concept of "self care" kept arising.
Self Care ~ Engaging in activities that assist in maintaining an optimal level of psychological, emotional, social, and spiritual health.
Sounds pretty important, doesn't it?
I would like to share with you just a few suggestions as a jumping off point should you choose to explore a "self care" project. I have been working to incorporate such activities into my life in an effort to create some headspace, focus, flow, and fulfillment.
1) Meditation - Meditation refers to a broad variety of practices that includes techniques designed to promote relaxation, build internal energy or develop particular emotional capabilities such as compassion, love, patience, generosity, and forgiveness. In many of these practices, an individual trains the mind to enter a certain state of consciousness to realize some benefit or to acknowledge the mind's content without becoming identified with it. Meditation can be used to clear the mind, lower blood pressure, and ease mental stressors, depression and anxiety.
2) Volunteer Work - Volunteering provides incredible and often vital help to the communities in which we live and work, and has shown to produce even more impactful benefits to those contributing their time and energy. Involvement in charity activities provides a sense of purpose, improves social skills, encourages human connections, protecting mental and physical health by reducing stress, combating depression and isolation, and building confidence. Volunteer work can bring fun, happiness, and new friends into your life, boosting energy and expanding life perspective.
3) Sport/Hobby - If you have grown up nurturing the passion for a sport, talent, or hobby, you are aware how time devoted to such an activity can enhance your life. Aside from numerous physical benefits, training for a sport or engaging in the perfecting of a skill teaches discipline, inhances coping skills by learning how to deal with setbacks, sharpens leadership abilities, and encourages the desire for growth.
I invite any of our members to share with me and the rest of the ILP community a bit about your "Self Care" strategies and experiences. I intend on writing in depth about these topics in future postings. Our community is a strong one and we have much to learn from each other!