I think it's fair to say that when it comes to self-care most of us know what we should be doing. And then there are those that have a difficult time navigating through all of the conflicting information out there. That's a totally different discussion... because it can be very confusing! But generally speaking we know that eating more fruits and vegetables, exercising most days of the week, and getting adequate sleep are good things for us to do. And yet the vast majority of the population struggles with implementing these habits into our lifestyle. It's not because we are all failures or are incapable of such things, rather our personal values and beliefs surrounding our own self-care are fuzzy.
We must dig deep within ourselves and discover WHY we do the things we do. And if you aren't happy with your current behaviors then why do you want change? How will your life improve? This goes much deeper than 'I want to lose 5 pounds'. That alone isn't meaningful enough to initiate true change. How will losing 5 pounds add value to your life? Are you looking to boost your energy levels? Build your confidence? Have you neglected your health and want to improve your cholesterol and blood sugar for long-term health? Your daily habits and actions must be rooted in your WHY.
I personally had to discover my WHY after my collegiate swimming career. Exercise was structured into my life for me, and was something I had to do every day. After graduation that chapter ended for me, I no longer had that structure, and I had to redefine what exercise meant to me. At first it meant exercising to "stay in shape"... whatever that means. And that's exactly where I ran into problems with motivation because "staying in shape" wasn't meaningful to me. This lead to many waves of highs and lows, but ultimately I discovered why I need exercise in my life.
When I move and sweat I am able to be the best version of myself. Exercise gives me energy, I have more focus, my mood and overall outlook drastically improves. I do some of my best thinking and have my best ideas while out on a run or bike ride. These moments allow my mind to be free and wander without distraction. When my body and mind are strong I have more confidence, motivation, and determination to go after my goals and dreams.
What are the ways in which you nourish your mind, body, and spirit? What gives you purpose and makes you come alive?