When the new year rolls around, many of us start declaring our goals for the next 12 months. Many of these goals involve weight loss or other health-related hopes. Eating healthier or exercising more are popular resolutions for the new year. However, the one part of being healthy that many seem to forget is self-care.
Between work, taking care of loved ones, and finding time for sleep, self-care may rank low on your to-do list. But when it comes to meeting your health goals, it is a vital key to your success. Keep reading to find out what self-care is, why it’s so important, and what you can do to add self-care to your health routine for the new year.
What is self-care?
In basic terms, self-care is the act of protecting one’s own well-being and happiness by engaging in activities that refuel us instead of taking away from us. The act of self-care is especially important in times of stress but should be practiced even when stress is not high in your life.
For example, expressing yourself, like through art or writing, is an essential form of self-care. If you are not taking time out for yourself, you are putting yourself at risk for both mental and physical health problems. This is because stress can weaken the immune system and increase inflammation in the body. (It can also make it hard to lose weight.) However, sometimes self-care can seem like just something else on your long to-do list for the week.
Perhaps it’s time you see self-care in a different light. Think of your health as a roof perched atop five pillars. These five pillars are the key to keeping your health afloat. These pillars include healthy eating, exercise, stress management, sleep, and other healthy living behaviors. When one pillar starts to crumble, it can cause a domino effect and cause other pillars to crumble. Before you know it, your roof of health could start caving in.
For example, let’s say you don’t sleep the recommended seven hours a night for most adults. You wake up feeling less than rested and in turn don’t make it to the gym. Instead, to give you a boost of temporary energy before work, you head to the coffee bar and grab a coffee drink and sugary muffin. Then once you arrive at work, you feel too drowsy to deal with any stress that comes your way and find yourself having a short temper. Then after crawling through the day after your caffeine and sugar crash, you drive home and relax with a glass of red wine or a beer.
Do you see how one unhealthy habit led to another, and then another? One unhealthy choice can set the stage for other unhealthy choices to be made. And before you know it these choices become habits that lead your body into unhealthy territory.
This is where self-care comes in. Rather than being a selfish act as some may view it, self-care actually helps fuel your body and reduces anxiety. Once you take care of yourself in this way, you will have more energy to give and care for others.
Why is self-care important?
Self-care is important because without it, your body never truly rests. This is because even when we come home from work, there are often dishes to wash, meals to prepare, and/or loved ones to care for. Research shows that if you make time to care for yourself, then you may have a better chance at weight loss success.
Not only that, but no matter how many pounds you may lose, you will feel lighter, nonetheless. This is because self-care will help you to strengthen your body and mind, which will make the stresses of life much easier to handle.
How can you add self-care to your daily routine?
You may be all on board with self-care. The problem is you may not know how to fit it into your life. Just like with any healthy behavior, you must make time for self-care. Your calendar may be full, but if you truly want to feel better, you may need to wiggle some things around on your to-do list. Here are some steps you can take to fit self-care into your healthy lifestyle.
- Make a list of your day to day tasks. Be specific when listing what you do each day. Examples include: “Wake up and pack lunches” or “Check emails after lunch.”
- Go through each daily task and ask yourself if it is something that you cannot stop doing or that you must do at the time you are now doing it.
- If possible, delegate some tasks for other days and times. Or, if it is just a habit you have gotten stuck in, then see if you can cross any task from your list all together.
- Before you know it, you will free up some time for self-care.
Experts suggest finding time to relax each day so you can decompress. It could be as simple as reading a book you have always been meaning to read. Or, it could mean taking a walk and breathing in some fresh air after dinner.
Add FIT to your self-care routine
You could even take your self-care to a whole new level with a FIT Bodywrap session. Not only would you have some time to yourself to relax during your session, but the FIT Bodywrap will work to help your body burn calories and boost your metabolism while you rest.
The FIT Bodywrap System uses infrared radiant heat to help your body sweat out fat, cholesterol, heavy metals, acids, and toxins that could be preventing your body from looking and feeling its best. The result is improved metabolism and digestion, not to mention that you will likely feel refreshed and energized after your session.
Prioritize self-care to meet your new year’s goals
Self-care is often overlooked as part of weight loss success, even though it’s a key part of long-term success. Although it may be hard to find time for self-care, it should be given as much priority as your workouts and meal times. This is because without taking time to relax and unwind, the body will not be able to work and feel at its optimal level. So, when you’re ready to create your healthy lifestyle plan this season, don’t forget to add in some self-care. Your mind and body will thank you.