Why Is Self-Care Important and How Can We Practice It?
Self-care has been an ever-evolving concept in our world for decades. Originally, the World Health Organization (WHO) defined self-care in the 1980s as “activities individuals, families, and communities undertake with the intention of enhancing health, preventing disease, limiting illness, and restoring health.”1
However, our world has dramatically changed since then. New pressures stemming from social media, the ever-expanding workday, economic and political changes, and healthcare innovations have arisen and moved to the forefront of our daily experiences.
Now more than ever, it is important that we think about what self-care means to us. How can we take opportunities for self-care and still meet the demands of our crazy world today?
What is self-care?
Self-care can take on many forms, from the “treat yo’ self” mentality we hear on TV, where trips to fancy spas are taken or copious amounts of money are spent, to just taking a simple 10-second break to re-center our emotions. While there are many ways we can care for ourselves, the most important outcome is that we feel ready and capable to take on whatever life throws at us.
Everyday stress and the challenges of battling a chronic illness like asthma can take a toll. Although its definition and practice can vary, here are some sure-fire ways to implement self-care in your daily life!
The best way to prepare our body to fight off whatever comes at it is by giving it a solid foundation to work off of. Higher energy levels, clearer mental states, and overall wellness can be directly attributed to what we put into our bodies. Drinking 8 glasses of water a day and getting your daily servings of fruits and veggies can help your body be ready to fight whatever comes next!
Taking time out of your day to giggle can improve your mood and help lift your spirits. What brings you joy? Funny animal videos on YouTube, a favorite TV show, a new movie, or a comedy show could lead you to your next belly laugh and a brighter outlook on whatever you may be facing right now.
Keeping your body moving
There is no wrong way to get activity into your day. There are lots of ways to stay active, like walking, gardening, bicycling, stretching, or even dancing in your kitchen!
Yoga is an excellent and often underrated self-care practice. Exercise is key when taking care of your body. However, it is not always possible for everyone, especially those battling chronic conditions. While yoga may seem intense or confusing, what many do not realize is that there are many, many different forms of it. There are many low-impact or mindfulness-based yoga practices that can help you re-center your thoughts and get a little bit of a stretch without causing too much exertion.
Of course, this will always still make the list when it comes to self-care. Treating ourselves to relaxing activities like taking a luxurious bath or enjoying a favorite meal is meaningful. As long as you practice moderation and know what is feasible for you in the long run, a nice treat can go a long way!
Go beyond yourself
Self-care does not have to be a lonely activity. Catching up with an old friend or scheduling time to talk with someone who makes you feel motivated and bright can invigorate you to a new level!
No matter how you practice self-care, it is important to remember that it is a never-ending commitment. No self-care method will cure all of your needs in one sitting. Your body and your mind should always be a priority, and the more attention you pay to what YOU need, the greater the impact it will have in the long run!
How do you practice self-care with asthma? Share in the comments below!
Have asthma inhalers affected your dental health?