In this series, we’re focusing on the LIVE WELL 6. These are 6 areas of self care that I believe will help you live your life well and stay focused on what matters most. Today, we’re continuing the LIVE WELL series with part 2 – Live Well Physically. In this post, as I’m sure you can guess, we’re talking about taking care of your body.
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1. Balance is everything
Most everyone has health goals. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or put it on, lower blood pressure, raise caloric intake, get more sleep, drink more water, or hit the gym, balance is everything if you’re going to maintain a long term, healthy lifestyle. Balance is what keeps us from burn out or over doing it in one area or another. You can be so focused on prepping healthy meals that you don’t take time to prioritize rest and sleep. You can be so focused on getting that work out in that you sacrifice time with your family. When you’re setting healthy lifestyle goals, remember that you’re not going to do everything perfectly and healthy habits take time to develop. In the meantime, give yourself space to strike balance between what you’re trying to achieve and what you can realistically accomplish without unhealthy sacrifices.
2. Food is fuel first and fun second
Food can be so much fun! But while we should absolutely have fun with food, we have to remember that it is first and foremost fuel to keep our bodies working properly. This means that we should pay attention to nutrients, calories, fat, carbs, sodium, and amount. We should read labels and buy the best quality we can afford. Everyone’s health needs and goals are different so be intentional about making food choices that will feed your body well based on what it needs. This takes time and attention if you’re not in the habit of doing this already but you’ll thank yourself in 5, 10, 20 years from now when you’re reaping the benefits of fueling your body well.
3. Move your body
This is the one I struggle with most – moving my body!! All of my 9-5 gigs have been desk jobs. As a blogger, I spend a lot of time planted at my desk.
And the older I get, the more I’m feeling the effects of not moving enough. I’m determined to nip this in the bud before I’m decrepit later in my 30s.
Moving your body is so important for a healthy lifestyle! Sometimes it feels overwhelming to try and figure out where to add exercise to your busy schedule but it doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as easy as –
- Taking the stairs
- Parking further from the building so you have to walk
- A walk around the block after dinner
- Stretching in the morning when you first wake up or at night before you go to bed
- Jumping rope
- 15 minute exercise on your lunch break
I once worked with a girl who went to the gym down the street from our office on her lunch break. Somehow, she was able to workout, shower, and, if memory serves me right, eat something all in her one hour break. I marveled at the way she made it work! She was proof of the fact that when you want something badly enough, you find a way to get it done!
4. Rest is more than just sleep
We all know that we need to get sleep in order to function properly but I don’t know that we always prioritize sufficient rest. This includes things like –
- Turning off screens at least half an hour before bed
- Taking breaks that don’t involve TV, shows, social media, or inboxes
- Spending quality time with people you love that doesn’t involve TV or movies
- Taking vacations away from work and other responsibilities
- Practicing Sabbath every week
- Delegating tasks when you can
- Saying no
Rest isn’t just about sleeping, it’s about creating space for your brain, your emotions, your home, and your body to breath and reset. Create margin in your lifestyle that will allow you to rest from everyday happenings & chaos.
5. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
I can’t not talk about hydration. I think it’s safe to assume that a lot of us are too often dehydrated. I know it can be a hassle to drink water throughout the day but it is so important so that our bodies can do all the things we require of them. And water isn’t the only way to hydrate! I’m writing this in the spring and I’m craving all the produce all the time! Cucumbers are at the top of my favorites list right now and they’re sooooooooo hydrating! Here are some more hydrating fruits and veggies –
- Watermelon (of course!)
Make sure that you’re not only drinking plenty of water but that you’re also eating foods that are hydrating as well!
6. A little prep goes a long way
One thing that makes a healthy lifestyle difficult is a lack of planning and prep. This is something I’m working on in my healthy lifestyle journey. We often think of meal prep as a way to make eating healthy easy but we can plan and prep in other areas. For example –
- If you’re going to work out in the morning, set out your workout clothes so you have no excuse to not get dressed and get moving!
- If you want to be better about taking your supplements, get a pill organizer and fill it at the beginning of the week. If you don’t have one, check out this one that I use. Set your pill organizer by your coffee pot or your water bottle so you’ll be sure to take them in the morning when you’re getting your morning cuppa or filling your bottle.
- Have a set time when your work for the day is done. If you work from home like I do, it’s easy to let work bleed into the evening hours. If you work outside the home, it can be easy to bring work home or work on other projects at night when you should be winding down to rest. If you need to set a timer or start a playlist of evening tunes to cue in evening rest time, do it!
If you want to be intentional about taking care of your body better, get creative about planning and prepping for those behaviors. But remember to give yourself some grace as you develop new habits – it will take time!
7. Don’t forget your personal style!
Living Well Physically should also include being intentional about taking care of your hair, skin, and nails, as well as your personal style. Take pleasure in making sure your hair, skin, and nails are healthy and well cared for. Make sure your wardrobe is an expression of both your personality and your lifestyle. None of this has to be fancy or complicated. In fact, I don’t think your personal style should be too fancy or complicated. Life is too busy and full of other important responsibilities to be unnecessarily time consuming. You also shouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel all the time with self care products that may or may not work for you and clothes that may or may not fit right. Take the time to do research and find what works best for the season you’re in. Everything you use to keep you looking good and feeling good and should work for you in your current season of life.
I don’t know about you but I’ve gone through scattered seasons of life not feeling comfortable in my own skin. Different factors have contributed to this at different times but what I’ve come to terms with are these truths –
- Comparison kills. It kills joy, confidence, peace, and truth. Comparing myself to the highlight reels of others is neither productive nor life-giving.
- My body is not and will never be perfect this side of heaven – and that is okay. I can still be grateful for the gift of life in this body, imperfections and all, and I can take pleasure in the challenge of being a good steward and taking care of it to the best of my ability.
- God made me with a unique personality that I can showcase with my style. I don’t have to fit in a box and I don’t have to meet anyone’s expectations. I can have fun being my own person!
Whenever you need to, preach truth to yourself about your body and how you feel about it. God is a wonderful, masterful creator and even though we’re imperfect, you’re still a work of art, greatly valued, and highly favored. Rest in the knowledge that you are well-loved and take pleasure in creating and having fun with your personal style!
How do you take care of your body? In what areas do you need to make changes or improvements? I would love to know how you live well physically!
If you missed part 1, you can check it out here.