This week in my long-drawn out Self-Care Series I will be focusing on my physical wellness.
Physical wellness, according to SAMHSA’s eight dimensions of wellness, is:
“Recognizing the need for physical activity, diet, sleep, and nutrition.”
Notice how it isn’t simply being in the gym every day?
My physical wellness fluctuates a lot. There are months when I will be in the gym every single day, my nutrition will be dialed in, and I’ll be passing out early at night from physical exhaustion. But then, I get burnt out, and I step back from my routine and un-prioritize going to the gym. And I’m starting to realize that it is okay! Don’t get me wrong though, I think exercise is very important. It produces endorphins, it stabilizes moods, it creates a feeling of accomplishment, and it shows us just how much our bodies are capable of when we push past mental blockers. But physical wellness is not JUST exercise.
Focusing on my physical wellness is going to look different than I imagined it would. For this aspect of my wellness, I’ve recognized the need to dial in my nutrition and sleep schedule.
Our food is our fuel. If we constantly eat fast food and consume large amounts of sugar we will feel sluggish and tired. But if we fill our bodies with nutrient-dense food and good carbs then we’ll not only have more energy but we’ll also feel full longer.
The past couple of weeks, I’ve been ordering all my lunches from a local meal prepping company called Eat Well Nashville. If you’re in this area, I recommend giving their food a try. I order what meals I want on Thursday night and then Sunday evening they’re dropped off in a cooler on my front porch. All I have to do is stick them into the fridge until I’m ready to eat them. Then, all they need is to be warmed up for a minute and a half in the microwave. They’re convenient, healthy, and tasty.
Here are some of my meals from this company:
Even if you don’t have access to a meal prepping company like this, there are still many other ways you can focus on your nutrition. Do some research for healthy, grab n go companies in your area, or checkout delivery services like HelloFresh or HomeChef. Or maybe you have your own healthy recipes you enjoy making. Do whatever works best for you and your lifestyle.
In addition to focusing on my nutrition this week, I’m also focusing on my sleep. I think our sleeping habits impact our moods and state of minds way more than we even realize. When we sleep, our bodies recover and recharge. When we routinely get enough sleep, our bodies feel rested and ready to fully function throughout the day, but when we get into the habit of neglecting a consistent, regular sleep schedule our bodies go into a flight or fight mode, having to pick and choose what it can spend energy on since we’re having to conserve a lot of it.
So this week, while focusing on my physical wellness, I’m going to make an effort to get eight hours of sleep every night, to go to bed with a glass of water instead of wine, and to minimize my screen time once I’m laying down.
Focusing on physical wellness will likely look different for everyone, depending on what’s going on in your life. The key is to “recognize the need” by listening to what your body tells you. Self care can be difficult. Some days it can be a natural instinct to give yourself some TLC, while other days it’s like wrestling a bear to simply be kind to yourself. Healing is not linear and self care is not black and white.
Enjoying my Self-Care Series? Stay tuned for my next post as I wrap up the series with Spiritual Wellness!
Here’s the previous posts in my series: