Standards of Luxury
I work out much more for the mental results than the physical ones. I understand that being in good shape is good for my health and life expectancy, but if that was the only motivation I had to get myself to work out... I wouldn't. I work out for the sense of accomplishment-- that even if I did nothing else productive, at least the day wasn't a complete waste. I work out for the mood-lifting rush of adrenaline and endorphins, the calming, satisfying ache of well-used muscles, and in the summer, I do it for an excuse - a reason - to be outside. For me, my physical state of being is a direct reflection of my mental state. Acne? I know I'm stressed. Tangled, unwashed hair? Might be dealing with depression. Haven’t worked out in a long time? Low overall state of mental health. Roughed up skin on my hands and chest? Greasy hair? Nerve pain? My anxiety levels are high. When was the last time you accessed your appearance not in terms of social standards but by your own standards of health, self love, and functionality? Are you taking care of yourself? If the answer is no, I urge you to ask yourself why. Are you too tired? Too stressed? What can you change about your life to better care for your physical self and therefore, your mental state of being? I am very bad about activities or things that are “almost luxury” like massages, haircuts, new clothes, etc. Things that don’t fall under a necessary category like 'food and sleep' and yet are very beneficial for health and quality of life. I’ll happily - occasionally - treat myself to an extravagant dinner or a wonderful vacation, but I often forget (or really, it’s more like I deny myself of) day to day “treats”. Working out feels good, or at least the after-workout feels good. It’s something that I do for myself nearly every day. It’s just part of my routine. The better I get about taking care of myself, however, the more I realize there are a lot more things out there that I should be doing for myself. Self care isn’t selfish. I have said that, believe it, preach it... and yet sometimes forget it. Things like warm baths and therapeutic treatments shouldn't be something I feel guilty about doing. They should be part of my life routine. Spending money on a good mattress or shoes isn’t a waste of money. Getting a massage isn’t spoiling myself. Resting isn’t being lazy. Just like working out is bettering myself, so is just plain taking care. Being good to home and appearance is good for my health. I need to remember that. I need to act on that. Be patient and kind with your body. Take care of your physical health. You are not just your mind and you are not just your body. You are both, equally, beautifully-- balanced.