The World Health Organization defines self-care as: “the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.”
The Global Self Care Federation defines it as:
Self-care is the practice of individuals looking after their own health using the knowledge and information available to them. It is a decision-making process that empowers individuals to look after their own health efficiently and conveniently, in collaboration with health and social care professionals as needed.
So the key is, when should one implement self care? Before answering this question, we must answer the following:
- How is my physical health?
- How is my sleep?
- How is my diet?
- How are my relationships?
- How is my self talk?
- How is my mood?
Now woah, that’s a lot of questions haha. I know but they are important! Answering and or evaluating these questions will give us the information and knowledge needed for that decision making process that empowers us to improve our overall health.
If you don’t know where to start, start by answering the easiest question. How is my health internally?
Did I wake up today? Yes.
Do I have all my fingers and toes?
Did I eat three meals appropriate for my age and fitness?
Yes, I did.
If you also answered yes to those questions then I’d say you’re doing impeccably well!
Now more nuanced, are you literally caring for yourself properly every morning and night? Like brushing teeth, washing your face, showering. Sometimes we can get tired or think that it’s not that important to skip one night… But you should brush your teeth! *Story time, my mom used to joke with me and say only brush the teeth you want to keep. Thanks to that scary joke… I am blessed to say all of the pearly whites in my mouth are mine😂 haha thanks mom.*
It may not seem like a big deal but the art of repetition creates habits. We want to create positive habits that are going to contribute overall to a higher level of self-care and overall health.
Next question: How is my Sleep?
Well, how does one measure sleep. The amount of hours required per individual to function at the highest rate is debatable by scientists and most countries. For me, I base the question on the quality. Did I wake up more or less fatigued? did I wake up angry, sad, or indifferent? Those are the keys to the amount of sleep you may need. One way you can answer the question by saying your sleep is good, get on a sleep schedule. Practice going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning. For me, I know my sleep is best when I have earplugs and an eye mask… Don’t laugh, I’m a super light sleeper! Additionally, I sleep best when I am very cold but I’m covered in blankets. As my new as these things might seem, they play a large role in the quality of one’s sleep. Here’s a great article to read more The Benefits of Getting a Full Night's Sleep | SCL Health
So now that we have addressed two of the questions in regards to self-care, my encouragement to you is to work on making changes that you see best fit on those two questions. Next week we will talk about specific tips to sleep better!
As always, thanks for reading friends.