BJJ is an intense workout involving both physical and mental demands. For many, it is an escape from the humdrum nature of the world and presents an opportunity for release from daily pressures.
On your BJJ journey, you’ll soon realize self-care is essential for those learning this art form. Because you demand so much from your body, BJJ requires you to care for yourself, physically and mentally. Finding ways to practice self-care can seem daunting in an already busy schedule. Here are a few tried and true tips for self-care that will benefit all BJJ students:
Commit to Care
This may seem basic, but the first step to successful self-care is simply committing to the care. Developing a plan is wonderful, but not if you have no intention to act on it. As a BJJ student, you already show an ability to commit. This time you are just making that commitment to your own health and wellbeing. Self-care is important to help alleviate stress and create a clear, focused mindset. If you are not taking care of yourself, it will show. It will show in your daily life as well as your BJJ practice. Because, it is physically demanding and mentally exhausting, taking care of yourself is essential to further your success with BJJ.
Don’t Go It Alone
For many reasons, you might feel you are alone on the self-care journey. This is not true. For one thing, you should always have your BJJ community to support you. For another, there are a lot of options to help you maintain balance in your life. Other forms of mindfulness, like yoga or meditation, are wonderful additions to your routine to create a clear mindset for BJJ. There are also herbs perfect for increasing clarity of mind and even boosting your immune system. All-natural herbs, like haritaki, are great additions to your daily routine. You can learn more at haritaki.org.
Take a Break
Yes, BJJ is a commitment you need to be willing to make in order to be successful. However, bodies and minds need time to recharge and heal. Take that time! Listen to your body and know when it needs to rest and respect that. Your body and mind, and ultimately BJJ skills, will not grow if you continue to place stressors on yourself. This might mean changing a daily routine, taking a day off from BJJ, or spending time with another activity.
After a great practice day or a big win, celebrate yourself. Do this in the way that makes sense for you. That might mean sleeping in an extra hour, going to dinner with a friend, or just taking a moment to internally reflect on what the win means for you. No matter what celebration looks like, taking the time to congratulate and recognize yourself is essential to maintaining happiness and balance.
Just like you should celebrate the wins, you should recognize and learn from the losses. This might mean a failed attempt to move onto the next belt or a missed practice day. Regardless of what failure is to you, it is okay. It will happen and you will survive. Forgive yourself for these days and work towards making the next one better. Beating yourself up will only make things worse for you in the end. The only way to progress as a BJJ student is to learn from those bad days and move forward.
Make it Your Own
At the end of the day, the most important part of creating a self-care routine is to make it your own. This means doing what makes the most sense for you and what will ultimately make you a better BJJ student. It might not happen all at once and might take some time to create a great self-care routine, but it will be worth it in the end.