This month I want to talk about Physical self-care. With all the changes to restrictions across the country, as well as the better weather, I’m sure many of you are feeling like you are beginning to come back out of your shells. This makes it the perfect time to look at physical self-care.
When I say “physical self-care” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Do you think of joining a gym, starting a diet of taking up a sport? Well, exercise and body image are part of physical self-care…but not all. I want to use this opportunity to explore some other areas of physical self-care that you may not have considered in this category. You may not have considered them as acts of self-care at all.
For most people, health isn’t considered when you are thinking about acts of self-care. Making sure you are taking care of your physical health is so incredibly important, and something we need to be looking at regularly. Ask yourself these questions to see if health, as part of your physical self-care, may be an area that needs some attention.
When was the last time you went to your GP for a physical? Not a 15-minute consultation because you don’t feel well or have an acute illness or injury, but a full, proper physical check-up?
When was the last time you had your eyes checked? Do your glasses need updating?
When was the last time you went to the dentist for a check-up? Again, not just when something is going wrong or there is pain, but a general check-up.
When was the last time you had your hearing checked? Or are you someone who has never had your hearing checked? Maybe you should book an appointment.
Do you have physio, chiro, osteo, podiatrist or OT needs that could be better supported by engaging with these health professionals?
Do you need a vaccine or a booster shot?
Do you need a skin check? In Australia, it is so important that we make sure we set aside time to get ourselves checked annually.
Do you need any other health screens due to age or gender?
Prioritise your health and make sure that the body that is doing everything to keep your life going is in tip top shape.
I’m sure we all enjoy a little bit of “spring cleaning” around this time of year. Changing, redecorating or even just cleaning a space can be very therapeutic and relaxing. But I don’t want you to be daunted and feel like you have to clean out your whole house in a day. Think smaller. Could you clean out your desk drawer? Personally, this one of my favourite mini acts of self-care that takes me about 5 minutes and has a huge impact on my mood and how I approach the rest of my day. Start with one drawer, one cupboard, one shelf. The goal is not perfection or an immaculately spotless, white glove room. The goal is to do something that is going to nurture you.
The last category in this domain of self-care IS about the exercise, the diet, the sports. It’s about making sure that we are doing things for our bodies every day that are kind and nurture us. Is the food we eat nurturing you? Does meal prepping help you stay on track and reduce stress during the week? Have you been for a walk today? Do you need to go outside and soak up some vitamin D?
Hopefully, we can expand on our ideas about physical self-care and possibly find a few more things we can do to look after our bodies, our lives and our mental health.
Do you have a favourite act of physical self-care? Or are you planning on trying something new? Let us know on Instagram @cognitivebehaviouraleducation or Facebook at Cognitive Behavioural Education.