Self-care can be said to be a act of taking good care of oneself with conducts that promotes good health and helps in the active management of illness when occurred, they are ways of tending to our physical and emotional health to the very best of our ability.
Self-care refers to what we do in order to keep yourself physically emotionally and mentally healthy helping us to cope with lives daily stress. This helps us to prevent diseases, maintain health and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of healthcare providers.
Different persons adopt different practices as regards to self-care so the definition of self-care to a person differs from another. In summary self-care includes everything related to staying physically healthy and this also involves our hygiene nutrition and seeking medical care when needed. There are different ways to care for oneself and this can be through exercise, food choices, dental care and sleep. Self-care has a big impact on our health as it helps prevent diseases by boosting our immune system and also increasing survival.
We also have what is known as routine self-care. This type of self-care although being important for healthy individuals, becomes essential when illness occurs, examples of such illnesses are diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure, anxiety and depression, cancer and so on. In this cases routine self-care are important as they decrease the symptoms of the illness, boost immune system, reduces stress, eliminate anxiety and depression and many more. Yet it has been observed that with most people with chronic illness that the time they spend on self-care is so little when compared with the time spent with health professionals.
Self-care with chronic conditions works best alongside professional care since it addresses physical, emotional and social realms of the patient and also reduces stress which enables one to handle challenges and also makes the person more resilient helping such one to cope with the illness. For people with chronic diseases who indulges in self-care are associated with fewer symptoms, fewer hospitalization, better quality of life and longer survival when being compared with persons whose self care are poor. Routine self-care behaviors includes maintaining a regular sleeping routine, doing a hobby that is enjoyable, eating healthily, spending time in nature, walking and many more. Self-care can be as simple as meditating, going for holidays, catching up on a favorite television show on exercise class.
BENEFITS OF SELF CARE
When self-care is practice regularly the benefits are broad and are linked two positive health outcomes such as improve immune systems increased productivity, higher self-esteem, reducing stress and longer survival.
TYPES OF SELF-CARE
1- Emotional self-care: this type of self-care involves being able to say no to unnecessarily stressful thing and also giving our time to rest when we need to.
2- Physical self-care: this involves adopting an exercise routine, prioritising sleep and choosing healthy and nourishing food over processed meals.
3- Spiritual self-care: includes attending a religious service, spending time with nature, meditating and incorporating kindness in our day-to-day life.
A lack of self-care in terms of personal health can be ruled out as self-neglect, this is when we do not properly take care of ourselves or give ourselves the needed time to rest meditates and relax. The consequences of self-neglect are low energy, less patience, difficulty falling and staying asleep, challenges of choosing healthy meals and so on. It is helpful for us to make self care our daily routine and ways in which we can do that are by doing things we love, planning ahead and scheduling it, keeping our routine simple and remaining flexible. When we keep all this in mind, making self-care our daily routine would no longer be difficult for us.
HOW TO GET STARTED IN SELF-CARE ROUTINE
Although we may feel that having a self-care routines is time-consuming and tiresome there are ways in which we can enjoy having a self-care routine.
1- Determine which activities brings us joy nourishes us and restores our balance.
2- We can start first by choosing what we would like to incorporate into our self-care routine.
3- Reflect on how you feel as regards to self care. Practicing self-care does not need to be tiring or burdensome but needs to be something that is enjoyed and eases us.
4- Have a list of self-care activities.
It is hard to say what exactly what can be counted as self care since one person's definition of the term, differs from another. Thereby, what may seem enjoyable to a person may not be seen that way by another everyone definition is unique the key fact is that it is something enjoyed.
For instance dressing the bed every morning can be considered as self care to some cause they find it enjoyable while humming their favourite song and taking their time doing it while there are others who considers it as just a necessary daily chores and just want to get it over with.