How To Create A Self-Care Plan
When you become interested in getting fit and healthy, you think and talk about it all the time. You want to get stronger, get more out of your workouts, and find people who share your passion and interest level.
But sometimes, it can feel like you can’t quite find the perfect balance between training hard and living the rest of your life. You want to find the sweet spot so you’re happy in both these areas.
When you want to create the best life for yourself that includes pushing hard in your workouts and not missing out on having fun outside of the studio, it’s time to create a self-care plan.
When Training Can Become Stressful
If you’re a fit person committed to living a healthy lifestyle, exercise will be a form of self-care for you. It’s where you can take a break from your busy routine, stop thinking about your to-do list (your kids’ activities, what to make for dinner, a big work project, etc.) and have some me-time.
But sometimes, training can become stressful. If you overtrain, you can feel tired, be in a bad mood, have trouble focusing, and find it really tough to get yourself back into the studio when just a few weeks ago, it felt totally easy and effortless.
You need to take rest days because your muscles need a break from all of the hard work. According to Very Well Fit, muscle glycogen and muscle tissues need to restore themselves.
When you work out, your muscles are working really hard too, and your muscles and tissues get “damaged.” When you’re not working out, your muscles have the time that they need to return to their normal state. This is so important and it’s good to remember that this work takes place on rest days.
Without rest days, you could feel incredibly sore and your muscles won’t have the necessary time to get better, meaning that you could even hurt yourself. This is when you’ve been going too hard.
It’s important to be aware of when you need to push yourself harder and when you need to take a rest day. This can feel tricky at first but once you get the hang of it, you’ll trust your body and it’ll feel much easier.
How To Find A Work/Life Training Balance
In order to adopt a self-care routine, you want to find a work/life training balance. The following tips will help you get you there.
Tip #1: Listen To Your Body And Mind
Just because you decide to work out 5-6 times this week doesn’t necessarily mean that this is the best thing to do. Maybe your workout was super tough yesterday and you wake up feeling so sore that even moving around the house feels like a bit much. Or you’re feeling more tired than usual because there’s a lot going on at work.
If you want to create a work/life training balance, you need to plan out your rest days, but also check in with how you’re doing that day. You should listen to your body and mind and tell yourself it’s okay to take a rest day if you’re not feeling up to working out today.
Sure, sometimes you can push yourself and go because you know that you’ll feel better after a sweat session. But if you’re really dreading it and don’t feel well, then stay home.
Maybe you want to go for a few walks today and also do some deep breathing exercises. This will help you recover properly and make sure that you’re feeling ready and pumped to get back into the studio tomorrow.
Tip #2: Don’t Be Scared Of Switching Up Intensity
You want to Become Unstoppable, but pushing yourself so much every single workout so you’re more exhausted after the workout than when you came in might not be the best idea.
If you love becoming fit and active, you should approach your workouts from a self-care perspective, and that means taking care of yourself and not always going so hard.
For example, if you want to train five times this week, maybe four of those workouts will be your max effort and you’ll push yourself to your limits. You’ll feel awesome and the fifth time that you get into the studio, you’ll still do your best and try hard, but you’ll dial back some of the movements or reps so you don’t get too tired or feel burnt out.
Tip #3: Make Fitness a Part of Your Life
They say if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em… and that might be a good way to approach finding a better training/life balance.
You can make fitness a part of your life by doing something active on the weekends with your partner and kids. You can also bring a friend or your sister, brother, or parent to a training session so you’re hanging out with them while committing to your healthy lifestyle.
You can also start thinking of fitness as something that doesn’t just exist when you get into the studio. For example, you can walk to a grocery store that is 20-30 minutes away so you can run errands, pick up some healthy food, and also get some exercise in. You can listen to a podcast and consider it me-time that is relaxing and also a way to get some extra movement into your day.
Tip #4: Don’t Forget Fun
Sure, you’re living a healthy life, eating well, and getting into the studio several times a week. And you do find working out fun.
But what about having fun in the rest of your life? From weekend barbecues with your family to after-work get-togethers with your pals, life is about more than just sticking to a healthy eating and fitness plan.
According to a 2010 review of 148 studies written up for PLoS Medicine, social relationships have a definite tie to health and wellness. The research discovered that people have a 50 percent greater chance of living longer if they have social connections (what is referred to as “survival”). If you don’t have friends, there is actually a mortality risk that is on par with smoking.
According to a study published in 2014 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the amount of friends that you have is actually connected to your health and can affect obesity and other factors.
As you can see, being with your friends and having fun is definitely going to be a big part of your self-care plan.
When you want to create a better life/training balance, these tips for thinking more carefully about your self-care will get you there.