Self-care: A Critical Tool in Your Weight Management Journey

Self-care reflecting

Your weight may matter for your health, but so does self-care!

In fact, self-care is critical to finding success in all aspects of your weight management journey — from developing positive nutrition and fitness habits to scheduling regular health examinations. However, if your focus lies mainly in achieving (and even surpassing) these goals, self-care has the unfortunate habit of taking the back burner when compared to your other priorities. If you’re looking to find long-lasting and sustainable progress, on the other hand, this certainly isn’t how it’s made!

Defining Self-care

While the term itself isn’t difficult to understand, you might be surprised at the number of individuals who refuse, or forget, to allocate time specifically for self-care. In today’s fast-paced world, our jobs, education, families and other responsibilities consume our energy and attention, making it difficult to focus and invest in one’s own self.

Self-care requires doing the things which benefit your mind/body and promote overall health and wellness. Perhaps it’s taking a sick day off from work or school because you need the rest. Maybe it’s a long walk to relieve stress, or the shifting of plans to make room for a little relaxation. Briefly put, it’s the act of putting other priorities aside, at least momentarily, to make yourself a priority too.

Why Do I Need it?

Sustaining progress and reaching your weight management goals requires a healthy body and mind. When you feel better, you tend to perform better too.

Unfortunately, many of us are faced with the “No pain, no gain” mentality. In other words, success comes after perseverance, hard work, and round-the-clock dedication to our goals. While this kind of determined spirit may seem admirable to most, it neglects our body’s essential need for rest and rejuvenation. Before you go out and tackle your weight management goals, you must be in a good place mentally and physically.

How Can I Practice it?

Self-care looks different for everybody, and that’s okay! Whatever helps you relieve stress, heal your body and get you to a good-enough place to perform at your peak is what matters. Here are a few simple but popular ways to practice self-care:

  • Make time for sleep – however you can get it.
  • Spend quality time among friends and family
  • Eat nutritiously, without making certain foods “off limits.” Moderation is key!
  • Schedule regular massages
  • Exercise frequently to ward off stress and release endorphins
  • Read a book to find calmness in chaos
  • Make time for a hobby you love
  • Reschedule commitments if you need time to rest and recoup
  • Listen to feel-good, rejuvenating music
  • “Treat yourself” to something special when you feel well-deserving

Remember: we aren’t made to “Go, go go” until we just can’t “go” anymore. Our minds and bodies require self-care and affection, and when you invest in yourself first, you’re investing in your future.

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