THE DISCIPLINE OF SELF CARE: PART 1
Few people are actively pursuing self-care methods on a routine basis.
What does the term selfcare mean to you? Is it thinking of a treat, a spa day? Is it a luxury, you rarely consider for yourself? And what does self-discipline mean? Does it instil great excitement in you – or dread and foreboding? Whatever view we have of self-care and self-discipline, it is something that I believe we could all take more seriously. In this two-part series, Part 1 will explore and share the importance of self-care and Part 2, will share more detail of the components of health and wellbeing to include in your self-care plan. It is curious that health care systems are often more aligned with treating diseases, than being focused on preventative health. We treat symptoms, rather than teaching people to create health and wellbeing for themselves. We seek help when we are unwell. There is much talk of people taking more responsibility for their health, but many are unsure what that means and do not know what to do. There are relatively few people who are actively pursuing self-care methods on a routine basis. An article, Chronic Disease: A Selfinflicted Pandemic? by the Harvard School of Public Health (2019) provides some figures on health in USA. They note that The World Health Organization estimates that, “80% of all heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, as well as more than 40% of cancers, would be prevented if Americans would stop using tobacco, eat healthily and exercise”. However, the authors of the article actually challenge the figures on the occurrence of cancer and suggest that, “very little cancer today is genetic, maybe 10%, so let’s assume 90% of cancers are caused by diet, lifestyle & environmental factors.” The authors talk of a ‘self-inflicted pandemic’. So, it is time for us to turn that around and to make our wellbeing a priority.
SO, WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?
Invest in ourselves, devote time to reduce the busy-ness in our lives and prioritise our health and wellbeing, look at what brings us joy, vitality and nourishes our soul – surely this is worth pursuing to prevent us being the next health statistic. It is about developing a disciplined self-care regime.
“Self-care is a discipline that honours what is sacred, including the hard work that provides meaning in our lives.“
Now the quote above might seem very strong words so let’s not pretend it is easy. If it was, we would already be doing it, wouldn’t we? Tami Forman in Forbes Magazine claims that, “It requires tough-mindedness, a deep and personal understanding of your priorities, and a respect for both yourself and the people you choose to spend your life with.” It is about doing things that are good for us – because we want to feel good in the long term – instead of going for an instant gratification of feeling good in any one moment and believing that any consequences will not relate to us. It starts with awareness and that leads to you making a conscious choice. What do you really want to improve in your own health and wellbeing? Do you want good health enough that you will do something about it?
DEVELOP A SELF-CARE PLAN
I believe there are five core areas of health and wellbeing: physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual. And I would highly recommend that you develop a plan to ensure these needs are all being considered. Then, each month revise the plan as your levels of vitality change. This takes commitment and dedication. Are you willing to commit to a discipline of self-care and take back control of your health and wellbeing? In the May/June edition of Great Health GuideTM, The Discipline of Self-Care: Part 2, will explore in more detail the components of health and wellbeing and how to develop a self-care plan that you can easily adopt.
Dr Suzanne Henwood is the Director and Lead Coach and Trainer of mBraining4Success. She is also the CEO of The Healthy Workplace and a Master Trainer and Master Coach of mBIT (Multiple Brain Integration Techniques) and can be contacted via her website.
Deciding to take daily action & commitment is vital to success.