Self-care is the new primary care, and during times of great stress, self-care safeguards the foundation of health.
Every woman knows that self-care behaviors can easily be ignored when stress triggers things like food cravings, insomnia, shallow breathing, social isolation, and adrenaline rushes.
We also know that the best primary-care doctors and nurses cannot keep us healthy if we consistently neglect stress relief and self-care at home. When we consult a doctor about the pain in our neck that just won’t go away, do we ask them to check our self-care strategies, or are we looking for a magic fix?
Maybe you don’t go to the doctor? Many times in the past, when our stress feels like a pounding headache or an upset stomach, we feel driven to skip the healing quiet time at home and instead, we scan, scan, scan the internet for updates and answers. Does this ever-vigilant impulse using technology feel like self-care, or is it adding gasoline to an emotional fire?
During hectic or difficult times, we need to care for ourselves as a first priority. That looks like moving our bodies, getting restful sleep, eating regularly the wholesome food we need, taking time to rest and relax, and preserving our boundaries. Do you have time for this?
“Far from being selfish, I know you to be one of the most caring people on this planet.” Georgianne Holland
…How do you finish this sentence?
While the future of the health care system in America is unknown today, many of us have doctors that we trust and look to for our wellness care. These primary care physicians are important and I wish for you an amazing doctor-patient relationship. Perhaps you don’t have a doctor? I urge all women to think about the Homemade Health steps they can take to safeguard self-care habits. It is helpful to consider each area of our life and assess what might be off-balance. We can then look at the areas that need more attention and take notice of the areas that are feeding us, as well as areas of your life that you are grateful for. Once you have identified the areas that need attention, it’s time to plan the actions needed to regain balanced living. We can all encourage one another, even our doctors, to take these steps!
THREE HOMEMADE HEALTH SELF-CARE TIPS
- Think of yourself as Sleeping Beauty. Inadequate sleep over extended periods of time interferes with immune function, and that deregulates hormone function. Driving your body to perform in this low-energy state requires cortisol and adrenaline, which can lead to obesity, body-wide inflammation, and prediabetes. No one, not even a good-looking prince, can resolve the damage that lack of sleep causes. What can you do tonight to better prepare your precious body for good sleep?
- Just say “No”. When we are overwhelmed or under stress, it is often due to the belief that we must say “yes” to all requests at home and on the job. Here’s the magic phrase: “I will check my schedule for you.” It is completely reasonable to practice not saying “yes” right away and deciding what works best for you.
- Technology is making your head spin. When the breaking news keeps interrupting your free time, stress is inevitable. My practice is to insist on a tech-free time period beginning at 5 PM each evening. I know! That’s a lot. My immediate family knows they can reach me, and everyone else in the world will have to wait until I open my technology tomorrow morning. It’s worth a try! See how you like it…
The most resilient people in the world practice extreme self-care as their primary care. This resilience is built by taking good care of yourself and treating yourself as kindly as you treat others. When we are on our priority list, our effectiveness in the larger world grows! It’s not selfish to want to feel amazing. It is not selfish to limit the impact of this 24/7 technology-centered American lifestyle. When we’re at our best, we can give our best.