By Elaine Stott on 04 January 2022
Self-care is hugely important to balance our physical and mental wellbeing. However, too often we overlook our own self-care to prioritise others, work and life.
The aim of this blog is to highlight various activities that when done regulary contribute towards a healthy balanced lifestyle and over time this will naturally become 'your' lifestyle.
Everyone is different so there will be additional things that you can do to support your physical and mental wellbeing too also and we've attached some douments to help you start your journey towards self care
Enjoy living a healthy and happy lifestyle, with the below information from the PTD Hub Self Care Guide and the additional resoucres available for you to download also from PTD hub, and take a step to a helping take care of yourself!
Everyone, regardless of their health status, would benefit from stretching daily. Whether it is 1 or 10 minutes, it will be beneficial. Stretching is an important component to remaining active, independant, minimising painrelated conditions and supporting wellbeing.
If you have a musculoskeletal condition (i.e. arthritis or back pain), you will see great benefit to stretching daily.
Stretching can be done indoors, outdoors, with other people or on your own. Try and make it part of your daily routine. Think about when you can fit stretches into your daily routine and use the Stretching cheatsheet attached for ideas on how to stretch out parts you feel need work specifically for you
Thought: Where in your day could you fit in 5 min sof stretching?
TAKE A BREAK
Take a break! Life is very fast paced in today's world and it can be easy to get caught up in it. Whilst there is a lot to do, it is equally important to give your mind and body short but regular breaks from it all. Allow your brain to switch off, even for 10 minutes. You can achieve this by sitting alone in a quiet room, going for a walk, sitting outside...somewhere that would help you to leave your thoughts behind and just relax. Use the relaxation exercise attached sheet to help you find time for you.
Thought: If you could take a break right now, where would you go for time for you?
The benefits of staying hydrated are vast. There are important benefits to be aware of, including improving physical functioning and reducing fatigue/tiredness. Your brain requires you to be optimally hydrated to function effectively plus there is some evidence to suggest it can support weight loss.
Pure water is of course recommended however you can improve hydration through other drink and food, including fruit and vegetables.
Aim for 6-8 glasses per day, even if you don’t feel thirsty just keep sipping throughout the day. Use the Hydration challenge attached sheet to help you keep track
Tip – Fill a water bottle and keep it in sight to remind you to keep drinking. What else could you do to keep you hydrated each day?
GO FOR A WALK
Walking is a very beneficial habit to get into if you aren’t doing it already, and there are lots of different ways of walking, a stroll, a brisk walk, a trip round the block, a hike, a walk and talk with friends, walking the dog or someone else’s dog. All of them are better than not walking at all.
Try and break up your periods of inactivity and get yourself moving even if it’s just for 10 - 15 mins a day. A good aim is for 7,000-10,000- steps per day
Thought: Where could you walk each day to get your steps in?
EAT 5 A DAY
Eating at least 5 a day is something you've likely heard more than once. However, there are many reasons for this so if you haven't yet managed to achieve it...keep thinking of ways you can fit it into your lifestyle. A range of fruits and vegetables provide fibre, vitamins and minerals. All of these are important for energy needs and preventing chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer.
Aim to eat a range of colours and include raw versions too!
Tip: Research some websites for snack and meal ideas which you can refer to when needed for inspiration
To take care of yourself, you need your brain to function effectively. This happens when the body receives a sufficient quality and quantity of sleep. Several factors can affect sleep and it is important to try and deal with these to improve your sleep overall. Everyone is different; some need longer than others but either way, ensure you are practising healthy sleep routines to support your rest and recovery. This is exceptionally important for physical and psychological wellbeing.
Thought: Is there anything you could do to improve your quality or quantity of sleep?
Tip – keep a sleep diary and see how long and how well you sleep, find your sleep patterns. Use the attached 14 day sleep tracker and the Stress and sleep evaluation to see how you are doing and if you require any further help
Many habits which improve people's wellbeing occur outside. Spending time outside is beneficial for the mind and body, both consciously and subconsciously. Outside sitting, walking, reading, exercising and socialising are all beneficial. Being outside can improve brain function and focus, reduce anxiety levels, boost mindfulness, increase vitamin D exposure and improve immunity. Try and find time to spend outside, you won't regret it.
Tip: List some places you can get to daily that you like to visit, can you make it to them daily?
Often people don't realise why deep breathing is beneficial and as a result, don't do it. Taking the time to learn how to breathe correctly and efficiently can help to control stress hormones in the body, lower anxiety sensations, improve blood flow, help to control inflammation, improve posture and many more. Take as little as 2 minutes to sit and solely think about your breathing (longer if possible).
Smartwatches and apps are available to help you shift your attention from life to just your breathing. Give it a go, you'll feel the benefits straight away!
Thought: When in your daily routine could you introduce deep breathing? Remember there are relaxation sessison available on the facebook group
LIMIT SOCIAL MEDIA
This is a big one for people who find themselves scrolling social media frequently. Lengthy screen time, in particular on social media, can contribute to sensations that do not support healthy wellbeing i.e. poorer focus, overactive brain, tiredness and anxiety. Additionally, screen time makes you sedentary which can lead to obesity and other chronic health conditions. Just like everything else in life try and find a healthy balance and limit your screen time
Tip: Write down when your cut off times from social media are throughout the day, are you making sure you have breaks?
Exercise is a lifestyle habit that elicits a large number of adaptations that provide benefits to our overall health. Regular exercise improves your heart, lungs, muscles, organs, bones as well as your brain, as well as significantly reducing the likelihood of developing long term chronic conditions.
Exercise boosts your feel good hormones as well, making you feel better and improving mood.
Dedicating 15 – 30 mins per day to exercise can make a real difference to your health, and guidelines recommend a minimum of 150 minutes per week per adult of aerobic activity plus 2 strengthening sessions
Tip: Take time to add daily exercise to your diary just as do with work, make an appointment with your health! Thought: What exercise do you like? What makes you feel better?
Remember all sessions are recorded and saved on the Fit4Every1 Facebook group and be accessed at any time, whenever you want, and all sorts of classes and durations are available!
To make changes to any aspect of our life, it requires motivation and adherence. Explore what your true reasons to wanting to live a healthier lifestyle are because it's these deep underlying emotions which will fuel your consistency. Using goals as stepping stones is essential. Take the time to set yourself some goals and re-visit them weekly!
Make yourself a list of your goals and make them SMART
Specific – What exactly do you want to aim for? Be specific
Measurable – How will you measure it? Can you split it into smaller goals to reach along the way
Attainable – Make your goals achievable
Realistic – Set a goal relevant to you and realistic to what you want
Time Bound – Set yourself a time that you wish to attain your goal by and work towards that
Good luck and remember be accountable to yourself, look after your own health and take time to look at what you want and how you get there both physically and mentally.
PTD Hub is a training and Development Hub for fitness professionals that is subscribed to by the instructors at Fit4Every1