Monday 24th of July is International Self-Care Day. In honor of the day lets acknowledge the importance of Self-Care and consider how we can enhance our Self-Care skills. For Self-Care is our first and primary role and responsibility. It is about honoring our health and wellbeing, as well those around us.
Effective Self-Care is the practice of constructively paying attention to, and fulfilling one’s own needs, so as to nourish and maintain one’s health and wellbeing.
Constructively refers to being effective and respectful, respectful of our self as well as of others. To be effective and respectful we must be aware of our own needs, be able to distinguish our self from others and recognise that we have separate and often different needs and desires. We need to believe in our ability to fulfil those needs, while considering others’. Finally we need the skills to consider varies options, before selecting and actioning the most appropriate way to have the need(s) meet.
As a babe we did not hesitate to let others know our needs until others fulfilled them, or we learnt helplessness. As we grew we developed skills to fulfill our needs and desires or remained in a space of learnt helplessness and decided we wouldn’t have what we wanted. Some of us learnt effective Self-Care skills. We were empowered. The result being we had the skills for a fulfilling and satisfying life; we experience health, wellbeing, quality relationships, personal success and how to deal with the challenges of life. Unfortunately many of us did not.
Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort. Deborah Day
If we have unfulfilled needs they tend to fester and break out. They may break out as irritation, passive aggressive or outright aggressive behaviors. These behaviors have damaging effects on our health, wellbeing, relationships, and consequently our life. As an adult it is our responsibility to develop our Self-Care skills so we can be both self-determined and respectful. To do this we need the skills of self-awareness, empathy, creativity, negotiation, decision-making, action taking, and accountability. Learning these skills are Self-Care essentials.
Self-Care means being able to give the best of yourself, rather than what is left of yourself. Katie Reed
If you already have many of these skills, in honor of Self-Care Day I suggest you put aside time to consider an act of kindness for your self and your loved one’s and action it as soon as possible. For kindness is another foundation of Self-Care.
If you are struggling with your personal Self-Care, I recommend giving yourself permission to not only determine but also meet your personal need and desires. First steps include taking the time to consider what actions make you feel better and which do not. AND committing to doing more of what helps you feel better. Start with the simple things. Perhaps taking time to read a good book, talk with a friend, sitting down to savor a nourishing bowl of fruit salad, or vegetable soup. Importantly, know you deserve to enjoy your life and that the little things that nourish you are the backbone to doing so.
What action are you taking today to enhance your Self-Care?
How are you celebrating International Self-Care Day?
Other potential resources:
For specific ideas of Self-Care check out: 45 Simple Self-Care Practices for a Healthy Mind, Body, and Soul.
The Art of Empathy by Karla McLaren
Crucial Accountability by Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, and Ron McMillan