Taking time for ourselves is often seen as indulgent and frivolous but the findings indicate that Self-Care is instrumental in the prevention of both mental and physical illnesses. Since the time spent with medical and psychological professionals is limited the on-going care is regulated by the patient or their family.
Self-care is a multi-faceted set of habits, behaviors and activities that place the well- being of physical, emotional, and mental health as top priority to manage, prevent and control chronic and acute issues.
The combination of nutrition, physical activity, emotional centeredness, and good medical behaviors have been found to reduce the impact of chronic illnesses and prevent acute illness according to the International Journal of Nursing Studies in an article released this week.
Nutrition can play a strong part in preventing and managing chronic illness. Adding healthy foods or managing nutritional choices can lead to immediate feedback loops especially in cases of Type 2 Diabetes and other chronic conditions. Anxiety and depression are very dependent upon glucose levels. The right choices of food, the right combinations of nutritional elements and the right physical activity can significantly impact how a Type 2 Diabetic manages stress and mood. But for all people, avoiding processed foods and empty calories can help mood and health.
One of the principle requirements in successful self-care is in new thinking. We have thought about prescriptions and conventional medicine as the prime way we care for ourselves. But we do not go first to meditation, yoga, nutrition, creativity, joy and music as part of our care. Prioritizing ourselves and spending time to feel better and indulge that time in things that bring us joy and happiness is an important part of the process.
Facts, Data and Patterns
Often mental health issues cycle for us. We see this in Chronic Conditions and in psychological conditions. Collecting daily data to look for patterns, to see trends over time and to provide Mental Health and Physical Health Professionals with that information can shed new light on co-morbidity, complications, and side effects. The act of journaling and tracking can be self-caring in its own right. The habit to release the mood of the day, discuss mitigating factors or to shed light on why patterns may shift.
We push. We work hard. We stress over deadlines, details, and drop-dead dates at work. We are now managing work, children, home schooling and financial stressors all at the same time. The drive to succeed runs deep in our veins. We put off vacations and self-care to meet deadlines and grow our brands.
Shifting to self-care, self-regulation and self-love are important to overall health and mental health. It will help us manage the current stress overload. It will reduce anxiety and may help manage depression, can also impact the cycles in which they run.
““You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~ Buddha.