This past year has been a long haul for you and your clients, and now is a great time to review some self-care tips. Summer is coming, and people across the country are breathing a little more easily. Stay safe and enjoy the reopening with these suggestions from IDEA authors and presenters. Of course, continue to wear masks and social-distance, as appropriate.

Physical Self-Care Tips

  • Take sufficient time to regain fitness lost during the COVID-19 lockdown, says Richard Eastwick, MEd, a certified fit pro based in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. “Go slowly and appreciate small gains in performance. This will help prevent injury and illness.”
  • Always have water handy, advises June Kahn, founder of June Kahn’s Bodyworks LLC. “The warmer weather and sunshine can really dry us out. A good rule of thumb is to drink a minimum of half an ounce of water for each pound of your body weight, and I would suggest a bit more!”
  • When you’re outside, reapply protective sunscreen during the day, Kahn urges. “After two bouts with melanoma, I can say protecting your skin from the sun is vital to your health.” She recommends a 30+ sunscreen with zinc, plus a large-brimmed hat. “When hiking, apply sunscreen even if wearing leggings, especially perforated ones, as you can get sunburn through clothing.” Kahn’s other tips? Apparel with built-in sun protection is helpful, but it’s good to apply sunscreen underneath. And UV rays get through even when it’s overcast, so protect yourself on those days, too.

Spiritual Self-Care Tips

  • “Being a yoga and meditation specialist, of course I recommend both,” says longtime yoga teacher Stacy McCarthy. To set a different tone for the day, she suggests waking up an hour earlier. “Having time in the morning to do things you love—like journaling, lingering over a cup of tea or even a few sun salutations—starts your day off calm and content. You can then take that same energy into even the most hectic of days.”
  • “Release yourself from comparison and access the power of your uniqueness,” advise Lee and Beth Jordan, owners of Fullest Living in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. “Don’t compare to become self-aware, but rather stand with humble pride and own your authentic purpose, as a way to care as deeply for yourself as you do for others.”
  • Watch your mind, and create a beautiful mind, advocates Mehrad Nazari, PhD, MBA, whose work focuses on applied spirituality. One of Nazari’s favorite Persian proverbs is, “It is important to know what you eat. But, it is equally important to know what is eating you!” Since our thoughts can often be negative, Nazari suggests intervening to create change: “Every time you catch yourself having a negative thought, consciously replace it with a positive one. Gratitude thoughts are great replacements for this practice.”

Emotional Self-Care Tips

  • “Put together a playlist of songs that make you feel grateful or hopeful. Listen to it when you are doing chores or running errands. Let the mood get inside you. You’ll get extra endorphins if you sing along!” That fun tip is from Kelly McGonigal, Stanford health psychologist and author of The Joy of Movement: How Exercise Helps Us Fine Happiness, Hope, Connection, and Courage.
  • Embrace saying no, urge the Jordans, who offer both personal training and health coaching. “Saying no to people is really hard, especially for those in the helping industries. But empathy fatigue is a real thing, and caring for ourselves often means saying no, so that we can say yes to self-care and the fullness of life.”

Rest and Recovery Tips

  • Balance exercise stress with equal recovery time, says Eastwick.  “Recovery comes in many forms, including adequate sleep, meditation, yoga, light stretching, socializing and volunteerism.
  • Schedule 5 minutes daily to meditate (or for a midday savasana in lieu of a power nap), says Lawrence Biscontini, MA, a mindful movement specialist currently based in Greece. As the Chinese proverb says, “We can’t serve tea from an empty teapot,” so take care of yourself first, says Biscontini.  “I also recommend hydrating just a bit more than you think you should and taking advantage of the local fruits and vegetables in season, because our Earth has a natural way of telling us what we need and when we need it!”
  • Take an Epsom salt bath, advocate Lee and Beth Jordan. “It helps relax and reset, plus the magnesium is a known anti-inflammatory. When you don’t have the time, or maybe the tub, use the Epsom salt lotion for a micro self-care session that can be done anytime, anywhere.”

Have you signed up to attend 2021 IDEA® World Virtual on July 9–11? This year, our World conference is free to the first 15,000 IDEAfit+ Members. That’s right! Find out more today. Note: Look for sessions by Lawrence Biscontini and Stacy McCarthy plus scores of other first-rate presenters at this event.