Self-care is an integral part of your mental, physical, and overall health. You need it to help prevent burnout, chronic stress, or exhaustion. Think of it as a renewable energy source; without it your lights go dim, your white blood cells lose their glow, and your engine sputters out.
Self-care plays a significant role in mental health as well. It ensures you’re coping with stress in healthy ways, owning your feelings, and communicating assertively in your relationships. It not only prevents medical illness, but also manages it when needed, and connects you to proper lines of support.
If self-care is lacking, most relationships suffer too. No one knows how to care for you better than you do... and it can damage relationships when one or another person refuses to take care of themselves.
At the community level, chronic self-neglect can influence a variety of public health issues.
The multidimensional task of self-care can include everything from eating and sleeping well, allowing time for creative projects, taking time to be alone, and making time where there was none - in order to tend to anything and everything that honestly helps us function better.
Because self-care has so many facets, it may take a long time to fully integrate what you learn about yourself along the way.
In other words, it’s okay to really delve deep and allow your own unique expressions of self-care to emerge. We all have role models who have or haven’t provided the best examples of such habits, and it can be crucial to listen to your own body, to honor your own rhythm.
There are several working definitions of what self-care actually IS, and many people are still debating it. But one that none of us can afford to ignore is this:
“Self-care definitions commonly include individuals, their families, friends and communities. Community level action to support people in self-care will be of increasing importance in future.”
~ International Self-Care Foundation
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