3 Unique Ways to Improve Your Physical Self-Care
Welcome to our self-care series. If you’re just joining us, check out our previous posts:
- What is Self-Care Anyway?
- The #1 Tool You Need For Your Mental Self-Care
- Emotional Wreck? Practical Ways to Take Control
- Spiritual Self-Care
What is Physical Self-Care?
Well, at its simplest – physical self-care is anything you engage in that addresses your physical well-being and development as a human being. Now obviously we’re not referring to eating, drinking, sleeping, etc. We’re referring to those needs above and beyond the basic needs for survival. After all, the goal of self-care is to pass beyond surviving and into thriving. Some typical examples of physical self-care include:
- Exercising – the all-encompassing benefits of consistent, thorough exercising are well-documented and, more or less, irrefutable
- Massages – releasing tension that so easily gathers in our muscles has clear, massive benefits.
- Spending time in nature for long walks, getaways and retreats – existing in a landscape not created by man is hugely beneficial – to our mind, body and spirit.
Unfortunately, spending the time and money to engage in these activities is not always possible in a life of littles (when we need the benefits the most). In fact, most people don’t even think to engage them until they need it the most. Prioritizing is one of the biggest challenges in self-care. So instead of discussing the more well-known physical self-care recommendations, my thought here was to recommend a few super simple and easy ways to work physical self-care into your daily routines – in the least amount of time possible.
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3 Unique Ways to Improve Your Physical Self-Care
#1. Dry Brushing
Dry Brushing is when you take a – yup, you guessed it – DRY brush and brush your DRY skin towards your heart, typically before showering. Not only does it FEEL fantastic but take a look at some of these top benefits:
Benefit #1 – Lymphatic Support aka DETOX
The stimulation from the bristles on your skin (your body’s largest organ) stimulates blood flow and the lymph nodes that live right below the skin. This encourages and supports your body’s natural detoxification process, helping you eliminate harmful toxins naturally.
Benefit #2 – Softer, Firmer Skin & Clearer, Smaller Pores
This is achieved by EXFOLIATION. Dry brushing is an extremely effective method of exfoliation, which helps remove dead skin cells and clear excess dirt and oil from your pores. This often results in softer, firmer skin & clearer, smaller pores. On your face this can also mean a decrease in crows feet, general wrinkles, acne and the like.
Benefit #3 – ENERGY BOOST
Because of the increased circulation flow, dry brushing gives you a natural energy boost. I’ve actually had friends that used dry brushing to get themselves off of coffee. And what mama can’t use an extra energy boost? AMIRIGHT?
So if you’re not yet convinced that dry brushing can yield tremendous benefits in your life – my favorite part is that it’s insanely easy to work into your daily routine. I do it every morning, right after I wake up and put my contacts in. It takes about 5 minutes for me to dry brush my entire body and I never regret doing it. My favorite dry brush set (because you need a slightly softer one for your face), is THIS ONE!
#2. Foot Massage
Using a spiky massage ball to massage your feet not only feels great, but has so many amazing benefits.
Benefit #1 – Boosts Circulation & Prevents Injuries
With many of our working lives being sedentary (not to mention all the commuting & sitting in cars for hours), it’s easy to overlook the needs of our lower extremities. This can lead to spider veins, numbness & tingling, stiffness and pain. A quick, simply massage over a spiky ball can significantly improve blow & lymph flow throughout your feet – the farthest body part away from your heart. The increased blood flow does double duty, also helping to prevent injuries & relieve muscle soreness.
Benefit #2 – Relieves Headaches & Migraines
Reflexology treatments have been shown to significantly improve chronic headaches and migraines – and this is an easy DIY reflexology treatment. So next time you go to reach for that aspirin or tylenol when your head is pounding, go for the spiky massage ball instead.
Benefit #3 – Reduces Anxiety & Depression Symptoms
The state of relaxation coupled with the satisfaction one experiences when time is set aside to take care of yourself can and has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
For a great article expanding on this – check out this article by Natural Living Ideas.
#3. Earthing or Grounding
I found a great article by Wellness Mama on the concept of “earthing” or “grounding.” Here is a quick and simple explanation of what this is:
“In short, earthing or grounding is putting the body in direct and uninterrupted contact with the earth. This means that skin needs to touch soil, sand, water, or a conductive surface that is in contact with the earth.
From a scientific perspective, the idea is that the earth has a mild negative charge to it. Over time, especially in modern life, our bodies build up a positive charge. Direct contact with the earth can even out this positive charge and return the body to a neutral state.”
There are about a gazilion benefits to this including, but not limited to:
- Reducing inflammation, chronic pain & stress hormones
- Improving sleep & hormonal symptoms
- Increasing energy
- Stabilizing blood pressure
- Increasing the speed of healing various illness & reducing injury recovery time
3 Super Easy Ways to Engage in Earthing/Grounding:
- Walk outside barefoot – in your backyard, around a park or at a beach! Remember – contact needs to be made between skin and dirt, sand, rock or a natural body of water.
- Use an earthing mat while sitting at your desk at work or at home.
- Sleep on an Earthing Half Sheet.
These indoor earthing options plug directly into an outlet, allowing the electrons to flow through the ground wire and onto the mat regardless of your building height or location.
As Wellness Mama mentions, however, this can theoretically be problematic in larger cities over many wires run underground – so be sure to do your research before engaging in your indoor grounding options.
So, in summary, not all physical self-care requires hours each day or even a daily practice. Try these 3 simple & easy ways to work physical self-care into your routine and let us know how it works out!
Right there with ya,
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