During the course of the Puzzle Piece Series, we discussed our emotional and social well-being. After a loooong break from the series, (I blame Christmas and new years, yes, I know they were ages ago. But a girl has to place blame somewhere), we are back in action, baby. Kicking it off with our physical well-being. See what I did there? Kick. Physical.
Every sacred soul has a sacred body.
― Lailah Gifty Akita,
Physical well-being definition
A state of physical well-being is not just the absence of disease. It includes lifestyle behavior choices to ensure health, avoid preventable diseases and conditions, and to live in a balanced state of body, mind, and spirit.
What physical well-being looks like
Physical well-being is more than just exercise, it is a lifestyle of treating your body properly, with respect. Too often we take advantage of our bodies, feeling like they will never fail us. This mindset is unhelpful for a variety of reasons. The number one being that if we don’t take care of our physical well-being, the rest of our well-being will fall out of balance.
Physical well-being is treating our bodies with respect, feeling healthy in mind and body, taking care of our appearance (not in a vain way) and taking a balanced approach to exercise and food.
With the rise of the internet, social media and influencers, often we have unrealistic expectations put on us. Sure, if we had photoshop, a team of instructors, nannies and a bucket load of money that would be possible. But for the Average Joe that isn’t attainable. These images can make us feel guilty and lower our self-esteem.
Your physical health and well-being will be unique to you. Don’t try and strive to be anyone else (you’re already pretty choice, just as you are). Healthy comes in all shapes, sizes and appearances. Physical health is more than having abs or a small waistline.
How can we take care of our physical well-being?
The benefits of exercise are wide, varied and well documented. From feeling fit, to maintaining a healthy weight, to boosting our moods, to releasing endorphins. Plus, exercise often gives us more energy to tackle the day. Even if we are sweatin’ and huffin’ and puffin’ we feel more energised afterwards. Those endorphin things again at work.
Regular exercise should be part of your daily routine. Think of those endorphins being released into the wilderness of your mind as you sweat it up. When you start to feel better and fitter, that is often motivation itself to keep on going. Looking after your body is important. It is the only one you have.
Personal hygiene not only helps us feel better about ourselves, but it also helps us to keep in peak physical health.
Regular showers, brushing your teeth twice a day, brushing your teeth and regular visits to the dentist and Dr shouldn’t be overlooked.
No one wants a smelly you.
Keepin’ up Appearances
Taking care of your appearance isn’t a vanity thing. It is also a well-being thing. It can make us feel good inside if we feel confident on the outside.
I’m not tellin’ y’all to go out and trowel on the make-up. Just you know, be presentable. Plus if we feel better about ourselves we are more likely to feel like we can take on the world. To have that sense of self-love to be happy in our own skin naturally is a wonderful thing, well, I am sure it would be. I am not quite there yet…
Watching what we put into our bodies makes a huge difference to our physical well-being. A balanced diet has benefits for many things including weight, mood and overall health.
Having a healthy attitude towards food is important. Don’t deprive yourself of certain foods, but moderation is key for a happy mind and body. Nobody likes a hangry you.
(Pin this handy infographic for later 😉 )
What happens when we don’t take care of our physical well-being?
When we don’t take care of our physical well-being it has a domino effect. We feel lethargic. We feel unhealthy. Health problems can start to rear their ugly heads. High blood pressure, diabetes, colds and cases of flu are more common. A myriad of other symptoms arise when we don’t take care of our physical health. It is the cornerstone of our overall health.
Problems with our mental and emotional health crop up much more easily when our physical well-being has been neglected.
Depression and physical well-being
Exercise is one of the best ways to release natural endorphins. Endorphins are nature’s happy pills. Depression can be kept at bay by exercising and taking care of our physical well-being. Adrenaline and endorphins are so important when you live with depression. I can’t state that enough. For me, personally, exercise is the best thing I can do for my depression. One that I struggle with though. Even though I know how beneficial it is. Smack on the hand.
Physical well-being links to other facets
Physical health is connected to mental and emotional health. Taking care of your body is a powerful first step towards mental and emotional health. the mind and body are linked. When you improve your physical health, you’ll automatically experience greater mental and emotional well-being
Exercise is well known for releasing endorphins and releasing all the good chemicals to our brains. Chucking on the running shoes and getting outside clears our heads and allows us to make sense of our emotions. When we don’t exercise or take care of ourselves physically we often feel run down which can lead to negative emotions. Exercise can help us chanel our negative emotions into something positive. It shifts the focus or allows us to get that anger out in a healthy way.
Going to the gym, getting out and hiking, going for a spa. Our social selves naturally seek out others to share things with. Sometimes the best moments with friends can be sweaty, happy and feeling accomplished. Climb that mountain with your friend and push each other. Team sports are wonderful, you can kill two birds with one stone here. Efficient. Team sports are fab for building friendships, having a laugh, getting in that exercise and learning new skills. Often with team sports, there are opportunities to be social outside of the sport itself, the sport bonds you.
Some people find spiritual well-being out in nature, on a trek, up a mountain or in the fresh air. They feel a sense of peace and one with the world. The mind can wander while you are out a-wanderin’. Let it wander and wonder. Taking care of our physical well-being enables us to find our spiritual selves, whatever that may be.
Our minds and bodies are intrinsically linked. The mantra ‘healthy body, healthy mind’ exists for a reason. When we are feeling mentally capable we are more motivated to push our physical selves. The same works the other way as well, when we are feeling physically well, our mind is more active and able to take on new tasks and challenges. We think clearer when our physical well-being is taken care of. Often the mental benefits outweigh the physical (weight etc) benefits. Pushing ourselves past our limits is satisfying.
(Whaaat? Another handy infographic? You know the drill, pin this bad boy for later)
Tips + tricks for taking care of our physical well-being
- Regular exercise is important, even if it is just 10 minutes a day, the benefits are so valuable
- Personal hygiene – going to the dentist, regular showers, brushing teeth etc are important routines that shouldn’t be missed. No matter how crappy we are feeling.
- Watching what we put into our bodies, trying to eat a balanced diet. An unbalanced diet can wreak havoc on our bodies and our minds.
- In saying that the odd chocolate bar is ok (phew), just not for brekkie every day.
- If you are feeling a bit rubbish, pop on that mascara. Sometimes it has the same effect as war paint. You got this!
- Make that GP appointment and get a regular checkup.
- Fresh air can do the world of good, a quick walk around the block can blow out some of those cobwebs.
- Try pilates or yoga, they are excellent for strengthening both your body and your mind. I used to do pilates with Ma, we would giggle our way through the stretches, feel energised afterwards and that good kind of ache you only get from a great workout. The ache you earn.
- Go run yourself a nice hot bubble bath and have a soak (with a book and glass o’ red).
Our physical self is the only tangible evidence of our well-being. It presents an image of our overall well-being to the world. How you show that is up to you.
I am not a fan of the media, internet and influencers showing unrealistic images as though they are normal. It does more harm than good. When my girl was younger she thought that she had to wear dresses to be ‘pretty’ and was always asking me if she was pretty. It made my heart ache that my four year old already felt the pressure to be like the princesses on the TV that she loved so much. Now that she is older she doesn’t care if she has dirt on her hands, she doesn’t wear dresses unless it is the rare occasion she feels like it. Her goal now at 10 isn’t to be ‘pretty’, it is to laugh, to create and to learn about the world she lives in. For that, I am immensely proud of her.
Do you have any thoughts? Anything to add? I would love to hear your input
Pin for later