What is self-care?
Self-care is the ability to care for all aspects of the self – mind, body, heart, spirit and soul. It is formed through the practice of observing, feeling and responding to our needs, and includes all decisions people make for themselves towards a better quality of life; physically, mentally, emotionally and energetically.
Self-care sits at the heart of care for all – we cannot give what we do not have, so the more we care for ourselves, the more we can care for others – be that patients, work colleagues or family.
Key principles of Self-care
- i-matter: I am worthy of care, love and affection – first and foremost by myself.
- My body is forever speaking to me – giving me messages about what is healthy and what is not
- Honouring myself and what I feel is of prime importance
- Taking responsibility for my daily choices of living is the key to living a self-caring life
i-matter: I am worthy of care, love and affection – first and foremost by myself.
Although many people might agree with this in principle, we can tell how well it is lived by the behaviours we partake in. How we feel about ourselves deep inside, drives the behaviours we have. So for example, over-eating, over-drinking, over–exercise or over-working are all behaviours that are driven by a dis-ease or discontent within ourselves and are not self-caring behaviours.
Many people expect love to come from the outside, from family or partner – but in fact we cannot truly love another unless we love ourselves first. By making simple daily choices that are caring for ourselves we build that love in our bodies.
My body is forever speaking to me – giving me messages about what is healthy and what is not.
Many of us treat our bodies like a piece of meat that is just there to get our heads from A to B without realising our body is a highly sensitive system that feels all our choices and is impacted by them. We like to think we can do whatever we like to and with our body and it will be ok – or if it breaks down we can just take it to the doctor to get fixed. But imagine if we could avoid many of the lifestyle conditions that plague humanity by simply making different choices in our daily lives? The key to knowing which choices are healthy and which ones aren’t is our body – it is speaking to us constantly, telling us what feels good for it and what doesn’t – we often just don’t listen to it.
Honouring myself and what I feel is of prime importance
We have been taught through education that our minds and what we think are all important – often to the detriment of listening to what we feel. Feelings are dismissed as that ‘touchy-feely’ stuff, considered to be fluffy, subjective and of little or no significance and certainly no match for our intellects! But what if the gold is actually in listening to what we feel? We are energetic beings with energy flowing through us all of the time – so we are constantly feeling everything all of the time and we cannot stop it – we can only block or reduce our ability to recognise what we are feeling. Part of being self-caring is learning to recognise what we feel and honour it, to stop giving our power away to others.
Taking responsibility for my daily choices of living
All our choices impact our bodies and how we feel. We perhaps don’t realise the extent to which this occurs. But in a world where everything is energy and everything is interconnected it makes complete sense that what we put into our bodies and what we do to and with our bodies impacts them and how we feel! The great news is that this means if we don’t feel so good, it is within our power to change it by making different choices. The food we eat, the quality of sleep we have, the drinks we consume, the exercise we perform, the emotions we express or bury – everything impacts our bodies and how we feel. The more we take responsibility for these choices, the easier it is to live a self-caring, vital, healthy and productive life.
Is it Selfish to Self-care?
There are many influences both cultural and religious that lead people to believe that it is selfish to self-care. This is simply not true. We cannot give what we do not have – so if we do not care for ourselves, what is the quality of care we are giving to another? Just as it is known that in order to love another, you must first love yourself, so it is for care also. The more we live a self-caring lifestyle, we embody that caring way and it is a natural extension to bring that same quality of care to others.
Barriers to Self-care
It is good to look at the issues and beliefs we carry that prevent us from being self-caring. All of us know what are healthy choices and what are unhealthy – but why do we have such difficulty consistently choosing the healthy ones? A self-care consultant can help you unlock the hidden beliefs you carry that prevent you from caring for yourself.