Self-care is a way of learning to look after our whole body, connecting to, listening to and feeling our reactions to the way we are treating and caring for ourselves. It is a vital and important aspect of any person’s health and wellbeing! Without taking the time to connect with our body, listen to and supply its needs, our health and wellbeing will eventually deteriorate, often quite slowly.
How many people today are so busy they rarely take time to truly feel how they and their body are coping? Is it possible that when it is suggested that they slow down and start to self-care they either feel they don't have the time, or they just don’t know what self-care actually entails?
Taking responsibility for the choices that one has made is the beginning of self-care, and then taking the steps to change some of the bigger, and more obvious ill choices (habits), is the next step. This can be difficult in the beginning and having the support of a caring and understanding practitioner can be invaluable.
In my own experience, I found that dealing with the larger issues gradually brought incredible changes to my health and well-being, and with it an awareness of the smaller and more subtle ways in which I could support myself. Listening to and feeling my bodily reactions, showed me where I needed to be more gentle in my actions and movements, it also allowed me to feel where I needed to make changes, e.g. the food I was eating, the way I was exercising, the need to take time to rest my body when tired instead of pushing on, to ask for help when needed, to always consider the weather and dress accordingly, to take an umbrella or extra jumper, even down to going to the toilet when my body was letting me know I needed to pee, instead of putting it off till later.
Another aspect of self-care that is of equal importance is the care and nurturing of our inner self.
The negative thoughts and feelings that play over and over in our minds are as harmful and debilitating to our wellbeing as anything physical we can do to ourselves. Again, like learning to care for our body we can learn to care for our mind by watching the negative thoughts and feelings, and over time we begin to realise they are not the truth, with this they lose their power and become easier to let go of, creating a sense of space and wellbeing within.
With the clarity of an uncluttered mind and a healthier body and lifestyle, a deeper connection with and appreciation for, the true self within begins to develop. This is the starting point of a fuller and more expansive relationship with self.
True self-care is the beginning and sustaining power of a much richer and expanded life, and never is it just for ourselves . . . reaching far beyond what we can imagine, touching the lives of many in ways we will never know.
Rosemary L., Australia