Self-Care. It’s a big subject! When I started thinking about what I wanted to say about this topic, I almost drowned myself in sub-topics. We are complex beings with many facets and all of them are impacted by Self-Care. So… I’m going to pull back and take a look at the basics with you. Seems sensible, right?
I hope you downloaded your own copy of the pyramid. If you didn’t, you can download it from the link below and do that so we are all on the same page. The pyramid shows the three aspects of who we are – our Body, Mind and Spirit or Heart. You can be confident in the fact that if we take care of these 3 elements, we can live most efficiently on the planet.
So let’s start with Body…the most obvious and most visible of our aspects. I’m going to go over the basics of what our body needs. Now I’m sure you already know this, but it never hurts to have the reminder, right? Maybe there’s something you’ve ignored or just want to focus more on.
Movement – the body needs to move – at the very least – 20 minutes of brisk walking 3 times a week. Now you can get more intense than that – that’s up to you. Hopefully, that movement is outside , so you’re also getting contact with nature and experiencing the influx of all those endorphins!
Food – a basic need – but we know our society eats too much sugar and processed foods, so we have to up our game and eat in a healthy way – more fresh food, vegetables, vitamins and minerals – that way, our system is functioning at its best.
Water – another basic – lots of it, at a temperature in keeping with our own system.
Sleep – we need 7.5 hours of sleep a night, that includes some deep rest.
Recovery time – our body knows what to do to repair and restore – we just need to give it that time and space to do its work.
Nature – we need to give our bodies time in nature, so we see we are part of it. Looking at nature, we can learn about our own system – it can give us a reflection of who we are. Renewal, integration, Beauty – it’s all around us and in us.
It would seem obvious that we need to take exquisite care of our bodies, but sometimes it might be hard to ‘get motivated’. I hear people say this all the time, so i know it can be a problem. I’ve experienced it myself…we’re all human!
Maybe the problem lies in being too much in our heads – we can get so involved in the world of problem-solving, rumination, over-thinking, that we almost forget we have a body! We are only living from the eyes up – focussed completely in our brain – the rest of the body is just going along for the ride. We end up ignoring this wonderful instrument.
The body will carry on doing its job of processing, renewing etc., but soon it will start to show the signs of neglect. So it seems the first way to being motivated is to pay attention – to notice that we have a body and that it needs our attention.
It might be helpful to look at the Why? What? and How? of our Motivation.
Why? Think of the biggest reason you want to have your healthiest, most robust body possible. Is it to look good in those selfies you post on Instagram? Maybe that’s a small part of it, but let’s be honest…that glory is pretty fleeting. I suspect you might decide it’s more important to be healthy so you can feel good, live longer – be able to play with your grandkids – continue to contribute to life in your village – maybe even become an elder whose wisdom can help support others. That can be a strong motivator! So spend a bit of time on your Why? and get clear on it. This can be a beacon – a lighthouse that will keep you moving forward.
What? Have you got a plan of action for taking care of your body? There are a lot of choices out there – yoga, running, gym workouts, swimming, sports, climbing Everest and vegetarianism, raw food, cooked food, no fat, more fat – one could get carried away. So it’s a good idea to focus on what is realistic and doable for you – a plan that won’t frustrate and cause you to give up. Start small and build gradually.
How? What kind of vehicle is going to get you on your way to a healthy, happy body? Are you going to hire a trainer to help you get started? Read a book about nutrition? Ask a friend to be a running buddy? Find a place in your neighbourhood that will be fun to walk around – and maybe a cafe that serves healthy food or fresh-squeezed juices? Again, there are many ways to get there – you just have to decide on a way to start. That way may change as you get more into this journey – it probably will – that’s OK – you just need to get started. Your body will be so grateful and happy that it will direct you – it will tell you when it needs more movement or more protein, less carb, more rest. Partner up with your body – it has an abundance of wisdom.
I encourage you to spend some quality time with your body this week -notice its complexity, appreciate its beauty and uniqueness – it’s the container you are living your life in, so it deserves your attention and commitment to helping it be the healthiest and happiest possible.