Probably one of the first things we need to know in order to care for ourselves is to consider who we are. We have to know ourselves in all the different aspects of our make up. Are we overly sensitive? Do we stress out easily? What causes us to stress out? Other areas that we need to get a grasp on are things like how much sleep do we need to perform at our best, what foods make us feel good and what ones make us feel yucky and tired, bloated and grumpy, etc. …you get the picture…
Most of us have plenty to do to keep us busy and then some. We can push and push ouselves but we will eventually break down in one way or another, mentally or physically. Something we need to set up for ourselves is boundaries. Our lives and the sake of our health can’t afford for us to burn ourselves out. It is very important to have “me time” and not feel guilty. Everyone needs the space to relax and recharge – just chill out. It’s not a lazy thing but a necessary one for our well-being. Our bodies aren’t made to push to the limit without some time to ourselves to recover.
Some Vital Things
A practice that is vital to our well-being is making sure we breathe. Of course, we all breathe or we wouldn’t still be alive. But, most people are very shallow breathers. Shallow breathing doesn’t deeply bring in the fresh air and exchange it for the old stale air that is in our lungs. We need oxygen for our systems to work properly. It is good to oxygenate our blood. We are made to be active and breathe deeply for our health.
Another vital practice is drinking water. As I’m sure most of us know, we human beings are made up of approximately 60% water. That water needs to be replenished daily to hydrate our organs and carry nutrients through our bodies in our bloodstream and carry out waste from our bodies. The cells in our bodies are full of water. We need water to make our systems work smoothly and healthily. We lose water every day by sweating, breathing, and other bodily functions. Fresh pure water, not just any liquid, is the best way to replace what is lost – 1/2 our body weight in ounces is a good general rule of thumb.
Another thing that is vital to caring for ourselves is nutrition. If we aren’t eating properly, our health is sure to go down hill. In order to care for ourselves, we need to make sure that we are adding fresh food, fruits and vegetables, to our diets every day in order to get the nutrients we need. Our bodies aren’t made to perform at their peak on dead, lifeless foods.
How important are supportive friends and family to our health? We all need to know we are loved and that we know that people are for us. Maintaining good relationships is really a way we can care for ourselves and others in our lives. There are few things as toxic as bad relationships – “bad blood” between people can actually cause people’s health to fail. It’s like adding a poison to their systems. There is a saying I love by Voltaire. It is “I choose to be happy because it is good for my health”. If we are unhappy and full of animosity towards others, it can’t be healthy. It is one of our jobs in caring for ourselves to make sure that we do whatever it takes to maintain good supportive relationships.
Movement and Rest
We can’t forget movement in taking care of ourselves. Daily exercise is a necessary part of our well-being. We need to walk each day at the very least, and not just sit around and veg. Of course, doing more than just the basic walking in our houses is better if we really want to care for ourselves. Brisk walking outdoors is a great way to exercise as are bicycling, swimming, hiking, different sports like tennis, basketball, etc. Our bodies are meant to move for optimum health benefits or our muscles will become weak and even the simplest tasks will seem difficult.
Rest is necessary in caring for ourselves. Each person needs a certain amount of sleep, probably somewhere between 6 and 8 hours a night, to perform best. If you short change the rest, then other areas of your life will be negatively affected by it. Another way of bringing about a restful state that can be beneficial to your health is meditation. It’s a way to slow everything down and take the focus off the stresses in your life and just be at peace.
And Lastly …
Although not necessary, doing something special for yourself is a great way to care for yourself in a positive way. Treating yourself to a spa day, getting a massage, a manicure, pedicure, facial, etc. goes a long way in making you feel cared for.