Few peo­ple are ac­tively pur­su­ing self-care meth­ods on a rou­tine ba­sis.

Great Health Guide - - CONTENTS - Dr Suzanne Hen­wood

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.


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?


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.

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