Self-care are all those actions that people take by themselves to develop, protect, maintain, improve health and general well-being. Self-care ranges from the daily decisions that we make as individuals to lead a healthy life, lifestyle, self-management of ailments, to the decision to take care of ourselves through the care of professionals of any kind (medicine, psychology, nutrition, physiotherapy, etc). Going to medical care does not exempt individual care, nor the other way around.
Self-care is a term defined for the first time by Dorothea Orem, an American nurse who defined it as the set of intentional actions that a person makes to control internal or external factors, which can compromise their life and later development. In other words, it is about a gesture of awareness towards oneself, of analyzing oneself, observing oneself, taking care of oneself through establishing an internal dialogue in which we become aware of each act we do, of our physical, mental and emotional needs. In short, to love yourself.
It happens that a large part of society only attend to individual needs when there is already a health problem that alerts us to the situation and indicates that previously the needs have not been properly covered. All people need attention, invest time in prioritizing ourselves and taking care of ourselves day by day, because only we are responsible for our own well-being.
WHY IS SELF-CARE IMPORTANT?
Taking care of ourselves is assuming that we are in charge of our well-being, an act of self-knowledge and self-love. We don’t need the outside to take care of us.
It is a way of indicating around us that we value and that we take care of ourselves, and that therefore, that is transmitted and contagious.
It improves our physical condition, our quality of life, and prevents physical and mental illnesses.
It helps us to know each other and have more resources that provide us with well-being.
Improves the relationship with oneself and with the people around us. Because taking care of ourselves allows us to be happy, to love ourselves and to love more of what is around us.
Self-care brings optimism to see life in a more vital way, since by dedicating time and care we improve our spirits, it makes us have a better attitude and positive thoughts.
Improve productivity. By being more aware of our needs, we learn to say “no” to what is not important, that does not provide us with anything of value and / or that hurts us. In addition, it makes us more focused on our goals.
10 PHYSICAL SELF-CARE
In this first part of the article, we will focus on physical self-care. Soon, we will finish with the second part about taking care of our emotional and mental part.
Physical self-care is about taking care of our body, because it is a vital part of the gear that forms integral health. Physical self-care are:
1. Sleep well
Sleep the necessary hours to have a good night’s sleep. Offer your brain every day the opportunity to regenerate, prepare for the next day’s work and thus have more concentration, memory and attention.
Taking a few minutes during the day to rest between tasks is a necessary good. It is not necessary to stop too long, just enough to be able to take a few breaths, a few stretches if you spend a lot of time sitting down, listen to a song you like, prepare an infusion or stretch your legs. Just 2-5 minutes is enough.
3. Nourish yourself well
Eating nutritious foods that provide the body with everything it needs to perform properly, have energy, and maintain a strong and resistant immune system. Spend some time with your health and cook healthy, tasty and varied dishes.
Water has a fundamental role in the transport of nutrients, the elimination of toxic substances, thermal regulation, it is one of those responsible for keeping the skin healthy and beautiful, etc. Do not wait to feel thirsty, try to always have water nearby during all day.
5. Personal hygiene
Maintaining good personal hygiene is another daily act of self-care. Showering regularly, clean clothes, oral hygiene, etc., with products that do not damage the natural protection layer of the skin.
6. Take care of your sexual health
Pay attention to the needs of your health, use suitable products that do not alter the natural acidity of your genitals. Stay informed to promote the well-being of your sexual health. If you are a woman, go to the gynecologist on a regular basis and observe / know how your cycle is to be able to treat you as you need.
7. Do physical activity
Move 30 minutes a day with the activity that we like the most. Combine cardiovascular exercise without forgetting strength training. Moving is the best way to feel good, prevent illness, keep your body in good condition, eliminate stress, and sleep better.
8. Sexual pleasure, self-pleasure
Our body is also our sex, so we must take care of it as another part of ourselves. Connecting with our sexuality is an infallible means to get to know ourselves, provide us with pleasure, relaxation and keep desire alive.
9. Environmental care and sustainability
It is the responsibility of the entire society to care for the planet and it is our duty to ensure that our actions do not harm it. Eliminate toxic polluting products from your life, excessive consumption, the purchase of electronic devices that we do not need, etc. One form of self-care is to respect the place where we live and where more people live, out of respect for nature and because it directly interferes with our health.
10. Necessary care for you
Finally, we want to remember that each person is unique and each being has specific physical needs that, by meeting them, makes them feel better. Brush your skin dry, perform a self-massage before going to sleep, drink an infusion when you wake up, go to the physiotherapist once a month, train for a sporting event, etc. There are as many options as you like and as important as the others. Therefore, add those physical self-care of your own and that benefits you. Do not leave them aside, since they are one more piece that helps your well-being.