The importance of self-care

In the simplest of terms and according to the NHS, self-care means looking after yourself in a healthy way. It also means staying active by doing things that are important to you and looking at what you can do and want to do - rather than what you can’t do. 

According to Fort Garry Women’s Resource Centre (fact sheet for women) self-care is care provided “for you, by you”.

It’s about identifying your own needs and taking steps to meet them. It is taking the time to do some of the activities that nurture you. Self-care is about taking proper care of yourself and treating yourself as kindly as you treat others.

Sounds logical doesn’t it? Common sense?

If I asked you to give me a reason why this was important you could most likely give me a few.

Does that mean you practise it regularly?

Quite often we believe that we don’t have time for self-care, and often we spend our available time nurturing those around us before ourselves. We wait until we crash before taking action.

But even with the busiest schedule the smallest awareness of ourselves can impact positively on our self-worth, our self-esteem and our emotional, physical and psychological health.

Traditional Chinese Medicine works on the principles that we have the power to unlock our own potential. Its insightful wisdom and ability to understand and address individual health needs empowers each person with a way to unite body, mind, and spirit — the foundation for lasting, authentic health. TCM teaches you how to live a life of balance, wellness, and harmony.

To understand why we can take charge of our care let’s look at the four key principles of TCM:

Your body is an integrated whole - Every element of our body is interconnected; it is a system powered by a life force or energy, often known as Qi (pronounced as ‘Chee’). The combination of mind, emotions and spirit within our physical bodies gives us everything we need to heal ourselves.

You are completely connected to nature - Changes in nature are reflected in our bodies; we respond to the seasons, location and even time of day. These factors, when understood, can be used to help navigate our health issues.

You were born with a natural self-healing ability - Nature has a regenerative capacity and so do we. We don’t always acknowledge or listen to this ability, but TCM can help us to recharge this self-healing function so that we function to the best of our abilities whenever we can.

Prevention is the best cure - How often do you listen to your body? It tells us a story every day. We can choose to listen or choose to ignore, by listening and taking immediate action we can be proactive about our health choices.

These are the reasons why, so now you can begin to educate yourself on the how.

As a really simple start why not take 60 seconds three times a day to stop and listen to your body, understand what it is telling you and respond accordingly. You may want to write it down or record it in a way that makes sense to you so you can keep track of how your body changes and develops over time.  

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Therapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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