Purpose and intentional actions will steer your health and wellness journey, but without self-care and recovery, it could be easy to lose yourself along the way. That being said, Self-care/recovery is the second core theme for adding longevity to your goals.
If the purpose of your journey is to be able to have a healthy body so that you can serve others, then you sound like the type of person who tends to put the needs of others in front of your own. Maybe you’ll skip lunch to get that proposal done for your boss, sleep an hour less to edit a paper for a friend, or take on an extra project because no one else on the team is willing.
At face value you’re being a selfless team player. Chronically- your physical, mental, and emotional health may be taking hits. Self-care is recognizing your needs and tending to them.
Selflessness without self-care, leads to loss of self.
If the boss’s deadline is unrealistic, let him know what a feasible timeline would be for you to turn in a quality product. If this is the third time your friend sent you a paper at midnight when it’s due in the morning- tell them to get their life cause you’re already in bed. And if delegation is possible, recruit more teammates so that the extra project feels lighter.
From a training perspective, your healthy body is supposed to be something that you can enjoy- not something that feels like a chore for you to keep up with. If you train 6 days a week, are you going to beat yourself over one of grandma’s home-made chocolate chip cookies? Or if you’re seeing leg day gains- are you too sore to make it through a fun hike with friends or dance in your stunnah heels at the club?
If the answer is yes, please assess your recovery practices. Make sure you’re eating enough to replenish the energy your body is putting out. Make sure you’re resting enough to allow your muscles to repair themselves because overreaching and overtraining are real. You could literally train too hard, and end up getting weaker or injured.
If taking a complete off day makes you feel anxious- find something you can do as active recovery. It could be yoga, walking the city with friends, or helping someone move. And since your body is craving carbs to replenish itself right after you work out- maybe you can hit grandma’s house right after the gym?
But say you do have to take a day off from the gym, or you go to bed right after eating cheesecake at your friend’s birthday dinner. IT’S OKAY. If you read this far into the article, then I sincerely believe that you care enough about your goals not to sweat the small stuff. It’s about balance. The same way that don’t need to be eating Krispy Kreme’s for breakfast each morning, kale smoothies don't always have to be your drink of choice.
Adhering too strictly to diets, or not incorporating enough rest into your workout plan can turn indulgence into guilt- taking the joy out of being healthy!
If you want your progress to be sustainable, remember balance. Listen to your body.
Bookmark all three themes!