5 Quick Tips for Physical Self-Care
The arrival of Spring is a welcome season for those of us who live in the Midwest where winters are cold and dark. Physical self-care, in particular, can take a hit during long winter months spent indoors and the ramifications can be felt across our physical, mental and emotional well-being. This new season feels like an opportunity for a fresh start.
I'm really looking forward to trading in my sweaters for summer dresses and my boots for sandals. I'm excited to spend more time outdoors and to participate in activities I enjoy. I want to feel the sun on my face, get my hands in the dirt and soak up the warm summer nights.
While warmer weather makes physical self-care more easily attainable, physical self-care continues to be a challenge for me personally. I struggle with prioritizing my own physical needs over those of my family, leaving little time and energy to devote to my own well-being. However, as much as I would like to skip it altogether, I know that physical self-care happens to be the most important. One could argue that physical wellness is essentially the foundation of all other areas of well-being.
READ MORE: 10 Paracords of Self-Care
Under The Parachute Project™ there are five strands in the Physical Paracord, they are:
Diet ~ Physical Activity ~ Rest ~ Appearance ~ Healthcare
Below, are listed 5 quick tips for physical self-care which will nurture your overall well-being:
Quick Physical Self-Care Tip #1 – Drink Water
Hydration is important for so many reasons, but is also so easily overlooked, as a critical part of physical self-care. So often, we opt for something that tastes like something rather than water. But flavored drinks often have the opposite effect and leave us dehydrated.
It’s pretty easy to get enough water every day. The hard part is remembering to do it. Try pairing a glass of water with regular actions you are already do throughout your day. Drink water when you wake up and before bed. Drink water before every meal, when you have a snack or when you crave sweets, etc.
Quick Physical Self-Care Tip #2 – Walk
Physical activity is so important for strength, endurance and stress relief, etc. Yet, it can be challenging to find a form of exercise that makes is easy to stay consistent. Changes in season and weather, as well as, necessary equipment or training are all potential hurdles that can get in the way of physical exercise.
Whenever you are struggling to find time for physical activity, get back to the basics and go for a walk. Walking is something most of us can do. It doesn’t require extra training or equipment. A simple walk up and down your driveway, around the block, or around the park, while your kids play, can make a big difference. Every little bit helps!
Quick Physical Self-Care Tip #3 – Take a Nap
Ideally, you would be getting a full night’s sleep every night. Realistically though, that is probably not happening. From around-the-clock caregiving and anxiety induced insomnia to just wanting to have an hour or two for yourself, at the end of the day, are many reasons why parent caregivers struggle to get adequate amounts of restorative sleep.
We also tend to believe that we have to be super productive all of the time. As with so many things we know we should be doing to care for ourselves, taking a nap feels selfish and lazy. Guilt can be a big deterrent for allowing ourselves the rest and restoration we need.
The fact is that, without adequate rest, we simply will not have the strength and energy we need to care for our family well. It is truly selfless to make sure we are getting enough quality sleep every day. If you are feeling tired, listen to your body, and take as much time as you can manage to rest. Don’t wait until you are too worn down for a simple nap to be enough to do the trick.
READ MORE: Create a Bedroom Sanctuary
Quick Physical Self-Care Tip #4 – Get a New Outfit for Yourself
How we feel has a lot to do with how we look and vice versa. Maybe it’s that light you feel inside when you wear your favorite color, a certain fabric, or when something fits just right. Maybe it’s the confidence you get from a new dress or the comfort you find in that sweater you have had forever. Appearance matters!
After focusing so much energy on the needs of our children and family, any excuse to get dressed up probably sounds pretty good right about now. A new outfit is as good an excuse as any. You’ve earned it!
Shopping for a new outfit can feel like quite a splurge. However, finding a great new outfit doesn’t have to cost you very much at all. One of my favorite things is to shop thrift and consignment stores. It’s like a treasure hunt! I never know what I am going to find and there is no worrying about whether I can afford to buy that thing I fall in love with. I also end up with pieces I really like, not just those that are “in” this season. I buy almost all of my clothes this way and get compliments on my finds all the time.
Quick Physical Self-Care Tip #5 – Schedule that Appointment
I don’t know about you, but just making the phone call, to schedule that appointment, is the hardest part. Once an appointment is on the calendar, prioritizing my healthcare gets easier.
As caregivers, we tend to put off making that appointment for ourselves because our child’s care is such a priority. We may have so many appointments already on our schedule, that adding just one more feels like one more too many.
We may also feel like making an appointment is asking for trouble. What we don’t know won’t hurt us right? Well not really, in this case. When it comes to health care, the sooner an issue is discovered the easier it is to treat. I would also guess that, when you experience new symptoms, the anxiety is just as bad as, if not worse than, the symptom itself. Getting to the bottom of healthcare issues is just as important for your mental health as it is for your physical health.
READ MORE: How to Manage Anxiety form Past Medical Trauma
Maybe you have been putting off that appointment for these reasons or maybe it has just fallen to the bottom of your list. Now is the time to make the call and get that appointment on the schedule. Once you have it on the calendar, it becomes much easier to follow through and make it happen.
For more resources to support you in your caregiving role, FOLLOW my “Physical Self-Care” board on Pinterest!
As always, do not try to apply all of these quick tips for physical self-care at one time. It is always better to focus your attention on just one action until it becomes a natural part of your self-care practice before adding another. Approaching self-care this way, increases the likelihood that you will stay consistent, be successful and enjoy the benefits of your efforts long-term.
Self-Care Action Discussed in this Post:
When you are feeling run down and worn out, try one of the 5 quick tips for physical self-care discussed above, or another action of your choice, to add a quick boost to your physical well-being.
- 10 Paracords of Self-Care
- Your Parachute
- 5 Quick Tips for Mental Self-Care
- 5 Quick Tips for Emotional Self-Care
- 5 quick Tips for Spiritual Self-Care
- 5 Quick Tips for Social Self-Care
- 5 Quick Tips for Marital Self-Care
- 5 Quick Tips for Parental Self-Care
- 5 Quick Tips for Financial Self-Care
- 5 Quick Tips for Professional Self-Care
- 5 Quick Tips for Reputational Self-Care
- 5 Quick Tips for Holiday Self-Care
- Create Your Bedroom Sanctuary
- Self-Care is NOT Selfish
- How to Evaluate Your Self-Care Needs
- How to Manage Anxiety from Past Medical Trauma