Self-care is often misunderstood as a self-indulgent luxury.
In reality, it is simply a series of conscious , compassionate choices and actions that support your overall wellness.
Understanding and practicing self-care is essential to personal wellbeing of mind, body and spirit.
The idea that global wellness begins with personal wellness is simple and practical.
Personal wellness contributes to healthy families, social circles, work environments and entire communities. In turn, healthy communities support individuals on their journeys of personal wellness, creating an upward spiral of wellness.
And a collective of healthy communities creates overall global wellness – a healthy planet.
How to tell when you need self-care
When stresses of all kinds mount up and we aren’t taking care of ourselves, it’s easy to become depleted physically, emotionally and mentally.
At first, depletion may not interfere too much in our lives. We may just feel a little tired or not quite on our game. After a relaxing night’s sleep, a brisk workout, or a fun night out with friends, we’re back in balance and all is well.
If the depletion continues unchecked, it may begin to show up as irritability, edginess, frustration, melancholy, discouragement, frequent minor illnesses, or other things that prevent wellbeing.
Depletion at its extreme and for long periods of time can lead to devastating consequences like hopelessness, disconnection, major illness, and cognitive decline. Despair can set in, making life seem difficult and exhausting and it can seem like there is no way to recover.
Hope and healing
The good news is self-care gives you a set of tools so, no matter how far down you’ve gone in your wellness, there is hope for recovery.
You don’t have to make huge changes all at once. It’s not necessarily about creating dramatic experiences. Self-care is simply about exploring what we truly need for wellness and then nurturing ourselves in healing ways.
It starts with baby steps and, with practice, allows you to become stronger over time. As you become stronger, it is likely that your life will improve and be much more manageable.
The science of self-care
Scientific research reflects that the butterfly effect of self-care brings about lasting, powerful change on individual and global scales. Personal wellness is a great contributor to the health of our planet.
Evidence shows that self-care is a core foundation of living a fulfilling, contented life in a variety of areas.
- Self-care for the prevention of cardiovascular disease (JAHA)
- Self-care from the perspective of people living with diabetes (Canadian Journal of Nursing Research Archive)
- Cultivating self-care and compassion in psychological therapists in training (APA PsycNet)
Looking after your own wellness not only improves your personal life, but greatly impacts your family and relationships, friends and social life, work environment and communities, both local and global.
Self-care is a way to reconnect with yourself on a highly personal, deep level. It creates space for insight and honest reflection to understand yourself and learn what you need to move forward in life in a healthy way.
Identifying your roadblocks isn’t enough. Knowing what the problem is isn’t enough. Learning the solutions isn’t enough. Making changes in the moment is where the magic happens.
Essential elements of caring for yourself are self-compassion, self-respect and self-kindness. When you practice these, you are better equipped to get along better in the world around you.
It teaches you to treat yourself well so, in turn, you will also treat others well. This creates healthier relationships of all kinds, from family and romantic relationships to acquaintances and work colleagues.
Opposite of cancel culture, self-care assumes responsibility and speaks to the hearts of those who wish to create a better personal and global community.
Healthy individuals create a healthy community.
If you’re a newcomer to self-care, we offer beginner’s workshops to get you started.
THE CONVERSATION: Let's Talk About Why Self-Care?
The ideas on this site may touch something inside that makes you go, "Aha! Yes!" Some may irritate you because they don't apply or you don't agree.
Both are equally valuable.