Guest blogger Sheila Olson wrote this in March 2018 just for this site and I finally got it on my blog. Sorry Sheila for the delay.  Her web site is


It is difficult to maintain self-discipline in your fitness routine, never mind being able to balance it with self-care. When should self-care take priority over your fitness routine, and vice versa? While our fitness goals may push us to go above and beyond, we cannot forget that we need to find a balance between that and our health.

1. Listen to your body


We can be hard on ourselves when it comes to our diets. You may have a ‘no carb’ goal in place, or a more protein and less fat goal. Even though you’re striving for perfection, the body is still the only place we have to live, so listen to it.

Being healthy is not about cutting out all the ‘bad foods,’ but more about you being in tune with the signals that your body is sending you.

Other signals

Self-care is about listening to the cues that your body is sending you. Everyone’s bodies are unique, so it’s vital that you know when your body needs rest or speed up your exercise regime.

During your workout, make sure you check up on your mood, monitor your energy levels and listen to your body and your mind. If you’re feeling tired or light-headed, slow down and take it easy. Most importantly, if something hurts, then stop. Self-care is about putting your wellness above your fitness goals, and sometimes this means avoiding an injury or strain.

2. Relaxation

Your fitness routine and self-care should be stress-free and shouldn’t start to feel like a chore.

Put aside a day or two each week, it doesn’t have to necessarily be a ‘day off’, but mark it off as a ‘take it easy’ day. On these days, consider performing a less strenuous exercise, such as yoga or even a walk. It is imperative that you schedule time for ultimate relaxation, even on days you are working out or hitting the gym, make relaxation a priority for a small period of time during the day. Find a place within your home that you can create a meditation space, and use it as often as possible to clear your mind and find a stress-free state of mind.

Proper sleep is a vital part of the relaxation regime, quality sleep should be a priority in your self-care and fitness routines. Prioritizing your sleep will assist in creating a calming wake-up routine each day. Consider putting up darker curtains in your bedroom if you battle to sleep because of light leaking in. Also, assess your pillows and make sure that they are right for your neck and are comfortable for a full night’s rest.

3. Beauty and grooming

While we focus on our fitness, work and family life, we can forget the small things. Grooming for men, and a beauty regime for women are so important. It is no help that we’re losing weight in the gym or excelling at work but our nails are in a shocking state or our hair hasn’t been trimmed in months.

Don’t underestimate the effect that small beauty and grooming tasks can have on your mental wellness and state-of-mind. Put aside a short period of time each week where you paint your nails, pluck your eyebrows and even use a homemade beauty remedy to reinvigorate the way you feel about yourself. Performing self-care extends even to these seemingly unimportant beauty tasks that should form part of a regular regime.

And now …

You can go smash your fitness goals, take work by the horns and show the world what you’ve got. But please, remember that balancing self-care with your fitness routine is vital for both your physical and mental wellness.

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