Self Care

Even though self-care is a term that has been frequently used in recent times, there’s still uncertainty and misconceptions around what it is and how to practice it. In order to get some clarity, let us begin with one definition that can be found with a quick google search. The World Health Organization (WHO) defined self-care as the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a health worker. From this definition, we can see that self-care is about our general wellbeing. The activities that we can incorporate throughout our life on a daily basis that will promote health, prevent illness and develop coping mechanisms that can help us to manage issues that may arise.

Self-reflection is the key to this process. What works for some people may not work for others. It forces us to ask ourselves, what our specific needs are and how they can be met. This process is ever-changing. What we need can change with time and circumstance. Thus, the concept of self-care is just as much a journey as life itself. It can be in the form of emotional, physical or spiritual needs and can be temporary or long term. For example, a warm bath or seeing a friend benefits us temporarily. Practicing daily habits such as having a workout routine, practicing mindfulness or taking our recommended medications or supplements leads to more permanent effects. Self-care also does not have to cost anything. Sometimes financially keeping up with yearly vacations or weekly manicures can cause more undue stress if we are not able to meet those targets. Therefore, trying to be more mindful of our thoughts, behaviours and emotions can be a more practical and sustainable practice in the long run.

The Importance of Balance

In order to live our best lives possible, it is imperative that balance be the foundation.  As humans we must recognise that each aspect of our lives includes input from our minds, bodies and spirits; and we can only truly achieve optimal resolution when we integrate all of these into each situation with which we engage.

In the world we currently live, we are constantly bombarded with stressors of all kinds – the demands of work and family can consume most of our time, and sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves.  We forget that if we do not take the time to find balance and to relieve these stressors they can affect our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health.

Some simple ways to deal with stress:

  1. Exercise regularly
  2. Dedicate time to hobbies/special interests
  3. Meditation/Yoga
  4. Engage in the Arts – Visual and Performing
  5. Laugh (as often as you can)

Remember, if we don’t take care of ourselves and remain balanced and healthy, we won’t be able to take care of anyone else.

How are you celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month this May?

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, the Clinical Lead of our PoS Care Team shared the gift of plants with his Care team Members. Research has shown that men, women and children alike truly appreciate botanical gifts and that people who give plants and flowers as gifts are perceived as successful, caring and more able to express their emotions.

Mental Health Awareness Month 2022

JUST SHOW UP

The basic of all basics in support of mental health challenges is to show up. Just show up.

The opposite is to plan to call, or plan to drop by, or to send some food when you cook: in which case both of you stew, the promiser who can’t deliver and the promised who waits in expectation. Nothing beats the actual presence of a supportive human being when help is needed; who arrives without prejudice, without guile, without a mouthful of advice to administer. Just to be there, to show up in a timely fashion is the best of all medicine.

Listen to MJ as a child: You and I must make a pact; We will bring salvation back; Just call my name and I’ll be there.

When we show up we are saying we are the possible, we are the miracle, we make things happen. Showing up is the eternal wonder of this world we have created for thousands of years; when people show up the loaves multiply.

This is the fine art of the possible: even if you don’t know what to say; or don’t know what to do; not sure what to bring; or can’t even remember the protocol: Just show up; that makes one hell of a difference.

This is the basic ingredient of living as a community. Show up. I’ll be there at your side whenever you need me; through thick and thin; when there is a rainstorm or gruelling heat; Just call my name.

If you don’t show up, it will never exist otherwise through any other medium and the moment will be lost. It is not your business to determine how good it is or effective, how valuable or how it compares with other expressions of support; it is your business to keep the channel open.

The showing up was there in the beginning and it will be there in the end: like a rainbow in the sky.