Add as bookmark

Balancing Exercise, Relaxation, and Rest for Effective Self-Care

by Sheila Olson(more info)

listed in stress, originally published in issue 252 - February 2019

Today’s demands often make it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but there are several physical and mental activities to ensure that you can get the self-care you need. A balanced self-care routine incorporates fitness with other mindfulness, rest, and relaxation techniques.


Room Window Candle Book

Photo Credit: Pixabay


Why Create a Self-Care Routine?

Experts agree that excessive stress can lead to significant health issues, and since 70 percent of U.S. adults admit to experiencing daily stress and anxiety, it’s smart to include fitness, meditation, and relaxation into your self-care. And you shouldn’t think that self-care equates to self-indulgence - self-care has been proven to reduce stress and help people achieve and maintain long- and short-term health and well-being. 

Fitness Fanatics take Heed

For some, nothing beats building up a full sweat while pushing themselves during an intense workout. But focusing on fitness and neglecting all other self-care elements can cause harm. Incorporating self-care strategies into your workout increases its benefits. Whether you’re pumping iron, prepping for a marathon, or increasing your cardio, here are some suggestions from top trainers:

  • Incorporate breathing exercises into your routine.
  • Cheer yourself on.
  • Prior to exercising, warm up your muscles. Hydrate well throughout your workout and take time to cool down.
  • Don’t scroll Facebook, answer texts, or check work emails. Immerse yourself completely in your workout routine with 100 percent commitment.
  • Track your progress. If you’re not a numbers person, remind yourself why you’re working out and think about your goals, motivations, and how that workout makes you feel.
  • Be mindful of your body. If a muscle’s “talking” to you, listen. Stretch regularly throughout your workout. Add a monthly or biweekly massage to your routine.
  • Find and wear workout gear that makes you happy and feel confident.

Other Self-Care

Not sure if relaxation fits into your daily routine? It absolutely does! While spending that hour at the gym or on a jog absolutely pays dividends, make sure you’re incorporating guilt-free relaxation into your self-care.

  • Create a place in your home where you can meditate. Solitude allows you time to think, slow down, and reflect—or let your mind wander. It’s a great way to recharge your batteries before wading back into the fray of life.
  • Develop a relaxation regimen, perfect for winding down after a long, busy day. Take a hot bath with a few drops of lavender essential oil and detox salts, or a soothing, warm shower if you prefer. Add candlelight and calming music and drink a cup of tea while you clear your mind and relax your brain in preparation for a good night’s sleep.
  • Power down from social media and all things electronic.
  • Curl up with a good book.
  • Spend time with friends. Make a workout date or plan a power walk around the neighborhood after dinner to combine two activities into one!
  • Meditate. This ancient practice helps you to recenter, focus, and relax. There are many guided meditations that you can download and use.

Increase your Sleep Quality

Part of having good self-care also includes ensuring that you get a good night’s sleep. But if your life overflows with responsibilities, it’s quite tempting to keep going until you collapse into bed. Sleep experts offer a variety of suggestions designed to help people improve their sleep hygiene. Their recommendations include:

  • Using relaxation techniques, like mindfulness, breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and meditation to quiet your mind for sleep;
  • Creating the perfect, dark bedroom for sleeping. The ideal sleeping temperature ranges between 65 and 72 degrees for most people;
  • Cracking a window open—even in winter—so air circulates;
  • Powering down electronic devices and not using them in your bed;
  • Buying the right mattress and high-quality pillows and bedding. Hint: cotton bedding is the most breathable and durable fabric;
  • Banish noise nuisances with a white noise machine;
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks, especially close to bedtime;

Ultimately, the goal of self-care is to reduce stress, maintain a healthy work-life balance, and nurture your overall well-being. While there’s no one-size-fits-all way to go about it, moderation and balance are key. The “right” way to do it is to find what works for you.


  1. No Article Comments available

Post Your Comments:

About Sheila Olson

Sheila Olson has been a personal trainer for five years. She believes the best way to achieve physical fitness and good health is to set and tackle small goals. She encourages her clients to stay positive and incorporates mindfulness and practices for reducing negative talk into her sessions. Sheila created to spread the word about her fitness philosophy and may be contacted via

  • health & fitness books

    Massage, sports injury, holistic, healthcare and specialists books written by leaders in their field

  • College of Ayurveda UK

    Diploma in Āyurvedic Medicine, 4-year self-paced distant learning program in Āyurvedic medicine.

  • Beginner's Guide to ME

    Essential reading for people/carers with ME/CFS serious debilitating illness. Counteracts bad advice

  • Water for Health

    Specialist online health store focused on hydration, body pH balance and quality nutrition.


    The FLEXXICORE exercise revolution: transform your fitness regime with 2 exhilarating exercisers

  • nutrition and cancer

    by Sandra Goodman PhD The latest scientific research regarding Nutrition and Cancer. Full details at


    Aromatherapy creams & candles. Heal naturally No side effects. Holistic treatments, powerful courses

  • Supercoherence-System

    Supercoherence master code can restore each human to their pristine pure state at the speed of light

  • Seaweed as Superfood

    Comprehensive nutrient balance found in no other natural food but seaweed: colon health, weight loss

  • radical spirituality

    UK publisher of rejected knowledge in areas of esoteric thought and radical streams of spirituality.

  • Super Patch Wellbeing

    Super Patches – a most revolutionary advance in wellbeing strategies in the history of medicine

  • Flower essences online

    Fine quality flower essences international ranges to help promote vitality and emotional well-being.

top of the page