"Self-Care is what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health and to prevent and deal with illness. It is a broad concept encompassing hygiene (general and personal), nutrition (type and quality of food eaten), lifestyle (sporting activities, leisure, etc.), environmental factors (living conditions, social habits, etc.), socio-economic factors (income level, cultural beliefs, etc.) and self-medication." - World Health Organization 1998
Do you feel selfish when you practice self-care? I could tell you to stop it, but that's not enough, especially if you've held this as a lifelong belief. Rather than slapping a negative adjective, such as “selfish” on self-care, leave off the judging word. Just make it something you do. Period. Thoughts that you think over and over again become beliefs. Make self-care a new belief. Click to read the rest of Self-Care Is Not Selfish on the U.S. Pain Foundation site, originally published on Healthcentral.com.
In the meantime, if you always start your busy day in a panic, get up five minutes earlier to develop a contemplative practice; do something that sets the tone for how you'd like your day to unfold.
- Watching the sunrise?
- Reading something uplifting?
- Savoring your first cup of tea or coffee?
- Gentle stretching?
- Giving thanks?
- Listening to the sounds of an awakening world?
- Balance the two branches of your autonomic nervous system?
Give yourself an opportunity to experiment with a number of different contemplative activities. Does it change anything for you once you've been doing it for a while?
How do you start your day? Is there something you'd add to the list?
3 Replies to “Cultivate Self-Care”
Lovely post. There has never been anything wrong with looking inward, taking care of one’s SELF. People rely on us and we rely on our own judgment to be there for them. Think of all the families ripped apart when a parent fails to do that.
As you probably already know, I start my day with an hour of Vipassana meditation, followed by 40 minutes of yoga exercises, a mug of tea and an hour of japa. The rest of the day goes by smoothly and I sleep very well.
Such important reminders. Very well said, M. I fall in to the ‘selfish’ trap quite often because I usually think I need to take care of other things or people before I ought to take care of myself. Need to work on reversing that without the guilt!