The words Self-Care are pretty self explanatory. Yet, they mean different things to different people. Self care is a phrase that is often used in the world of caregiving. People who are caring for others – someone caring for an aged parent, or someone working in a seniors facility. Self care is something these people must learn to do for themselves in order to stay healthy – so that they can care for others.
For me, my ‘caring for others’ days are mostly over. My parents have both passed away, my kids are grown. I do care for my grandbaby part time, now, and self care has become vitally important for me just so I can keep up with him!
However, my take on self care is not just about being able to care for others. You see, I somehow never learned along my way in life that my body was important. In fact, I learned quite the opposite. So the disconnect between me and my physical body has been vast. I did not know what it meant to really care for and connect with my self. And I must say, getting to know one’s self is pretty difficult when you have been, most of your life, disconnected. I could not tell when my body was hungry, or when it was tired, or stressed. I could not hear it tell me what it wanted to eat. So, basically, I ate the wrong stuff, when I wasn’t hungry, and couldn’t tell when I was full until I felt sick to my stomach. I ate to stop feeling lonely, or bored, or to quiet that niggly voice inside me that was trying to get my attention long enough to tell me that things are not ok.
To be aware, now, of all that my body has kept doing for me so faithfully all these years without my even noticing, makes me feel sad. And I’m not even near where I would like to be, yet. But at least I’m aware. Having awareness is the first step toward health. And, I’m becoming more mindful – of what I eat, how often I move, and maybe most importantly, how I’m feeling on the inside. And, I’m doing it all, while loving myself – just as I am in this moment. Because beating myself up sure hasn’t worked. I’ve tried that route, and I bet most of you have, as well…and I bet you also can agree, that it does way more harm than good!
I personally believe that everyone could do a better job of caring for self. And that just about everyone needs to, as well! I think that the term self-care should become a household word. Self care is not just for care-givers!