Re-Evaluate Your Definition Of Self Care

This month we are focusing on the topic of self care, a topic we all know about, and can so easily lose as a priority. The concept seems simple enough; however, it does not get enough of our focus due to a barrage of distractions. Phones, busy schedules, the list can go on. Taking care of outer responsibilities and being available to others is often an easier option than giving these things to ourselves. Being too busy to take care of ourselves is a rising epidemic. When is the last time you put aside time to care for yourself? Self care is becoming something we practice IF we have time. Before we had a health care system, taking care of these needs was essential to our lives. In our fast paced world that exists today it is often overlooked. Self care is something that is taught and encouraged by a variety of health care professionals, and is an essential part to complimentary health care.

The most recent definition of self-care by the W.H.O. (World Health Organization) is

“the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, and maintain health; and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a health-care provider.”  

 

Doctor holding a red heartThis means taking care of ourselves as a whole, and as such addressing multiple aspects of our well-being; physical, emotional, and spiritual. This can help keep our bodies healthy and at ease, increase self- awareness, lessen stress, improve relationships and bring more joy into our lives.

It is our responsibility to make sure we are taking care of ourselves on all these levels and seek out support if we are unable to do so. I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on what you do to take care of yourself.

Knowing self care is worthwhile can be difficult when the culture calls for our attention to be pulled in many directions; whether it be our jobs or providing for our families. With the ever increasing pull towards the ethereal highways there hardly seems room left to slow down and listen to what our bodies, minds and spirits need. Is it a quiet moment to reflect, is it getting out more and moving, is it eating more fruits and vegetables or is it seeking outside support from a professional?

Some of the core aspects to self-care are: Physical health, Emotional health and Spiritual health. What consists of these aspects are listed below.

  • Physical health – keeping optimal physical health involves good nutrition, including balancing quality food, supplementation (if needed) addressing any food sensitivities, nutrient imbalances and taking in enough calories. Exercise (walking, biking, swimming, going to the gym, yoga…), quality sleep, deep breathing, hydration and following any medication protocols you are on are also facets of physical health.
  • Mental/Emotional health -This refers to your overall well-being. It involves maintaining a healthy self-esteem, meeting emotional needs, coping with difficult situations, your relationship and connection with others as well as managing and balancing stressors.
  • Spiritual Health –involves finding meaningful purpose to life and having an ability to be compassionate towards others. Some examples of how you can support your spiritual health are spending time in nature, journaling, meditation and acts of service.

What do you do for self care? Make a point this week to do something every day that supports this.

One of the biggest ways to give space for self-care, in my opinion, is to unplug. Give yourself time and space to be nourished. Nourishment will be different for each person, and your choice of action needs only to be relevant to your needs. It is important to be aware of how much of our time and energy we allow to be consumed with our electronic devices. If we were to take just an hour and put those devices aside, I guarantee it will make a difference. It will allow better connections to family, friends, coworkers, ourselves; even to the person who is giving you your coffee.  

The gifts of giving this loving care to yourself are the ability to laugh easily, bounce back from adversity, retain a sense of meaning and purpose, be flexible with the challenges you face, and maintain a healthy self-esteem.

Go for a walk outside, connect to nature, laugh at yourself, connect with friends, be mindful what food you are putting into your body, have a bath, take a deep breath, practice good sleep hygiene, volunteer, be a part of a community, spend some time alone. You are worth it!

 

The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself – Steve Maraboli 

 

 

Brandy James Web ReadyDr. Brandy James graduated from Bishops University with a Bachelor of Science majouring in Biology. She went on to complete her medical training at The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine.

She is a strong believer in finding and addressing the root cause of the imbalances in health and disease. She takes a holistic and individualized approach to medicine and utilizes a combination of botanical medicine, nutrition, homeopathy and lifestyle and is also trained in Neuroemotional Technique (NET).

 


 

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One Response to “Re-Evaluate Your Definition Of Self Care”

  1. Krist Parent

    Thanks do a great article and gentle reminder of the importance of self-care.

    Sometimes it even takes practice to be mindful of considering our needs. Being mindful and creating a plan of self care, that is practiced long enough, will eventually become wonderfully healthy habits to nurture our own self. Being consistently mindful will hopefully reduce the number of times we “fall off” our own radar in terms of care. It surprising how far even a little TLC for ourselves, can carry us.

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