“Self-care is a discipline that honors what is sacred, including the hard work that provides meaning in our lives”.
What does the term self-care mean to you?
Is it thinking of a treat, a spa day?
Is it a luxury, you barely consider for yourself?
And what about self-discipline?
Does it instil great excitement in you – or dread and foreboding?
Whatever view we have of self-care and self-discipline, it is something that I believe we could all take more seriously.
In this two part series we will explore and share the importance of self-care, a practical self-care plan and in Part 2, some greater detail of the components of health and wellbeing to include in your plan for completeness.
It is curious that health care systems are often more aligned with illness systems, than being focused on our health. We reactively treat symptoms, rather than teaching people to create health and wellbeing. We go to seek help when we are sick. While there is talk of people taking more responsibility for their health, many are unsure what that means, do not know what to do and relatively few are actively pursuing self-care methods on a routine basis.
“The World Health Organization estimates that 80 percent of all heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, as well as more than 40 percent of cancer, would be prevented if Americans would stop using tobacco, eat healthy, and exercise”. The authors actually challenge the figures and suggest that “very little Cancer today is genetic, maybe 10%, so let’s assume 90% of cancers is caused by diet, lifestyle & environmental factors” (https://mphprogramslist.com/chronic-disease-a-self-inflicted-pandemic/). The authors talk of a “self inflicted pandemic”. It is time for us to turn that round. For us to make our wellbeing a priority.
So what can we do about it?
Investing in ourselves, devoting time to reduce the busy-ness in our lives and prioritising our health and wellbeing, looking at what brings us joy, vitality and nourishes our soul – surely this is worth pursuing to prevent us being the next health statistic. It is about developing a disciplined self-care regime.
Now that might sound very stuffy, and let’s not pretend it is easy. If it was, we would all already be doing it wouldn’t we? Tami Forman in Forbes Magazine claims that “It requires tough-mindedness, a deep and personal understanding of your priorities, and a respect for both yourself and the people you choose to spend your life with” (https://www.forbes.com/sites/tamiforman/2017/12/13/self-care-is-not-an-indulgence-its-a-discipline/#3e1fe0a8fee0). It is about doing things that are good for us – because we want to feel good in the long term– instead of going for an instant gratification of feeling good in any one moment and believing any consequence will not relate to us.
It starts with awareness and that leads to you making a conscious choice. What do you really want to improve in your own health and wellbeing? Want enough -that you will do something about it?
Develop a Self-Care Plan
We believe there are five core areas of health and wellbeing: physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual. And we would highly recommend that you develop a plan to ensure these needs are all being considered. Then, each month revise the plan as your levels of vitality change.
Note: this takes commitment and dedication. Are you willing to commit to disciplined action to take back control of your health and wellbeing?
In Part 2 we will explore how to develop a self-care plan that excited you and that you can easily adopt.
Image credit Stacie Swift https://www.stacieswift.com/