April is Self-Care Awareness Month at MusicTherapyEd.com!
We have been showering ourselves with self-care this month but we wanted to hear how you’re doing, so we’ve created a SELF-CARE CONTEST where YOU can shout out your favorite self-care strategies to the Music Therapy Ed community! More details at the conclusion of this post.
During this last week of Self-Care Month, physical wellness is the focus, which is achieved through a combination of physical exercise and healthy eating habits.
The past few years, I have always tried to put physical wellness as a priority for myself, more specifically, staying active. When I am physically active, the benefits seem to seep into all aspects of my life, enhancing both my personal life and professional life.
There are many practices to enhance physical wellness, but today, we are going to focus on 3 areas to improve physical wellness.
In general, it is recommended to receive 2.5-5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (walking, swimming, biking, etc.) and 2-3 days of strength training (20-30 minutes per session) each week. If that seems daunting, start small. Go for a walk (bring a friend or family member, and you’ll feel the benefits of social wellness as well!). Use the stairs instead of the elevator. Find little things you can do each day to get a little more physical exercise than usual.
The physical benefits of feeling great and looking great can lead to other benefits, such as higher self-esteem, confidence, and determination in all aspects of your life. More confidence in general means more confidence during sessions and more confidence in marketing your services.
2. Eat Healthy
There are a lot of different philosophies and opinions on how people should be eating, different diets, what foods to avoid, and what foods you should be regularly eating. I believe it’s most important to think of eating healthy as a lifestyle. If you think of eating healthy as a lifestyle for yourself and not just a temporary diet, chances are, you will find the motivation to stick with it. I believe the most important thing is not to deprive yourself of the things you really enjoy, so as not to become bitter and toss eating healthy out the window. Reward your healthy lifestyle with whatever “treat” you love, whether it be sweets or salts, but MODERATION is key.
3. Drink Water
We have all heard it—drink more water! I used to be a heavy diet coke drinker. In general, I drank a lot of soda—Here in Minnesota, we say pop 🙂 But when it came down to it, I felt better when I simply drank water. Still, when I get the urge to taste that diet coke, I think of the stomach aches, as well as the not so great ingredients in it.
The body needs water to function, and many people are dehydrated without even realizing it. Up to approximately 60% of the human body is made up of water—no wonder why it is so important! I could go on and on about the benefits of drinking water—increased energy and focus, weight-loss, benefits for your skin and muscles…and that is only the beginning! With singing and using the voice as a significant component of our profession, music therapists especially need to stay hydrated with water to maintain and improve vocal health. Regularly drinking water will keep the vocal folds moist.
If you are a heavy soda drinker, start small. Trade out one soda, coffee, or sugary drink for a glass of water. The next week, try two. Gradually introduce more water into your lives. A bonus benefit: It will save you money—it’s free!!
Take out your Self-Care Map, and write down 3 simple steps you can do this week to enhance and improve your physical wellness.
The Music Therapy Ed Team has shared our best self-care tips this past month, but now it is YOUR turn to inspire other music therapists to be their best! In the comments section below, please share YOUR most powerful strategy for self care. Please submit your strategy by Friday, May 2.
Then, on May 6th, you will get a chance to vote for your favorite from the top strategies as selected by the Music Therapy Ed Team right here on MusicTherapyEd.com. The person whose strategy has the most votes will be declared the winner and will receive Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly! The winner will be announced on May 13th in the Tuesday Shout Out.
Be well, feel good, and keep rockin’ music therapy,
Jessie Johnson, MT-BC
Music Therapy Ed
PS – iPad: There’s an App for That with Bonnie Hayhurst, MT-BC is retiring! Tomorrow (April 30) is your last day to enroll!
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