Self-Care is Important
What is Self-care?
Self-care is anything you do on purpose to care for yourself – physically, mentally, emotionally, socially or spiritually. It means respecting yourself enough to ensure your basic needs are met.
For example basic self-care includes eating regularly, hydration, regular bathroom breaks, stress management, ensuring adequate time for rest and relaxation, making time for regular exercise – even if it’s just a short walk, healthcare, spending time with people who help you feel good about yourself, making time for an activity you enjoy etc.
But isn’t that selfish?
It doesn’t have to be. The fact is, if your needs are met, you’re going be better able to help those around you and tackle any challenges that life throws your way.
It’s natural for many of us to want to help others; but recognize that we are best able to do so when our own basic needs are met
If you’ve ever been on an airplane, you know that in emergency situation, if the oxygen masks come down from the ceiling, you are instructed to put your own mask on first, before you help anyone else with theirs.
In this extreme example, if you put your mask on, you are able to breathe, and you will be able to help many more people than if you didn’t put your mask on and weren’t able to breathe. Not only that, but in this situation, refusing to care for yourself before the needs of others are met might put you in a situation where you would not only not be able to help anyone, but that instead you would need to be helped as well in addition to the others.
There’s nothing wrong with being on the receiving end of help and support. This give and take is part of life. It can be interesting to notice if we are more often giving or receiving and reflect on that. From time to time we all can get disconnected from our needs. However, taking responsibility for our self-care to the best of our abilities means that we can fully contribute to the world around us. We can give the world our best.
But isn’t self-care unrealistic?
Sometimes life can be really stressful or really busy. This is when self-care is most important.
When life is busy or stressful, it’s easy to become disconnected from ourselves and our needs, wants and desires. It can be easy to become disconnected from what’s important to us. This is when it’s especially important that we carve out time for ourselves and guard it with our lives. Often times, in times of stress, the activities we enjoy are the first to go, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
For example, taking time for a short walk, some deep breathing, a meal in a relaxing environment (even if it means throwing a tea towel over our work so we don’t have to look at it as we eat, making time for hydration and regular bathroom breaks, ensuring we get adequate sleep, working with our healthcare providers to ensure health concerns are addressed. These are all vitally important to our health and well-being.
Burnout is something we could all stand to avoid, and self-care can help us do that. If you are running on empty, it’s important to take some time to fill up the tank!
Self-love is the basis of self-care
Many of us know how to be kind to others, but sometimes find it hard to be kind to ourselves. Ultimately, the foundation of self-care is being kind to ourselves. If we don’t love or respect ourselves, it can be very challenging to care for ourselves.
Many of us tell ourselves negative things. You know, the little voice inside your head that says ‘you’re so stupid’ or ‘you’re so awkward’ or ‘you’re so ugly’ etc. This is called negative self-talk.
Many times, if someone else said the things we say to ourselves out loud we wouldn’t stand for it. If they were talking about themselves, we’d tell them they were wrong or we’d help them re-frame it. We’d be supportive and encouraging. So why do we take it from ourselves?
We can help with that
At Valley Naturopath, we help patients of all ages to improve their quality of live, and achieve a better level of health. For more information or to book an appointment, please call Active Chiropractic at 613-732-9215.Related to: self-care