The Sweat Trainers Talk Self-Care & Compassion
For the Sweat Trainers, there are several different elements that make up a healthy lifestyle. Finding a training style you enjoy, working out regularly, nourishing your body and getting plenty of quality sleep are some of the basics, but another non-negotiable they agree on is the importance of self-care and self-compassion. For habits to be sustainable and enjoyable, these ingredients are essential. So what do they mean and how do the Sweat Trainers put them into practice?
Show up for yourself
Even though so many of us are constantly pulled in different directions and are juggling competing demands, Head Trainer Kayla Itsines is a big believer in making the commitment to continue showing up for YOU by prioritising the things that will boost your wellbeing.
“Self-care isn’t necessarily a fancy face mask - it can be as simple as getting out of bed, having a shower, brushing your teeth and doing a workout. It’s doing something your future self will thank you for.”
As Kelsey Wells says, making the time to prioritise your health and happiness makes a huge difference, even if it’s just 10-15 minutes. You deserve to be a priority in your own life.
For Kayla, self-care is also about letting her mind and body recover and relax. As a busy working mum, she finds moments of calm going for walks, cuddling up on the couch to watch her favourite shows (often with a cuppa and some chocolate), taking a bath, or even listening to a mindfulness track while stretching to feel more grounded, present and connected to her body.
She says when she consistently shows up for herself and is in a good routine, her sleep, energy and mental clarity all improve. It’s a constant feel-good circle!
Know that your best changes
Whether we’re talking about a single day or an entire year, your body, mindset and life can go through an immense amount of change. It’s for this reason that Kelsey Wells and Britany Williams often talk about giving yourself grace when your best effort doesn’t always look the same.
“How are you feeling mentally, emotionally and physically in each moment?” Kelsey suggests asking yourself. “Some days, my best means not getting out of bed, or just getting through the day. Doing your best is all relative and sometimes looks a lot different than the way you think it should.”
Treating yourself with compassion is something you should also apply to your fitness routine.
“I do not want you to hold yourself captive to the idea that every single workout has to be the hardest thing you’ve ever done,” Brit says, and she encourages women to build sustainable, feel-good habits.
“Find your balance and know that health is about meeting yourself in the middle. There are going to be days where you go from one extreme to the other, but when you average out all the days, you want to be somewhere in the middle. That to me is health.”
Self-care makes you stronger
The busier life and your to-do list gets, the more common it is to feel guilty about carving out time for yourself, but as Katie Martin and Kelsey agree, you cannot pour from an empty cup.
“Taking time out of my day or week for proactive self-care to ‘fill my cup’ makes every part of my life flow better. When I make self-care a priority, I can be a better trainer, girlfriend, friend and so on,” Katie explains, and one of her favourite ways to give back to her mind and body is spending time in a sauna.
“My self-care is much more focused on recovery than it used to be, because as I get older and life becomes more demanding, finding something that reduces stress and my risk of illness is super important to me.” Self-care doesn’t need to be fancy. It’s all about taking care of you - present and future.
Your mindset is powerful
“Self-belief is a huge part of self-care,” says Kelsey. “It matters what you think about yourself, how you speak to yourself and if you believe in yourself.”
Kelsey has several tools she uses to cultivate a positive mindset, including gratitude, meditation, affirmations and intention setting. Self-care is largely about shifting how you feel and these are all great ways to do exactly that - to start treating yourself with love and care one day, action and thought at a time.
“Meditation has been the most powerful tool I’ve ever used, and it’s very hard at first, but it gets easier,” she encourages. “But it’s about finding what resonates with you and what works for you.”
Including your mindset in your self-care routine can also mean making your motive for movement one of celebration and empowerment, setting fitness goals that boost your mental health, and focusing on health and happiness instead of sizes and scales. After all, numbers can be deceptive.
“I also write in my gratitude journal every morning when I wake up and list three things I am grateful for, focusing on the day before. Even if it’s been a tough day, you can reflect back to find the nuggets of wisdom or lessons amongst the heaviness. It’s a beautiful, powerful thing and it allows you to have more gratitude. There are so many things we take for granted.”
Self-care looks and feels different for everyone, but the most important thing is to make time for it and find what nourishes your body, mind and spirit.
If self-care is new to you or you don’t often consider the relationship you have with yourself, why not have a think about what you could start doing this week? It’s time to start living with your cup full to the brim.
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.