You’ve likely read time and again that self-care is something we’re supposed to do, and maybe you’ve even dabbled in it on occasion. But many of us have a hard time committing to it. If self-care is so good for us, why can it sometimes feel uncomfortable making time for it?
The initial concept of self-care was developed in nursing by Dorothy Orem, and it focused on patients who had to self-manage their health after an accident or the diagnosis of an illness. Behaviors included taking prescription medicines on time, engaging in regular therapeutic exercise, and altered diets. This type of self-care is still an important, often vital aspect of many people’s daily lives.
Additionally, in many diverse disciplines, such as psychology and social work (as well as in popular media), the understanding of what constitutes self-care has evolved to include all activities that support the holistic concept of well-being, including the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects of a person.
Of course, many of us try to eat well and get some exercise, but self-care also includes activities we may not expect, such as practicing guitar, watching the sun come up, reading, taking a nap, or even cleaning the house. These are great every-day ways to invest in ourselves and lower stress levels. Another important self-care practice? Creating boundaries around what self-care means to you. And yes, that could simply mean time spent alone. The point is—you get to decide.
As an adult, you don’t need anyone’s permission to make time for yourself, but we’re ready to step up for you now if it helps. We invite you to slow down occasionally, to enjoy your life and the self-care that will get you there, however that looks. We want this for you, for your family, and for your loved ones.
Carve out some quiet time, pour yourself a cup of comfort, and grab a pen and a notepad. Write down how you want to feel and how you can support your well-being. Next? Put it into practice!
Want more help to jump-start your practice? Join our 12 Months of Wellness Challenge (alive.com/wellnesschallenge/). Our October challenge is all about putting yourself first and prioritizing self-care. You’ll find plenty of support with our community of like-minded wellness enthusiasts!