Self Care is not an indulgence/extravagance/privilege/…
Self Care is necessary/essential/healthy….
And denial of Self Care is dangerous! Lack of Self Care is an unhealthy behaviour, which are strongly associated with chronic diseases.
Reserving Self Care relaxation as only a treat for Mother’s Day or Birthday is positively unhealthy. We have had an extremely tough year with stress levels at an all-time high, this has caused a huge increase in poor mental health, high rates of anxiety and we need to tip the scales on a regular basis to balance our health now more than ever before.
Self Care has a moral and practical value. The importance of effective Self Care for individuals and communities to stay healthy mentally and physically is critical. A plethora of systematic reviews support the benefits of “Self Care” and The World Health Organisation states: “Self Care can play a vital role in preventing and reducing underlying risk factors”.
“caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation” – Audre Lord
Self Care should not be something we think of after everything else on our “TO DO LIST” is done
• staying fit and healthy
• being aware of what depletes us and taking steps to replenish our mental and physical health
• treating ourselves as kindly as we would treat others
In a nutshell, self-care is the things we do to protect, maintain and improve our health and wellbeing.
• Self care should not be focused on the wealthy
• Self care is not an occasional treat like a spa day or expensive chocolates
• Self Care is NOT SELFISH…… or frivolous!
What does “Self Care” Mean?
Activities that help you balance the challenges that life brings, changes can help you find meaning and growth, actions that support your mind, body and spirit, some ideas of interests that are soothing, relaxing, and give you time and space for you to rest and reset …..
Self Care is an individual experience
Self Care is a healthy lifestyle for mind and body
Self Care is balance of work, rest and play
Self Care is Self Respect – who you share your hopes, dreams and goals with
Self Care is pacing yourself and prioritising things that feel good for you
These are some suggestions but please add to the list or please share your ideas with us so that we can help you achieve the best “Self Care” for you! Self Care can be:
• Going for a walk in the woods – “Forest Bathing” significantly increases positive feelings and improves mental health according to research[2-3]
• Making sure you have a good nights sleep
• Maintaining financial independence and balancing your budget
• Taking holiday time away from work improves health status, mood, tension, energy and job satisfaction levels as shown in research studies [4-5]
• Moderating alcohol intake and eating a healthy diet
• Saying “no” to the things you don’t want to do
• Letting other people take care of themselves
Self Care is not as easy as it sounds… it takes will power and conviction to take control of your life in a healthy way. It takes discipline to stop taking responsibility for other’s emotional well-being and focus on your own well-being! But the good news is we are here to help you!
Self Care helps us support everyone else.
Self Care takes regular practice, day by day we face the stress of the crazy world around us. Regular commitment to a healthy and balanced lifestyle requires an element of Self Care on a regular basis.
Self care is taking your power back
Ironically when you truly care for yourself, exercising all the discipline that requires, you are actually in a much stronger place to give of yourself to those around you. You will be a happier parent, a more grateful spouse, a fully engaged colleague – and a more contented and cheerful YOU!
Give yourself the same attention and care you give others….and you will bloom!
Those who take care of themselves have the energy to take care of others gladly because that care-giving doesn’t come at their own expense. And those who take care of themselves also have the energy to work with meaning and purpose toward a worthy goal. This means they are also the people most likely to make the world a better place for all of us.
Self Care is giving the world the best of you instead of what is left of you!!!
1 Ruiz-Palomino, E., Giménez-García, C., Ballester-Arnal, R. and Gil-Llario, M.D., 2020. Health promotion in young people: identifying the predisposing factors of self-care health habits. Journal of health psychology, 25(10-11), pp.1410-1424.
2 Lee, J., Park, B.J., Tsunetsugu, Y., Ohira, T., Kagawa, T. and Miyazaki, Y., 2011. Effect of forest bathing on physiological and psychological responses in young Japanese male subjects. Public health, 125(2), pp.93-100.
3 Kotera, Y., Richardson, M. and Sheffield, D., 2020. Effects of shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) and nature therapy on mental health: A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, pp.1-25.
4 De Bloom, J., Geurts, S.A., Taris, T.W., Sonnentag, S., de Weerth, C. and Kompier, M.A., 2010. Effects of vacation from work on health and well-being: Lots of fun, quickly gone. Work & Stress, 24(2), pp.196-216.
5 Cardini, B.B. and Freund, A.M., 2020. Recovery from accumulated strain: the role of daily mood and opportunity costs during a vacation. Psychology & Health, pp.1-21.
6 Narasimhan, M. and Kapila, M., 2019. Implications of self-care for health service provision. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 97(2), p.76.