Simple self-care for our bodies Written by Brendan Mooney Psychologist
In our modern society, self-care is often undervalued. Unfortunately many of us lack the consistent application of self-care, and instead actually make choices that are disregarding and disrespectful to our bodies on a daily basis. Some common examples are that we may eat foods that are unhealthy to our body, stay up too late watching TV, or overwork ourselves to the point of feeling exhausted.
Self-care supports not only our physical health but mental health too. And whilst self-care is actually very simple, it provides a foundation of support in every aspect of our lives and with all whom we are in relationship with.
One of the best ways we can bring self-care into our lives is by starting with sleep, food and exercise. And whilst this may seem an obvious first step, how many of us actually have a consistently supportive relationship with all of these three?
Healthy sleep, food and exercise are essential components in our daily rhythm, as they support in every aspect of our lives. And hence, if even one of these foundational areas is being neglected, it will likely have a substantial detrimental affect on a person’s overall quality of life.
For example... A person may be struggling at work and therefore believe that they have an issue with work, although in some cases it may be that their difficulties with work actually relate more to their poor sleeping and food habits, which are indirectly affecting their ability to physically and/or emotionally handle their working commitments and responsibilities.
Here are some examples of ways you can support yourself to bring more self-care into your life:
Go to bed earlier rather than later, preferably around 9pm
When you leave the house, if it looks like it may get cold or rain take a jumper or an umbrella just in case
Commit to regular gentle exercise, daily if possible, to move your body.
Eat in a way that supports your body. This is personal to you. Do not overeat or undereat, or eat foods that make your body feel sick, heavy, dull, over-stimulated, or bloated. Be aware of any symptoms certain foods can give your body.
Avoid drinking alcohol or taking drugs, as these substances have a very detrimental effect on our bodies systemically.
Whilst self-care is simple and easy to do, we do need to apply it on a daily basis to reap the supportive benefits it offers our bodies.
But is self-care just about going to bed early, doing regular exercise etc? Perhaps this is but a small part of self-care, with the larger aspect being about developing a self-relationship based on connecting to our bodies and honouring ourselves. For it is our connection to ourselves that allows us to tune in to what our bodies need, for example, what foods will support us for the coming day etc.
And whilst self-care is easy, why is it that we often do not self-care in even the most basic ways? What is it about us that resists or avoids self-caring? It seems odd given that we are essentially polluting or disregarding the very body we then have to walk around with and experience the consequences of 24/7. But while this may be the experience of many, developing self-care can turn this around and provide a foundation for a different way of living going forward.
A more in-depth look at why we find it so hard to self-care will be covered in a future article. If you would like to read more be sure to subscribe to receive email updates.
BIOGRAPHY Psychologist Brendan Mooney works with adults, adolescents and children. With a genuine interest in people's well-being, Brendan brings a warmth, practicality and an equality that supports clients to truly address underlying issues and blockages that are preventing them from moving forward.