There are three main areas of self-care, and ways to recharge our bodies, and they include physical, emotional, and spiritual. The physical body is an area most think of with regards to self-care, although sometimes we only think of the artificial. Here we are going to look at the five primary ways to recharge your body with physical self-care daily and ongoing.
Our physical bodies are what carry us around each day and allow us to experience this life. If we do not take care of them, well, they are limited in the experience they can provide for us. Think of physical self-care or recharge as the maintenance needed to keep a car running.
A key to remember is practicing self-care includes anything that promotes positive health outcomes.
Yes, the food you eat is a foundation in taking care of your body. And, a mind shift in how you view that food will serve you on a daily basis—on auto pilot.
Every bite of food you take has a consequence in your body. It will either add to the health of your body or to the dis-ease. Read that sentence again. It is that important. Each decision made with food has a direct effect on your body. There is no grey area.
Food, real food, provides a crucial role in our well-being. It is designed (by God, by nature) to provide the many nutrients, minerals, vitamins, etc our bodies need in order to not just survive, but to thrive in this life. The right foods (whole, natural, real foods) nourish our body and help build a strong immune system to fight off disease and lend to our longevity.
It also provides a key component in our energy making, mental clarity, reasoning and mood. What we put in our bodies can also have the adverse effect. It can disrupt our systems and cause our defenses to weaken, even contribute directly to disease and early mortality.
So, the first step in physical self-care and recharge is to fuel your body by eating well.
Our level of fitness is about much more than how we look in a pair of jeans or in a swim suit. It is more about what is going on inside our body—what we see on the outside is just a perk. Being fit plays a crucial role in self-care and how we recharge.
We can sometimes think we are so tired the last thing we want to do is move our bodies. In fact, that may be exactly what you actually need. Your very sluggishness can be a direct result of not enough movement through the day.
The amount of time we spend sitting through the day actually has more adverse effects on our bodies than how much time we spend in exercise beneficially has on our health. That big workout in the morning and/or evening does not erase the hours of sitting the remainder of the day.
Our bodies were made to move. And this movement serves vital roles inside our bodies. It helps to move nutrients and waste through the body to be used or eliminated (instead of staying stagnant and breeding disease).
Nearly any amount of movement starts to show signs of the energy being created and experienced. Our energy levels rise and with it brain function, mood, clarity, and all sorts of things on the inside of our bodies. Movement and being fit is essential to helping our body and mind thrive.
Equally as important as moving our bodies is allowing it to rest. The key is there is a time to rest and a time to move. This includes the amount and quality of sleep at night as well as restful periods through the day.
While we are made to move, our bodies also rely on a cyclical routine that allows it to simply rest and recharge. During these down times, the body is rebuilding, restoring, repairing, and regenerating internal systems.
Like anything in life, repair and elimination of what no longer serves us is needed. That is exactly what our bodies do during restful periods. They work on a circadian cycle that signals the body when to rest and recharge and when to move again. This is what makes the timing of “when” we sleep and move important.
It is this consistency that proves crucial to full recovery each night. We often hear we need 8 hours of sleep each night. We also need quality sleep to allow our bodies to enter its different phases (REM and Deep) of sleep where it performs different tasks for regeneration.
When these phases are missed, we can sleep for 8 or 9 hours and still awake feeling sluggish and not know why. Getting the right amount of sleep is equally important to the timing of your sleep cycle.
While there is much we can do on our own to ensure we are maintaining our physical bodies, we may not always catch everything. Regular health care visits are equally important to self-care and recharging your body.
Ideally, you are checking in with a functionally trained doctor who is looking not only to standard necessary screenings, but also checking blood work, doing mental check-ins and helping to prevent disease before they arise.
Traditional allopathic medicine (regular doctors) focus more on treating a disease once it has presented itself. Holistic and Functional medicine focuses on prevention.
Find a trusted Functional Medicine doctor and begin a regular routine of annually checking vitamin, mineral, hormone and other levels in addition to standard screenings to stay ahead of any problems that may be rising inside your body.
The fifth foundation with physical self-care and recharge is physical touch. There is actual science behind this. When you feel stress in your body it releases the stress hormone, cortisol. And you guessed it, physical touch has been shown to reduce this stress. This not only makes us feel better quicker, it allows the body to return to working the way it should.
Touch has also been shown to calm your heart rate and blood pressure. It does this by stimulating (touching) the very nerve receptors on our skin that sends signals to the vagus nerve to slow the pace of the nervous system.
There are numerous ways beyond intimate touch to receive these needed benefits. Handshakes, a gentle touch on the shoulder, cuddling with a pet. You can also spread out your professional visits for self-care. You are receiving touch experiences with hair services, massages, and even manicures and pedicures.
And, as for those hugs, it is time to embrace being a good hugger. Studies have shown we receive more benefits from a hug that lasts at least 20 seconds.
The key takeaway is there is a real need and benefit from touch in our lives. There is a reason it feels good. A simple touch can lower those stress hormones, return your immune system to functioning properly, help you sleep at night and feel better during the day.
Take a holistic approach to your physical self-care. Look at each category and build a routine that incorporates each area for the most benefit.