Do you “self-care”?

The staff at the Bread House have had quite a few challenges and even tragedies the last few weeks. In an effort not to totally neglect ourselves or our families, it has meant this “Wellness Wednesday” post written by Rachel of The Fit House is a day late. However, we feel it is timely regardless the day of week, so we are sharing it on Thrive Thursday!

“Self-care.” This phrase is cropping up everywhere at the moment. Trend aside, it’s something that everyone already consciously does or should do on a regular basis. What is “self-care”? At The Fit House we define self-care as deliberately taking care of our physical and mental health.

The result of not taking care of your body and wellbeing can be both mental and physical, affecting not only us but those around us too.

Looking after your body and mind often gets put to one side. “I’m too busy”, “I haven’t got time”, “I’m busy taking care of everyone else”, “I’ve got other priorities right now”. “I can’t face it”, “I’m too tired.” We all have those moments.

But, let’s look at it from another angle…
If you’re not in a fit state to manage your other priorities (because you don’t take care of yourself), how are those other priorities going to get done properly or with your full attention?

Unfortunately, it’s often not until some kind of “wake-up” situation happens that we pay attention and realise the affect a lifestyle is having on us, on our families and friends. But why wait until you get diagnosed with high blood pressure / are bed ridden with flu / have a huge row with your partner / miss an important work deadline before you decide to do something about it. It’s never too late to start and it’s also never too early. Prevention is better than cure.

Poor diet, drinking too much, lack of exercise, stressed, over worked, not sleeping enough, always getting ill, tummy issues. Any of these sound familiar? It’s time to look after yourself.

We’ve put together a few tips for self-care that you can start now and take into 2019.

Eat more vegetables

Eating nutritious food boosts your immune system. The dietary fibre and nutrients keep your gut healthy, it can reduce your risk of cancer and other disease. Veggies give you great energy and keep your blood sugar stable which helps with concentration, mood and sleep patterns.

Exercise every day

Aim for 30-60 minutes of exercise per day. Exercise is not only for the “gym go-ers”. It is critically important for everyone. Exercise is not only good for your heart, lungs, muscles, and bones, it’s a fantastic mood booster and mental stimulator. Regular exercise reduces your risk of diseases, illness, injury, depression and mental health problems. If the gym doesn’t interest you, go for a walk, swim, dance, play a sport, jog, just get yourself moving.

Sleep more

5-6 hours per night just isn’t going to cut it. We need 8+ hours and much more for children. Understanding how important sleep is may help you reconsider its importance. Sleep plays a major role in your physical and mental health and growth. Lack of sleep is associated with a weak immune system, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease, anxiety and depression. Put down the mobile phone, switch off the TV and try to get to bed a little earlier every night.

If you’re interested in sleep, watch this TED talk.

Taking care of yourself is primarily your own responsibility. Self-care is not only about mental health, but also about physical health. The two go hand in hand. Don’t wait for 2019, for after Christmas, or “when I have more time”. Start today with a few things and make them a regular habit. You’ll see the difference soon enough and your body will thank you for it in the long term.

Rachel Harling
Co-founder, personal trainer
The Fit House

The Fit House is an independent family gym in Chalfont St Peter. It offers personal training, group classes, kids fitness, nutrition, pre and post-natal exercise and sports performance.