Being fit is a goal that we all should embrace. It improves our physical health and emotional well-being and can even help us overcome the challenges of addiction. Fitness can be a crucial component of self-healing, too. And when balanced with self-care, it makes us stronger and more resilient.
The concept of self-care is tossed around a lot, but what does it mean? Self-care is based in nursing theory and encompasses any activity that a person can do to improve their physical, emotional, or mental health. It’s about refueling, not taking away. It can involve simple actions or more complex treatments, but in all cases, it should be planned and deliberate to be useful as a component of your fitness routine.
Adding self-care to workouts
As important as fitness is to good health, sometimes fitness can become obsessive and aimed at unhealthy goals. Self-care is an ideal way to make sure you’re not overexerting yourself because it requires recognizing injury. Self-care as a part of holistic well-being prioritizes health over workout milestones. Here are a few ways to add self-care to your fitness routine:
Breathing exercises and meditation. Often these are used as a way to center yourself before and after activity because they promote calm mindfulness.
Tap into your body. Know your limits and listen to your pain. Don’t just run through
soreness if you know that the only way you’ll be able to walk tomorrow is with ibuprofen.
Set and track goals that go beyond numbers. Removing quantification from fitness is hard. BMI, weight, and blood pressure can all be good indicators of fitness, but fitness goals can and should be broader. A goal to walk every day for 30 minutes focuses less on results and more on healthy habits.
Organize your life. Self-care can go beyond our bodies, where we create ideal
environments around us that are clutter free.
Focus on nutrition. Eating a balanced diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruit, and lean proteins will improve physical health and concentration.
Look for joy. Do something that
makes you happy every day.
Self-care and recovery
Self-care helps not only in fitness goals, but also can be a component of
healthy recovery from substance abuse. Since self-care enables holistic health, it can prevent relapse. Understanding recovery requires understanding why some people pursue their addictions. They are seeking happiness, pain relief, or escape. Self-care is an integral part of recovery and relapse prevention because it can provide these solutions, drug free.
Exercise as a potential treatment for drug abuse
Combined with self-care, exercise can also fill a void that substance abuse might otherwise occupy. Studies show that there are at least two reasons that increased exercise results in a decreased likelihood of drug abuse. First, exercise creates a feeling of euphoria comparable or preferable to that of drug use. Secondly, activity can create a lifestyle change where you have no room in your life for unhealthy pursuits. These two are not mutually exclusive, but instead, work together as an element of self-care. Creating good habits that make you feel good is precisely the purpose of self-care.
Self-care opens the door to self-healing And some believe that the power of self-care goes far beyond providing comfort and positivity but into our abilities to heal. Self-healing is the result of self-care. When we look into what makes someone healthy, we often find that healthy people have healthy habits. Ultimately, whole body and mind fitness combines exercise with self-care. It has the ability to balance us, which can keep us from addictive behaviors and help us heal.
– Susan Treadway