Three Forks Voice - Connect With Your Community!

By Ellie West
Contributing Writer 

Coaches Corner: Importance of Self-Care

 

August 24, 2022



Self-Care seems to be a buzzword in recent years. Oxford dictionary defines self-care as taking action to preserve one’s health.

Self-care includes everything you do to take care of your well- being in your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health.

Self-care is portrayed in the media as being self-focused and giving yourself whatever you want because you deserve it. Eat whatever you want, and binge on Netflix. Self-care seems to feed on what we want and not what we need. On the other hand, proper self-care is not an excuse to treat ourselves to whatever we want. When we chase what we want, we often miss out on what we need. When we practice “true self-care” that feeds our emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual health, we find our bodies and souls need proper rest.

Are we becoming so busy that we use self-care to dumb our pain so we don’t feel pain? Watching too much Netflix, being overly social, spending too much time on our electronic devices, or even over-exercising can be a way that we dumb our pain. In our mind, we may feel that we are practicing self-care, but in reality, we just end up more tired.

Recently, on a flight, I was talking to a family who was returning from their family vacation. I asked, “How was your vacation?” She said, “All we did was run around from one activity to the next, and I am exhausted.” Smiling, I said, “Oh, now you need a vacation from your vacation.”

Our idea of self-care can often deplete us, leaving us needing more rest. But, when we truly understand self-care, it can give us the energy we need to face our daily lives and activities.

I attended a ladies’ retreat with some beautiful friends and fellow coaches. I intended to allow myself to reflect, practice proper self-care, fill up, and experience restoration.

Yes, the people I was with were super fun, and we had some fun activities, but... I needed to make time for myself...to rest intentionally. I did not do what I had planned and when I returned home...I was exhausted.

If we continue to look at self-care as just activities, it will always seem indulgent and maybe even somewhat selfish. Yet, when you learn how to practice proper self-care, it is never selfish...but necessary. Self-care is engagement, not an escape. I am often told that self-care is expensive...well, I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be costly.

As much as I love pedicures and massages, proper self-care is much more. There are some very affordable ways to practice good self-care. It can be as simple as enjoying a cup of tea, journaling, taking a nap, stretching your body, going for a walk, speaking kindly to yourself, taking those deep breaths, hydrating your body, reading a book, listening to a podcast or music, call the friend you have been wanting to talk to, putting down your phone, and unplugging from social media...it’ll still be there when you come back.

Working in the service industry for over 40 years, I would not be able to serve others how I want to serve them If I were running on empty. We can’t embrace our future when our body is failing, and it is nearly impossible to meet others’ needs when we can’t even meet our own needs. The importance of self-care is taking care of ourselves so that we can meet the needs of others. It’s OK to say No and, more importantly, to say No when your body says No.

Maintain those healthy relationships, eat a healthy and well-balanced diet, ensure you get adequate sleep, and seek professional help when needed. Take a break from the news and social media and focus on what you can control. Find ways to connect with others positively. When practicing proper self-care, remember to set your intention on what you need and not what you want.

 Make things easy and convenient. For example, I have my bath salts on the tub as a reminder to take time to soak and detoxify from those hard days. I also have my favorite radio station, “50’s & 60’s, on in my car, as it always raises my energy.

Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. ~Oprah Winfrey

 

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