Self-care, the care and cultivation of oneself, is regularly assessed in healthcare.
Do you have other people in your life? Do you eat nutritiously? Do you move your body? Are you able to cope with traumatic events? Etc. etc.
It’s an expectation that you will love, care for and strive for the best life and health possible.
Unfortunately, far too often, this isn’t the case though.
I’ve cared for so many people who had reached the stage of needing life altering operations because they were suffering from preventable diseases fueled by poor, or detrimental, lifestyle choices, and these experiences have shaped my perspective on self-care.
I think people are really good at caring for others, showing up for causes and reacting to problems. But I think there’s much work to be done when it comes to positioning yourself today to achieve the goals you want to have in the future, especially when it comes to basic health and well-being.
Caring for oneself is often put off for later, not viewed as a priority or not considered a vital component of the longevity plan. So people wake up one day to damage and disease, that in many cases, could’ve been avoided.
Some believe self-care selfish, indulgent or puts you before others. I believe it is extremely difficult to live life healthy and well consistently over the course of your life if you do not care for yourself first.
It’s the same as putting on your own oxygen mask before helping the person next to you. If you’re not well, you’re unable to provide your time, effort and presence to help someone else. Sure you can still live a meaningful life, but the level at which you’ll be able to give, and show up in the world, when you’re sick and hurting is not as full or vibrant as it could be.
Many people are trying to keep it all together. They’re trying to uphold families and jobs and external expectations and risk their own wellness in the process. But at some point, everything that’s going on mentally, spiritually, emotionally and financially will start to spill over into the physical, forcing you to finally stop and pay attention to yourself.
So, I recommend maintaining regular self-care practices, incorporating them into your daily routine and making them a nonnegotiable part of your life.
You are your own best advocate. You know when something’s off. You know when you need to slow down, when you need to heal and to rest.
You must be relentless about showing up for yourself because the risk of not doing so is far greater than you can imagine.
Determine what you need in order to live well today, then develop a plan for how you’ll remain well into the future.
Practicing self-care honors your life, demonstrates that you understand your own value and that you’re a one of a kind gift in this world.
Take care of your essence and the vessel you’ve been given. Practice self-care unabashedly. Do everything you can do to remain well and in control of your own health and well-being. Or others will take over and make life altering decisions for you.
So, share with me in the comments. How do you currently practice self-care? Have you ever felt ashamed for needing rest, care or attention? What type of self-care do you need today?
****Nursing note: Let’s not minimize the need for self-care. Let’s not shame people when they admit they need self-care. Let’s not avoid rest and self-care because of what others will think. And let’s not get caught up in the terminology or the amount of self-care someone needs. You have no idea what people are going through. So let’s collectively, and compassionately, move forward caring for ourselves and those around us.