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Self-care is health care

by Sheryl Egan-Olaivar

Self-care is taking proper care of yourself by nurturing yourself as you do others, and for many women, this requires a great deal of planning and commitment. Life is so busy and many women put other’s needs ahead of their own. However, self-care is actually health care. By caring for yourself you’ll be more physically capable and more emotionally available to properly care for others. You’ll also be happier and find others will appreciate your company more.

By making time to exercise, eat healthy, stay on track with medical appointments and to relax, you’ll create healthy habits that help prevent illness and disease to give you even more time to enjoy family and friends. By making self-care a priority, it’s easier to be clear about what you actually need and want in your life, and to follow your passions and dreams.

You’re more likely to attract the right people, relationships and things in your life, because you’ll be clearer about what you want and more able to say no to any obstacles. By respecting yourself with self-care, you also teach others to respect you and you’ll be less likely to tolerate disrespect.

Self-care creates a balanced lifestyle. By consistently putting others first, we eventually become burnt out and can become resentful, depressed and anxious. Staying so busy that we neglect our own self-care creates stress that can lead to illness, chronic disease, immobility and premature death. Self-care is not selfish; it’s merely taking care of ourselves so we are better equipped to serve others. 1 Corinthians 6:19 reminds us that we honor God by taking care of our body: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? …Therefore glorify God in your body.”

There are far more benefits of self-care than self-neglect. It just makes sense to plan ahead in 2018 to make this the year to take charge of your own health. Here are some helpful tips:

 

USE YOUR PLANNER TO SCHEDULE TIME

• Use daily for one thing you enjoy, such as a bubble bath, reading, walking on the beach, listening to music or chatting with a friend

• Use weekly to relax with yoga, tai-chi, a hobby or socializing with friends

• Use to exercise at least three times a week, get enough sleep and plan nutritious meals

• Use for medical and dental check-ups and appointments

 

MAKE A POSTER OR VISION BOARD

Fill it with pictures of your self-care goals and hang it where you can see it every day to help motivate and remind you that self-care is health care!

 


Sheryl Egan-Olaivar is an occupational therapist and yoga teacher with more than 30 years of experience in health care. Reach her at australianaccents@gmail.com.

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