For many people, finding even a second to yourself can be difficult. Our time is continually being used up by work, family, and friends. As our lives become more and more fast-paced, it is only becoming more and more challenging to find time for self-care and exercise. When you only have less than an hour to yourself each day, how are you supposed to find time to do all the self-care techniques you’re supposed to? How can you find time to exercise, perform stress-relieving procedures, and practice your hobby? This balance can be tough to achieve, but it is possible. Here are some tips for balancing your exercise routine with other self-care methods to get you started:
Combine Exercise with Stress-Relief
Perhaps the two most important parts of any self-care routine are exercise and stress-relief. Both have health impacts, and can help battle everything from depression to self-esteem. Incorporating both into your regular, daily routine can have a life-changing impact. But how are you supposed to do both if you only ever have time to do one (maybe)? Combine them. Exercise can be combined with stress-relieving activities in a number of ways. Try meditating while you run on a treadmill, or listen to some calming music while lifting weights instead of your usual intense beats. You could even try repeating or listening to calming affirmations while working out. And instead of joining a busy, loud gym, you could set up your own workout space at home. The garage or basement is an excellent location for a home gym.
This combination can be especially useful for those who are currently recovering from an addiction. Exercise by itself can relieve stress, which is excellent for those who are presently on their recovery journey. Combining it with another stress-relieving technique can make it even more useful! Exercise is sometimes called “meditation in motion,” so why not add in some meditation as well?
Try a Stress-Relieving Exercise
Some exercises are inherently calming. Ashtanga yoga, for example, is a faster, more intensive yoga form. It relies on various series of repetitive poses. You do one particular series a number of times, usually three, and switch poses with every breath. This type of yoga is excellent for building core strength and toning your body. However, it can be somewhat more difficult to start than other yoga traditions. Ashtanga is very physically intensive, and it can take a while before you can complete a whole series without pausing. Still, if you stick to it, this type of yoga can be a great way to combine stress relief and exercise.
Find an Exercise Group
Socializing has a number of health benefits according to Psychology Today. Interacting with friends and family can have a powerful mood-boosting effect, and can even help combat severe disorders such as depression. One of the surest ways to improve your mood is to get outside and socialize with others. Therefore, socializing can be a type of self-care itself. Finding a friend or two to exercise with can be a great way to get some socialization in while performing your exercise routine.
Make Exercise Fun
Who doesn’t like having fun? Not only is fun, well, fun, but it has also been shown to improve your mood. There are a number of ways to enhance the joy you experience while exercising. According to Business Insider, “People who frequently experience awe tend to have lower levels of a substance that's been linked with stress and poor health.” In other words, seeing amazing sights can improve your mood. So, go on a hike, walk through a fantastic park, or go on an adventure. Do anything that exposes you to new, amazing things and gets you moving!
As our lives get more hectic and rushed, it can be hard to slow down and take care of ourselves. Often, we have to choose between one or two self-care routines simply because we don’t have time for everything we’d like to do. This can prevent us from taking care of our full selves. So, how do we make sure we take care of our whole selves, both physically and mentally? Combine your regular exercise routine with some other mood-boosting activity. Remember, exercise is great, but be sure that you don’t overdo it!
Photo Credit: Pexels