Healthy Living Magazine

by

“When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.”  – Jean Shinoda Bolen

Self-care is about looking after the most important person in your life – you!

Essential to life balance and overall health, self-care fuels our emotional, mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing. Without self-care, our lives can feel harried, stressed and out of control. But so often we put our own needs on the back burner, feeling a sense of guilt if we carve out time for ourselves.

Modern life: ‘doing’ versus ‘being’

If you are feeling low in energy or stressed, lacking balance in some areas of your life, you can develop a regular self-care practice. Learn how to make time for ‘you’ in your busy life and discover why self-care is such an important step to better health.

Through self-care, you give yourself ‘permission’ to do what your body needs. Signals from our bodies tell us to slow down, take a nap or take time for that yoga class. However, we often ignore these signals, choosing to forge ahead and keep doing. Often we choose ‘busyness’ or productivity in lieu of taking a walk in the woods.

We live in an age where productivity is the new normal. From the time we wake up, we are in a rush: to get kids ready for school, to get to our jobs, to get home again, to do housework and errands. Then it’s homework, dinner, dishes, bath and bed. For many of us, life has become a treadmill from which we can’t slow down or escape.

This state of always ‘doing’ versus ‘being’ is not good for our health. It can make us feel worn out, stressed and run down. This is especially true for women, who are notorious for putting others first and themselves last, for always nurturing others, but never themselves. Often sacrificing their own needs, many women develop a martyr syndrome without even realizing it. The result can be stress, resentment and unhappiness.

It doesn’t have to be that way

Self-care is important for physical and mental health, as well as self-esteem. When you take care of yourself, you convey to others that your needs are important, too. It reminds people that you value yourself and they need to respect that. This is not being selfish. It is as essential as breathing. Only when we help ourselves can we effectively give our best to others.

Stress has become one of the greatest health risk factors. According to Statistics Canada, stress carries several negative health consequences, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, as well as immune and circulatory complications.

Exposure to stress can also contribute to behaviours such as smoking, over-consumption of alcohol, and less healthy eating habits. Statistics Canada reports that in 2013, 23% (6.6 million) of Canadians aged 15 and older reported that most days were ‘quite a bit’ or ‘extremely’ stressful. Without a self-care routine, we are at risk of disease and unhealthy behaviours.  

So how do we create a practice of self-care and slow down that treadmill? It’s well within our own power to do so. As a yoga instructor, I often teach my participants to permit themselves to be present during their practice, to let go of their ‘to do’ lists and allocate this time for themselves. This allows them to centre, to become more mindful, like pressing a reset button during their day – instead of mindlessly plodding through the daily routine.

Choose what works for you

If yoga isn’t for you, think instead about what makes you feel refreshed, energized or soothed. Take time to identify your own needs and take steps towards meeting them. What activities nurture you? How do you define self-care? Your definition should let you do whatever you want to do. Self-care is about taking proper care of yourself and treating yourself as kindly as you treat others.

The good news is that there is no right answer as to what self-care looks like. It might be getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis, eating healthy foods, having a massage, exercising regularly, meditating, or taking time to relax with friends. These examples of self-care may seem obvious, but they are essential elements of feeling happy, productive and fulfilled at work and at home.  

Your needs encompass three important areas: mind, body and spirit, and all three need equal nurturing. Your physical body needs healthy food, sleep and exercise; your mind needs to pause from a demanding work or family life and continue learning; your spirit needs to be refreshed and renewed, perhaps by going for a walk or writing in a journal.

When developing your own self-care routine, remember to balance out activities for all three of these areas of your life.

Time for a fresh start!

How do you begin a self-care routine? Start by introducing 10 to 15 minutes a day of an activity that nurtures you, and once a week commit to an hour of self-care time. Instead of tuning them out, listen to those cues to slow down or take a nap. Self-care only works when you listen to your body and do what you want without resistance.

With practice you will hear that voice begging for some ‘me’ time and become more agreeable that you are very much worth it.

If you care enough about yourself to make room for what nourishes you, you will invite better health, happiness and joy into your life. Remember: self-care can only be provided for you, by you.

Tiffany Moffat is is a certified Personal Trainer Specialist, Fitness Instructor Specialist, Pre and Postnaatal Specialist (Canfitpro certified) and freelance writer who has worked in the fitness industry for 25 years. tiffanysbeyourbest.blogspot.com.

30 thoughts on “Self-Care: Caring about everybody else? Who’s caring for you?

  1. Great wordpress blog here.. It’s hard to find quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate people like you! take care

  2. Wonderful blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!
    Thank you

  3. Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your site is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this website. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched all over the place and simply couldn’t come across. What a great web site.

  4. You actually make it appear really easy together with your presentation but
    I find this topic to be really something which I think I’d by no means understand.
    It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me.
    I am looking forward in your subsequent post, I will try to get the dangle of
    it!

  5. I am really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout
    on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself?
    Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to
    see a great blog like this one nowadays.

  6. hi!,I really like your writing very a lot! percentage we keep up a correspondence more approximately your post on AOL? I require a specialist in this space to resolve my problem. Maybe that is you! Taking a look forward to see you.

  7. I have been exploring for a little bit for any high quality articles or weblog posts on this kind of space .
    Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this website.
    Reading this info So i’m glad to exhibit that I have an incredibly excellent uncanny feeling I came
    upon just what I needed. I so much unquestionably will make sure
    to don?t omit this site and provides it a look on a constant basis.

  8. My brother suggested I might like this web site. He was entirely right. This post actually made my day. You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  9. amei este site. Pra saber mais detalhes acesse nosso site e descubra mais. Todas as informações contidas são informações relevantes e únicos. Tudo que você precisa saber está está lá.

  10. Este site é realmente incrível. Sempre que acesso eu encontro coisas diferentes Você também vai querer acessar o nosso site e saber mais detalhes! informaçõesexclusivas. Venha saber mais agora! 🙂

  11. of course like your web site however you need to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I to find it very troublesome to inform the reality on the other hand I¦ll definitely come back again.

  12. I just want to say I am just new to blogs and certainly savored you’re website. Probably I’m going to bookmark your site . You amazingly come with outstanding articles. Thanks for revealing your webpage.

  13. Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this website. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s hard to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and visual appeal. I must say that you’ve done a amazing job with this. Also, the blog loads very quick for me on Firefox. Superb Blog!

  14. I found your weblog web site on google and check a couple of of your early posts. Proceed to keep up the very good operate. I simply extra up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Searching for forward to reading more from you afterward!…

  15. I simply want to tell you that I am very new to blogging and site-building and absolutely savored this web-site. Most likely I’m going to bookmark your blog . You surely come with perfect article content. Appreciate it for sharing with us your website.

  16. Hi there, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam feedback? If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can advise? I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so any support is very much appreciated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.