What Is Self-Care And Why Is It Essential?

Online nowadays the word self-care gets thrown around a lot, but what does self-care actually mean? To always put yourself first? To make sure you have a morning and evening skincare routine? Or to take time out to go to a yoga class?

As a Health Coach, I would define self-care as “an act initiated by one’s self to maintain health through nourishing the mind, body and spirit”. 

So why is self-care so important?

Nowadays our lives are so busy that sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves. However, if this happens, it won’t be long before your body starts to sound the alarm and let you know in the form of a stinking cold, fatigue or even chronic migraines in my case.

Self-care can help you tune into your body, prevent sickness and help you find homeostases which is essential in maintaining health.

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When people first think of self-care, they think of having a day at the spa, a massage or some sort of beauty treatment, but self-care is so much more than that.

Self-care can be incorporated into all areas of your life. For example:

  • The food you choose to put in your body every single day is a form of self-care
  • The physical exercise you partake in is a form of self-care
  • The way you talk to yourself is a form of self-care
  • The relationships you choose to surround yourself with is a form of self-care
  • The way you manage sleep is a form of self-care
  • The mindset you adopt is a form of self-care

Can you see how if all the above fell out of balance there is a chance that your health could suffer as a result?

Self-care can be anything that nourishes your mind, body and spirit and will be individual for everyone. Some examples of this could be:

  • A long walk in nature with the dog
  • Writing in your journal to acknowledge the daily progress you are making
  • Taking some time out for meditation
  • Not letting anxious thoughts get the better of you
  • Going to a dance class
  • Buying yourself some fresh flowers just because you love them
  • Finishing work half an hour early to spend some quality some with your kids
  • Having some quiet time with a good book
  • Getting up half an hour earlier to prepare a healthy lunch for your day
  • Reciting a list of everything you are grateful for as you walk to work

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As you go through life and evolve, the self-care you need now will be very different to the self-care you need in say 10 years time.

Learn to simply check in with yourself on a regular basis and simply ask yourself “What does my body need in order to feel balanced right now? Trust your gut because it knows the answers.

Fall in love with taking care of yourself because your body is the only place you have to live.

 #Self-Care #Mind #Body #Spirit #Health #Happiness #Self-love

 

Surely Prevention Is Better Than Cure, Right?

Nowadays I view my illness as a blessing. A blessing for many reasons, such as immense gratitude for every healthy day I have, for being able to truly appreciate the friends and family I love and for finding a purpose in life, one in which I can help others fufill happy and healthy futures.

But what if we never had to suffer in the first place? What if ‘we’ as a society took a different angle on healthcare and rather than treat the symptoms of an illness when it occurs by covering it up with a concoction of pills, we look at how we could prevent the illness in the first place? To be honest I’m not just talking about headaches, this is a much wider issue. In fact I am sure this has to do with the global obesity epidemic that is plaguing the world right now which leads me back to my original question. Surely prevention is better than cure, right?

Right! The further I delve into the health care field the more I learn how effective preventative measures actually are, however the sad thing is that they are hardly ever practiced, especially amongst our doctors.

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America spends trillions of dollars on treating disease but not a dime on preventing it? Someone explain to me where the logic is in that? Perhaps that has to do with the 300 billion dollar drug industry? I know, I know, it’s a taboo subject, but can you tell me that the drug companies would encourage preventative measures such a lifestyle and diet changes whereby the patient would need less or maybe no pharmaceutical drugs anymore? Just saying.

So if I were to tell you that there was this magical new drug on the market which could have the following effects on your health would you take it?

  1. It could reduce type 2 diabetes and blood glucose levels
  2. Lower your blood pressure and bad cholesterol
  3. Help control your weight
  4. Reduce your risk of certain cancers
  5. Strengthen your bones and muscles
  6. Improve your mental health and reduce your risk of depression
  7. Help you live a healthier and longer life
  8. It could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
  9. Prevent falls in older age

Of course you would! Well I would that’s for sure and do you know what this magical drug is? PHYSICAL EXERCISE! Yep, can you believe it?

A regular moderate exercise program is enough to give you these incredible health benefits! The other amazing aspect to preventive medicine is that we normally take one pill to treat one condition, whereas preventative measures such as exercise doesn’t just treat one condition, it treats multiple and this is just physical exercise I’m talking about. What if we then throw in the mix some stress management tools, healthy eating, a regular sleep schedule and my god, you might just have yourself a chance at better bill of health.

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The view from my morning beach walk.

So I’m not telling you to negate medicine as in so many cases it is vital and the medical professionals deserve to be recognised for their amazing work but what if we could in so many cases, prevent medical treatment due to simple lifestyle changes and re-education and help reduce the strain on our health systems? My god I think we could seriously change the world from ‘sick care’ back to the world of ‘healthcare’ again.

Personally I think this would be most beneficial if we could start this early in schools. Rather than drilling into us when Henry VIII died and when the Battle of Hastings was (which I can still never remember to this day), surely it would be more effective to teach children proper life skills that they can take on into adulthood, to allow children to create a healthy and balanced life for themselves and their families in the future?

Can you imagine if we taught kids in school all about healthy food and how to cook and prepare it, how to look after their bodies, fuel and nourish themselves, how to find a form of exercise that they love, how to create healthy relationships and how to manage stress. Can you imagine what effect this could have on the sick care system that we know today? I predict that there would be a serious outbreak of health! That’s what would happen.

So in the meantime as preventative measures begin to get recognised in our world today, I am proud as a Health Coach to be part of raising awareness in how effective preventative measures can actually be. Not only could we save ourselves a lot of money, but at the same time our health care systems that are currently under enormous strain could maybe start to breathe a sigh of relief.

As Benjamin Franklin wisely once said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. And by god I think he was right.

#HealthCare #Preventatives #Medicine #Lifestyle #PhysicalExercise