Self care: what is it and how does it relate to healthy habits?

self care makes healthy habits

Self care means something different for everyone. For some, it means spending a day at the spa, free from pressures from the outside world. For others, it’s maintaining a strict diet. I don’t know exactly what’s right for you, but I know the answer for me, and it’s actually not either of those things.

For me, self care is giving myself the space to do what I feel like doing, whether that’s enjoying a gelato on a warm afternoon with a friend, or hitting up a workout on a planned rest day if I’m feeling restless and just want to move. It can also mean taking a rest day instead of working out if I’m feeling burnt out or too exhausted.  

Self care is not over-thinking my diet, my sleep, or my workouts, but about making intentional decisions each and every day with flexibility. It means eating nutritious food regularly and in reasonable quantities. But it also means enjoying a Thanksgiving feast without counting calories. It’s realizing that sometimes maybe who I’m sharing a meal with is more important than what I’m eating.

Self care is recognizing when I’m doing something because I want to achieve it and recognizing that I don’t need to do things just because of competition with others or an unsubstantiated social expectation. Self care – to me – is about being cognizant and intentional about pushing my limits, but also aware and intentional about taking it easy, because you need to do both of those things.    

Self care is reading the Workout of the Day before I show up to the gym so that I have a game plan (see the last point).

All these little moments add up to habits that keep me on track and help me achieve my goals as an athlete, a mom, and as a professional.

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