The World Health Organization defines self-care as “the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider”.
I can fully admit that self-care was the last thing on my list after giving birth to my daughter. I was doing my best to take care of my newborn, learn how to parent, and be a supportive co-parent. Even though I was in therapy, at home I wasn’t really taking the best care of myself.
Mercy Care Business Health Solutions has six categories of self-care: emotional, practical, physical, mental, social and spiritual.
Emotionally I was a wreck. I was ignoring any practical practices such as organizing, budgeting, or cleaning. Physically I had no energy and had to remind myself to take a shower. I pushed my mental health on the backburner. I made some time for family and friends but didn’t have the energy or desire to really leave the house unless my significant other/daughter’s father pushed me to. Spiritual time was laughable. I didn’t have time to nurture my soul when I had a baby to tend to.
I wasn’t taking care of myself and the evidence was clear. When you don’t take care of yourself your quality of life and relationships with others suffer. My house was a mess. My body confidence was gone. Most days I felt like a slob. My productivity at work decreased. I became reclusive. My relationship with my significant other suffered.
I absolutely disliked the person I had become.
Self-care is a deliberate action you choose to make.
I’ve learned that when I am not at my best I can’t give my daughter the best. I’ve also acknowledged that it is up to me to teach my daughter self-care and why it’s important. If I don’t start now, then when?
Each day I deliberately engage in self-care. I’m not where I want to be yet but I know I am getting there one self-care intervention at a time.