Optimal self care is the key to living well through times of change, stress and uncertainty. Prolonged stress leads to anger, depression, anxiety and illness. The better your self care, the more easily you will navigate change, stress and uncertainty and reduce the negative effects of stress.
What is optimal self care and how can you practice it?
Optimal self care requires truly understanding yourself from the inside out and balancing the needs of your body, mind and spirit. It involves taking time to nourish yourself every day. It also means understanding your trigger points and doing what you can to release those. Awareness and a full toolkit to face tension and challenges will add to your health and also to your enjoyment of life.
What blocks optimal self care?
Our culture generally does not value self care or encourage prioritize it for health or success. Self care is often seen as extravagant. It also can be confused with self indulgence which does noting for our true well being. Another important aspect to be aware of is that optimal self care is often cut out due to lack of time or money.
When you live in the world as a care-giver,or in times or circumstances where there is enormous stress, to neglect self care is to sign up for trouble physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Another source of self neglect aside from society’s lack of support, is a personal deeply ingrained belief system. That belief system may include some version of not deserving time, space, having our needs met or of being enough. We can run into this wall of beliefs so quickly and unconsciously that we don’t even notice as we redouble our efforts to help and do more.
Lack of self care can rest on a foundation of uninspected beliefs that silently conspire to result in tension, conflict, unprocessed feelings, confused thinking and spiritual emptiness.
Stress and its effects on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health are real. In addition to those effects a less obvious effect is a gradual, deep erosion of the self that has profound ramifications on a our ability to feel joy, experience happiness, see beauty or find purpose and meaning within life.
Slowly over time by focusing so totally on others we can gradually lose ourselves.
The stranger that is you awakens one day and wonders what happened. What happened to your ideas and plans? What happened to your hopes? What happened to your bright dreams? The needs of others can be great, necessary and overwhelming to the point of drowning a caregiver’s needs unless you make a deep commitment to YOU and TAKE CARE!