Relax, Tough Guy: Self-Care Tips for Athletes

Taking time to relax and feel better is extremely important for busy athletes. Get some ideas for self-care from STACK Expert Kait Fortunato.

Book break

You don't usually hear the term "self care"—referring to the little things you can do each day to help yourself feel better—tossed around in the weight room. If your buddies knew you were lighting incense and practicing feng shui in your spare time, they'd either shun you entirely or sign you up for a lifetime subscription to More magazine.

Make sure none of your teammates are around when you draw a bath and put on Beaches, because it's time to get your relaxation on. Giving yourself time to relax properly will help you focus—and prevent burnout and injury.

Self-Care for Athletes

  • Rather than rush through your next shower, light some candles and enjoy a relaxing hot bath. If you're really daring, you can even use scented candles.
  • Try a new sport for fun. If you are a football player, challenge a teammate to a tennis match. Soccer stars, give basketball a try.
  • Read a book—a sports biography, perhaps—with your teammates and discuss it once a week. A sharp mind and a strong body are not mutually exclusive.
  • Look through old pictures or a photo album. Make a memory book of the past season—and write funny captions to go with the visuals.
  • Create a vision board.
  • Download a podcast to listen to while driving. Find a topic you have always been interested in and learn something new. Try photography, a foreign language, science, history, nutrition—the options are endless.
  • Subscribe to your local Groupon or Living Social emails and sign up for a new class or fun local event (Zombie Mud Run, anyone?).
  • Rather than heading straight home after school or practice, stop at a park. Even if all you have time for is a 10-minute walk, it's a nice way to relax after a long day.
  • Plan an outing with your teammates away from your sport. A bike ride or hike gets you outside and helps you get to know each other so you can play better as a team.

Read more:

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock