As you prepare for the big race, don't forget to carve out a little time to take care of yourself. These self-care ideas are a good place to start.
The practice of self-care is nothing new, but now it's more popular than ever. Whether you’re training for a 5K, half-marathon, or full marathon, make sure you take care of yourself physically and mentally, These 10 easy self-care ideas will keep you in tip-top shape all the way to the finish line.
1. Try a new workout class.
If you’re mixing cross-training into your race training plan, consider a new workout class. Sign up for your favorite yoga class or treat yourself to a free week at a new studio in town. Always wanted to try boxing? Give it a shot. Want to sweat it out at spin? Let's go. Check out these 6 fitness classes that are sure to make you smile.
2. Go for a walk.
Create a new playlist, get outside, and get some fresh air. Studies have found that spending time outside can help fight depression and lower both stress and blood pressure, among basically a million other benefits. You can still reap the benefits from a few short walks throughout the day.
3. Compliment yourself.
Stop the negative self-talk. Try implementing a new rule where you don't say anything about yourself that you wouldn't say to your best friend. And while you're at it, dole out a few compliments to yourself as soon as you lace up your running shoes.
Turn off your phone. Close the computer. Leave all electronics at home and go for a run outside with no distractions. Use this time to check in with your body to see how you feel before race day. Unplug, unwind, and relax a little.
Okay, hear us out. Stop thinking of flossing as annoying and start thinking of it as a tiny act of self-care, something that you're doing for yourself to take care of your health and your smile. No matter how tough your day has been, take 2 minutes to floss before bed and thank yourself for doing something that's good for you.
6. Do a face mask.
Some days, even washing your face before bed can feel exhausting. Give your skin the TLC it needs and deserves with a quick face mask (guys, we're talking to you too). Choose a hydrating mask to nourish dry, tired skin, or a charcoal mask to detoxify and clear out pores for a deeper clean. Keep a few face masks on hand so you have one when you want it.
7. Take an Epsom salt bath.
Treat yourself to a soak in the tub after a long run. Grab a book, light a candle, and drop in 2 cups of Epsom salt. Soak for at least 12 minutes. Epsom salt helps you relax and ease stress, soothe sore muscles and cramps, and improve bodily function. You can even use it as an exfoliant for a mini spa treatment. We like lavender-scented salts for an extra dose of relaxation.
8. Cook a new recipe.
Nourish and fuel your body with food that's good for it. Find a healthy new recipe and meal prep by portioning it out into reusable containers so you have healthy, easy meals on hand for the week. Turn up some music, fire up Pinterest, and whip up a delicious home-cooked meal or a refreshing smoothie bowl. Your body will thank you.
9. Call a friend.
Take time out of a busy day to sit down and call a friend you haven't talked to in a while. It's easy to get caught up and forget to check in with friends and family who make you feel good, especially in the midst of a jam-packed training schedule. Slow down, catch up, and recharge.
Studies show that a simple smile boosts your mood and decreases your stress levels. So even if you don't feel like it, smile while on your next run – you might make others smile, too.
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