“Self-care” is taking care of one’s mental and physical healthDr. Veita Bland / April 19, 2018
I have recently been introduced to the concept of self-care. This is in no way a new concept. It has been around the block a few times with different reincarnations and names. The topic of self-care has had a resurgence in the last few years as we all attempt to live more balanced, peaceful and meaningful lives. As some have said, there has to be more.
Self-care is anything that is done deliberately to take care of one’s emotional, mental and physical health. Its ultimate goal is a better you. It seems to be something that we see growing in popularity among both men and women.
It is important that you understand what it is not. It is not something that you are forced to do nor is it something that you do not enjoy doing. It has to refuel your soul. It is not a selfish act. It should aide you in living a more balanced life. It should enable you to be healthier and thus have the emotional balance to give to others.
So, how do you start? Remember that self-care will be different for each individual. Raphailia Michael, MA says there are three golden rules. She first states, over time you will develop a rhythm of taking care of yourself. For example, a glass of wine with a piece of chocolate savored over 30 minutes or going window shopping are self-care activities. Michael says as people go on they will be able to find additional activities of self-care.
Michael reminds us that self-care must be actively planned. That visit to a salt cave or a night out with friends must be planned. It just does not happen. You must add it to your calendar. You must let others know these are your plans. This adds to your commitment for the event.
Her last rule is that you must consciously evaluate your activities. If an activity that you thought would result in that feeling of self-care does not work, it’s okay. Michael says be aware of what you do, why you do it, how it feels, and what the outcomes are.
Self-care also involves developing a “no” list. These are things you do not like or do not want to do any longer. Examples would be no longer going to clubs or attending groups you do not like. It can also be prohibiting people from calling and disturbing your meals.
It goes without saying that living a healthy lifestyle is a must. Eating a nutritious, healthy diet is a must. Making sure that you get enough sleep is pivotal. Finding a form of exercise that you like, enjoy and will perform regularly helps. Do not forget to get your regular medical check-ups. Look for relaxation exercises or practice meditation.
Above all, remember you are worth it. A balanced life is the goal.
Dr. Veita Bland is a board certified Greensboro physician and hypertension specialist. Dr. Bland’s radio show, “It’s a Matter of Your Health,” can be heard live on Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. on N.C. A&T State University’s WNAA, 90.1 FM. Listeners may call in and ask questions. The show is replayed on Sirius 142 at 5 p.m. on Wednesdays. Email Dr. Bland at firstname.lastname@example.org.